Here at iHV, we value our many varied and trusted partnerships, through which we offer support or are supported in pursuing important outcomes for the health visiting profession with the aim of improving outcomes for children and families. We were delighted to meet Linda Magistris, Founder and CEO of The Good Grief Trust, earlier in 2019 and to be invited to the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG*) on Bereavement Support, and together we proposed many ways iHV might work with The Good Grief Trust.

With the theme of #OpenUpToGrief, it is now just a few days to go to the very first UK National Grief Awareness Week #NGAW19 (2–8 December). We are proud to show our support to The Good Grief Trust (who is leading the campaign on an entirely voluntary basis) to give a national platform to the impact of grief, and to raise awareness of the significance of being open and talking about grief. Most health visitors will have lived experience of loss and bereavement, and additionally there are many ways that practitioners will come into contact with families experiencing grief (whether that be due to the loss of an unborn baby, a new infant, an older child, a partner or a parent) through their practice.

Just a few things to for your “To do list” to add your support for #NGAW19:

  1. Read our new Voices blog

We are so pleased to have had the support of Charlotte Jolliffe, Freddie’s Mum and inspirational founder of Freddie’s Wish foundation. Charlotte has shared an amazing Voices blog for us – please do read it. It reminds us of the importance of being present and compassionate, rather than feeling the need to find fixes or answers.

In Charlotte’s blog, find out about and support #DonutDay on 7 December during #NGAW19 and share a selfie of you eating a donut (Proper excuse to enjoy a donut!) on social media , please tag @Freddies_wish and #DonutDay.

  1. Check out The Good Grief Trust website

Take a look at the resources available to parents and professionals via The Good Grief Trust website – and review national and local services to support families in your area. Share with relevant organisations locally so that they can sign up if they are not represented. Be open about loss and share a picture during #NGAW19 on social media of someone you have lost and are grieving, to raise awareness of talking about grief this Christmas – tag @goodgrieftrust and add hashtags #OpenUpToGrief and #SayTheirName

  1. Look out for new iHV Good Practice Points supporting Grief

We have identified a suite of new Good Practice Points that we are seeking to produce to support health visiting practice with bereaved families and those experiencing grief. We will be working with key experts (those with lived experience) to ensure that these new resources help practitioners provide the best support to families. We hope to publish these via our website in Spring 2020.

*Note: the APPG is currently dissolved due to the current election period and closure of parliament. We look forward to meetings resuming in January 2020.