Posted: Thu 4th Nov 2021

North Wales MS support for petition calling on Welsh Government to give more support to families who suddenly lose a child

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Nov 4th, 2021


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North Wales MS Mark Isherwood has spoken in support of a petition calling for more support for families who suddenly lose a child or young adult.

Almost two years ago, the bereavement support charity ‘2 Wish Upon A Star’ presented a petition to the Senedd/Welsh Parliament Petitions Committee calling on the Senedd “to urge the Welsh Government” to ensure that grief support is immediately accessible to bereaved parents and families who have unexpectedly lost a child or young adult.

‘2 Wish Upon A Star’ provides immediate and ongoing bereavement support for families, individuals and professionals affected by the sudden and traumatic death of a child or young adult aged 25 or under.

The petition, which collected 5,682 signatures, was debated yesterday afternoon in the Welsh Parliament.

Speaking in support of it, Mr Isherwood said that “No family should be left alone and isolated after the loss of a child”.

He said:

“As Chair of the Cross-Party Groups on Hospices and Palliative Care and on Funerals and Bereavement in both this and the last Senedd, I have worked with our Group Member Rhian Mannings, who submitted this petition and who founded the all-Wales charity 2 Wish Upon A Star, providing essential bereavement support for families who have suddenly and traumatically lost a child or young adult aged under 25, which may be from suicide or may be through accident or illness.”

“She told me that sudden death is the forgotten death in Wales – and that although the charity has effectively become a statutory service in Wales, working with every Health Board and every police force, they received no statutory support and have to raise every penny themselves – despite reducing pressure on mental health teams, helping tackle the unforeseeable trauma of unpredictable death and loss.”

“She started her fight after her husband and son were taken from her suddenly – no preparation, no warning and then nothing, and states the lack of support they received directly led to her husband taking his own life.”

“Indeed, her determination to provide the support she would have wanted to receive after the death of her son and husband is why we are debating this most critical of issues today.”

“There is currently no official bereavement support for families in Wales. It is all provided by organisations like 2 Wish Upon A Star or Hospices like Tŷ Gobaith Children’s Hospice near Conwy, where services include their Snowflake Room, a special temperature-controlled room where families and friends can spend time saying goodbye in their time and their own way to children who have died.”

“The Cross Party Groups welcome the draft National Framework for the Delivery of Bereavement Care, published last week.”

Group Members contributed significantly to its development and our work programmes include focus on many of the topics contained within the framework.

“The framework’s ambition to ensure that people in Wales have ‘timely access to high quality bereavement care and support’ touches at the heart of today’s debate.  No family should be left alone and isolated after the loss of a child.”

“Today’s petition rightly calls for the Welsh Government to support a service here in Wales to ensure families who unexpectedly lose their child or young adult aged 25 years and under get the support they require.”

“Let us heed the Senior North Wales Police Detective who told me ‘North Wales Police has definitely seen the benefit of the services 2 Wish Upon a Star provide’.

“I will leave the last word to a Senior North Wales Police Staff Member who emailed: ‘I was aware of 2 Wish Upon A Star from discussions in the workplace with colleagues.”

“Unfortunately I subsequently found myself in the position whereby I witnessed at first hand the benefit that Wish Upon A Star can bring to those who suffer the incomparable devastation that only the loss of a child can bring.”

“Without the help of schemes like this, the darkness that can surround those suddenly and traumatically bereaved will be so much harder to navigate’.”

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