The Scottish Government awarded includem the contract to deliver the National Childhood Bereavement Project in March 2020. Denisha Killoh was appointed as Project Lead in September 2020.

The Story So Far

The National Childhood Bereavement Project was created to honour the commitments made by Scottish Ministers to improve support for those who are bereaved during their childhood, as outlined in the Programme for Government 2016/17. The Project has worked to understand the experiences of infants, children, young people and young adults who have been bereaved under the age of 26 in Scotland. To do this, it has actively engaged with those who have been bereaved during their childhood, the supporting adults in their lives, and the individuals and organisations working to help them through their grief. The work of the Project spans a number of policy areas including children and families, people with care experience, youth justice, health and education.

In the past 18 months, the Project has directly engaged with over 300 people across all 32 local authorities in Scotland. It has also worked across the UK and Europe to promote its approach to ensuring those who have lived experience of childhood bereavement have a meaningful role in co-designing the support they feel would benefit them.

When We Say Childhood Graphic

 When We Say Bereaved Graphic

Interim Report

In August 2021, we published our interim report summarising the learning gathered during the first year of the Project from March 2020 – March 2021.

The report provides an update on the progress made in relation to achieving the key deliverables and milestones set by the Scottish Government and highlights emerging cross-cutting themes from the initial engagement with individuals and organisations supporting infants, children, young people, and young adults who have been bereaved.

The report can be read here.

Year Two

From 24/02/21 to 03/11/21 we hosted a series of roundtable discussions organised around our six interconnected themes through online events. These conversations were attended by over 90 individuals working to support bereaved children and young people in Scotland, who shared their views and expertise on each topic.

Our Themes Graphic

Our conversations with people with lived experience of childhood bereavement, and the supporting adults in their lives helped us to create our  ‘Timeline of Support’ sessions. This work was designed to create the space for those with lived experience to share their journey through three stages of grief (Before, At the Time, After) in a way that was comfortable to them, exploring what is working, what is not and what they would like to see changed. This work ran from October 2021 to February 2022 and gathered the views of over 100 children and young people from across Scotland.

Timeline of Support

What’s happening now?

Final Report

In February 2022, the Project ended all formal engagement to begin writing the final report. The report is set to be published later this year and will contain findings from our engagement, stories from children and young people who have been bereaved and recommendations to Scottish Government to act upon.

To keep up to date with the progress of the Project and its final report, you can sign up to our National Childhood Bereavement Project newsletter here.

Get in Touch

If you would like to know more about the Project, please contact:

Denisha Killoh, Project Lead, at denisha.killoh@includem.co.uk or 07850775391