This marks a monumental milestone for the project. The interim report is our first published work to date which sets out our participation and engagement strategy, details our reach across Scotland and outlines our initial findings ahead of our final reporting deadline in March 2022.
The ethos behind our work is not a new phenomenon to Scotland, and our achievements to date are a credit to all those over the years who have worked tirelessly to improve childhood bereavement support, providing us with a baseline of the current landscape to build upon.
Our engagement has spanned a number of policy sectors, and shown that we cannot improve support for bereaved children and young people in a silo. Instead, we must also simultaneously work across the sectors of children and families, care, youth justice, health and education.
Only in strengthening our approach to all public sectors can we guarantee that each and every child grows up in an environment that enables them to flourish.
Over the last year, we have spoken directly to over 100 people across Scotland. I am beyond thankful to everyone who has taken the time to get in touch, attend one of our events, contribute both verbal and non-verbal submissions and share their experiences with the project.
These conversations are at the heart of this interim report and have given us the building blocks to create a vision of future support for childhood bereavement.
On a personal note, next month marks one year since I came into post as the Lead for the National Childhood Bereavement Project. In some ways the last year feels like a lifetime, in others its went past in the blink of an eye.
One thing I can say for certain about the past 12 months is that it has been the greatest honour of my life to lead a project focused on an area so close to my own lived experiences.
To me, this report symbolises more than I can put into words. It is a testament to the entire population of infants, children, young people and young adults who will experience a bereavement that they have a voice to make a difference and an audience that wants to listen.
You can read our interim report here: National-Childhood-Bereavement-Interim-Report.pdf (includem.org)
We are still in the engagement phase of the project, seeking to hear from as many people as possible, particularly those with lived experience of childhood bereavement. If you would like to find out more or arrange a time to chat, please get in touch with me directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org