On Wednesday the 21st of September we published the National Childhood Bereavement Project’s final report and submitted our recommendations to the Scottish Government.
Here, Denisha Killoh, Project Lead describes what this means to her.
Over the last 18 months I have led includem’s National Childhood Bereavement Project with a passion to make positive, long-lasting difference for children and young people who are bereaved across the country.
In this time, I have met with over 350 incredible people, each with their own experiences and views on how Scotland can become a nation that holistically supports its grieving citizens. Across all of these conversations, there has been a repeated, underlying call to action – that all of us must proactively prepare for ourselves, and those around us, being bereaved.
I have always been open with the fact that my determination for this project stems from my own personal experiences. When I was fourteen, my mum died, and I felt like everything I knew, and found comfort in, withered away overnight. For years after I struggled to find my place in the world without my mum, and at times felt consumed by despair and hopelessness.
I could have never imagined that this is where my career would take me, in part because I did not know how many other people like me, were growing up grieving. It has been an honour to be in this role, and I hope that this report makes a positive, long-lasting difference for children and young people who are bereaved across the country.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you to all those who contributed to the Project, and in particular to those who shared their lived experience in the hope that things will improve for others who have been bereaved. This report is dedicated to some of their loved ones who have died.
A summarized child-friendly version of the report is currently in development and will be published in the coming weeks.