ATLP school staff equipped with skills to support bereaved students

Wednesday 6th January, 2021

Teachers from across Lichfield, Tamworth and Sutton Coldfield have received vital training to help young people facing loss and living with bereavement.

Phoenix, the children and young people’s bereavement service for St Giles Hospice, has been working with staff from schools from the Arthur Terry Learning Partnership (ATLP), which include Arthur Terry School, John Willmott School, Stockland Green School, Brookvale Primary School, Curdworth Primary School, Hill West Primary School, Mere Green Primary School and Slade Primary School.

The session covered the impact of Covid-19 and lockdown on young people as well as issues around bereavement and facing loss.

Sue Bailey (pictured), ATLP’s safeguarding lead, said: “We are very much aware that many families within our community of schools have lost loved ones during these difficult times.

Our aim as a partnership is to offer as much support to these families as we can and the training we received from St Giles will further enable our staff to do this.

The training was of a very high quality and left us feeling better equipped to support families and also how to access the expert support available from St Giles.

We look forward to further partnership working and would recommend this training to others.” 

Phoenix lead Jodie Phillips said the right support in schools for young people who had experienced the death of someone close to them was essential, particularly in the current circumstances.

Schools can be a safe space for young people, providing normality and consistency at times of extreme pressure and change, which is often the case when someone dies,” she said.

Working with ATLP to help their staff to support young people facing the death of a loved one or living with that loss is an important part of creating a safety net for those young people.

Given the right support, most grieving children and young people will not need professional help, but what they do need is the care of adults they trust who are familiar to them such as a teacher.”

The Arthur Terry Learning Partnership is a growing multi-academy trust of 14 schools and one teaching school in Birmingham, North Warwickshire and Staffordshire.

Phoenix offers support for any child or young person under the age of 18 who is facing loss or who has been bereaved, in the St Giles Hospice catchment area. Referrals can come from parents, teachers, healthcare professionals or young people. To find out more, please call 01543 434536.

Notes to editors

St Giles Hospice is a registered charity offering high-quality specialist care free of charge for people living with diseases which are terminal or incurable as well as providing support for their families and carers.

Patients come from across the hospice’s catchment area, which ranges from Ashby-de-la-Zouch and Atherstone in the east, to Cannock and Walsall in the west – and from Burton and Uttoxeter in the north, to Sutton Coldfield and Coleshill in the south.

Care is offered at the hospice’s centres in Whittington, Sutton Coldfield, Walsall and in patients’ own homes across the region.

St Giles spends over £10 million a year providing its specialist services and with little more than a third of this funded by the Government, the registered charity relies heavily on donations and income generation from the local community.