Charities have increased their support for those affected by issues around grief and loss during the national period of mourning following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
Ahead of the monarch’s state funeral on Monday (September 19) charities have stepped up guidance to bereaved families and children, who are feeling particularly vulnerable following the monarch's death last week.
This advice also includes urging charity workers to ensure they consider any feelings of loss they also may be feeling.
Among charities to offer additional support is Scouts. It is promoting a raft of activity ideas to commemorate the Queen, who was a patron of the charity, as well as consider issues around loss and how to express feelings around grief.
Ideas include creating a crown of leaves, recording a radio speech and staging a ‘royal quiz’ around the monarch.
The Queen always showed a strong commitment to kindness, service, and duty. Our way of honouring this is to complete our own acts of kindness, so we've created some activities for young people to consider. https://t.co/mcFDKCkXeS #KindnessForTheQueen pic.twitter.com/o3enr6bQZZ— Scouts (@scouts) September 14, 2022
“As HM The Queen was the Patron of Scouts, we’re deeply saddened and share our condolences at the passing of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II,” said the Scouts.
“Our thoughts are with the Royal Family at this sad time. Throughout her reign, she was an avid supporter of Scouts in the United Kingdom, across The Commonwealth and around the world.
“Therefore, we know many of you will want to mark this moment. We’d like to help you do that in a way that’s as respectful and meaningful as possible.”
Elsewhere, Cruse Bereavement Support has produced an online package of support for people who are “deeply affected” by the Queen’s death.
This includes helping to understand why they are grieving the late monarch, including people feeling as if they knew her or someone they admired.
You may have found you have felt especially tearful this week. After a bereavement, people might cry frequently or unable to cry at all.— Cruse Bereavement Support (@CruseSupport) September 14, 2022
Your reactions could come as a shock but it's important to remember that it's completely normal💜
Read more here 👇https://t.co/bU7qnBhCtA pic.twitter.com/3kFzqRJwUi
The monarch’s death can also “bring up memories of your own bereavements. Perhaps The Queen was also special to someone you have lost, or reminds you of them”, said Cruse.
It added: “Many of us are in mourning for our monarch, who has been a central part of life in Britain for so long.”
“As the news sinks in we may also be feeling very sad for her family, who have lost a beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, and for her other relatives and friends.
“It can sometimes feel surprising to grieve someone we didn’t know personally. It can even feel like we don’t have the right to be so upset. But there are many reasons why you and many millions of others might be affected.”
Meanwhile, the National Children’s Bureau has urged families to remember that “private griefs can be reawakened” during times of national mourning.
The death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II brings a national focus on grief and mourning. @CBNtweets, part of the NCB family, offer tips on how to answer children’s questions and provide information on organisations who offer further support https://t.co/P9nQocxu0I pic.twitter.com/vlWpvuxf6m— CDC (@CDC_tweets) September 14, 2022
Its Childhood Bereavement Network is promoting a raft of support for families and support workers on coping with loss.
This includes advice from the charity Winston’s Wish and Child Bereavement UK on the death of the Queen and how to talk to young people about the situation.
Another to promote advice on handling grief is the National Youth Agency, which is promoting advice to youth charity workers on supporting young people impacted by grief.
This includes flagging up expert advice from charities including Young Minds on issues such as images of loss in the media, supporting teenagers and access to counselling services.
In addition, it urges support workers to ensure they “remember to look after yourselves too, and speak to a friend or colleague, or seek the help of a professional therapist or counsellor if needed”.
It added: “We also appreciate that youth workers may also be processing the news and that this may trigger an emotional response.”
Supporting queue of mourners
Hundreds of charity volunteers are also offering support to those queueing to visit the Queen’s lying-in state at the Palace of Westminster.
Mourners face hours of waiting overnight and charity volunteers are on hand to support their health needs in particular.
Around 100 Scouts as well as Samaritans and Salvation Army volunteers will be available to mourners to offer help. St John Ambulance volunteers are also present to provide first aid.
While our wonderful volunteers are delivering medical care to crowds in London and Windsor, over 1300 volunteers are providing first aid at more than 200 events all over England.— St John Ambulance (@stjohnambulance) September 15, 2022
Read more about how our volunteers are supporting local communities: https://t.co/Z9KkJtmYAW pic.twitter.com/0SvmkTKX3P