Kristin Scott Thomas presents the BBC Lifeline Appeal this weekend, on behalf of Pan-Sussex based charity Winston’s Wish

Kristin Scott Thomas presents BBC Lifeline Appeal on behalf of Winston’s Wish

Winston’s Wish will be featuring on BBC One on Sun 20 Dec, as it takes the spotlight in the BBC Lifeline Appeal. The appeal, fronted by Dame Kristin Scott Thomas DBE, features three families who all share their experiences following the death of a parent and shines a light on the support they received from childhood bereavement charity, Winston’s Wish.

BAFTA award winning actress Scott Thomas will be recounting tells the story of three families who have all been supported by Winston’s Wish. Eddie, Tom and Tiff all know first-hand the impact a death of a parent in childhood can have. The appeal highlights the wide-ranging way the charity supports bereaved children, young people and their families from the National Helpline to the virtual support service and face to face work.

“The charity is important to me for a personal reason,” says Scott Thomas. “Both my father and my stepfather were killed in accidents before I was 12 years old. The death of a parent is the most devastating event a child will ever face, and it can have a catastrophic effect. At Winston’s Wish an experienced and compassionate team can help children make sense of what has happened to them, providing a safe place to explore their emotions and learn to live a meaningful life after their loss.

“No child should have to experience the loss of a loved one, but they do each and every day. Winston’s Wish exists to provide emotional and practical support to children, young people and their families, and help them navigate through their grief and face their future with confidence and hope.”

Winston’s Wish supports children, young people and their families after the death of a parent, sibling or significant carer. The death of a loved one is the most fundamental loss a child will ever face. Bereavement can have a lasting effect on the child’s emotional well-being and lead to a variety of short and long-term problems. The right support at the right time can enable bereaved young people to live with their grief and build positive futures.

“Since the pandemic broke, children and young people across the country have been impacted by death, dying and bereavement,” says Fergus Crow, Winston’s Wish Chief Executive. “As the death toll rose, services like ours became vital sources of support and guidance to thousands of people, and this work continues as the impact of the pandemic is more widely felt, heard and seen.

“This appeal gives us an opportunity to highlight the important work we do with bereaved children and young people along with raising essential funds. We are so grateful to Eddie, Tom and Tiff for contributing to the film and the BBC for this opportunity. Please do tune in on Sunday to watch the appeal.”

Winston’s Wish understands the impact of bereavement at a young age and has developed a wide range of practical support and guidance for bereaved children, their families and the professionals supporting them.  Its range of support services include:  Freephone Helpline, Online Chat, Crisis Messenger Service, email support, online support, specialist publications and resources, and training for professionals.

Tas the first charity to establish childhood bereavement support services in the UK, Winston’s Wish has been at the forefront of support for bereaved children since 1992 and also offers specialist support programmes for children including those affected by deaths related to murder, manslaughter or the emergency services. Each year, Winston’s Wish reaches thousands of bereaved children and young people through its services, helping to ensure that grief does not destroy their futures.

For more advice and guidance on how best to support grieving children and young people, Winston’s Wish has a Freephone National Helpline, staffed by fully trained bereavement practitioners, which is available between 9am and 5pm, Mon – Fri.

BBC Lifeline is a monthly 10-minute programme broadcast on BBC One highlighting the work of a charity and appealing for donations to support its activities. The appeal aims to provide an opportunity for raising money and awareness to a variety of charities. The appeal is a fantastic way for a charity to engage with the BBC’s audience. There are 11 Lifeline Appeals each year.

Tune in to the Winston’s Wish BBC Lifeline Appeal on Sun 20 Dec at 14:00 on BBC One and again on Weds 23 Dec at 10:10 on BBC Two. The Appeal will also be available on BBC iPlayer.

BBC programme page

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