By the age of 16, 1 in 20 young people will have experienced the death of one or both of their parents (Parsons, 2011).
Bereavement is part of our life cycle and Simon Says aims to normalise the loss, however the impact of a significant bereavement on a child or young person can be life changing.
Simon Says are on a mission to let all bereaved children and young people up to the age of 18 living in the county of Hampshire know about their support services and have access to them if needed.
Inspired by Sally’s husband Simon Stanley, a 37-year-old teacher from Southampton who died from cancer, Sally found that there was no bereavement support available locally for their two sons, Andrew and Tom who at the time were aged 5 and 2.
With support from family, friends and colleagues, Sally established the charity in 2001 in memory of her husband and started by providing written resources and individual counselling for some children.
Simon Says now offers bereavement support in a variety of ways and helps children and young people to understand and normalise the emotions and feelings they are going through by offering stability and a place to come and talk about their special person and come to terms with their loss.
Ryan was 7 when his father died of cancer:
“The groups really helped me, particularly with anger management and emotional support. At the time I found it really hard to talk about things and instead bottled it all up. I didn’t want to upset my mum or my sister by talking about how I felt. Simon Says helped by showing me how to write my feelings down and put them in a feelings box. My mum would then read them but wouldn’t talk to me about it, it helped her understand how I was feeling but without me having to open up to her….eventually the box disappeared…..”
“Simon Says helped me growing up and coming to terms with my loss, I have a really positive energy now and know I have grown into someone my Dad would be proud of…”
Global’s Make Some Noise is proud to support Simon Says’ Monthly Bereavement Support Groups to help children come to terms with their loss through craft activities and discussion in a safe and informal environment.