Scottish Lib Dems back Christine's call for more support for bereaved children

7 Nov 2023
Christine's campaign won unanimous support from Scottish Lib Dem conference

Edinburgh Liberal Democrat MP Christine Jardine won the unanimous support from the Scottish Liberal Democrats for her campaign for improved support for bereaved children.

At the moment around one in 30 children will lose a parent by the time they are 16, but charities and organisations able to help have no idea where they are to help them access support outside school.

The party’s autumn conference backed the MP’s calls for a system of ensuring that young people know of all the support available to them when they are lose someone they love.

Christine has already had meetings with UK Government ministers, written to the Scottish Government about her proposals and recently supported a petition to Downing Street by young people who had suffered a bereavement.

Her motion to the party called for a new protocol for authorities to follow when a person dies, to ensure that anyone registering a death is able to put any affected young person in touch with the help they need.

Christine said: “I am pleased to see this vital motion received the overwhelming support that will help us to take it forward as a party.

“Too many young people I have spoken to felt they did not know where to turn to for advice, counselling or know of anything outside of school which offered help.  At the same time, charities and organisations are keen to reach out and help, but don’t know how to contact them.

“I was touched by how so many members recognised the need for more support for vulnerable children, and it has been the same across party lines in parliament. 

“Missing out on the chance to talk to somebody who understands and can offer advice at a vital lifechanging moment can have a lifelong impact, with some bereaved children at greater risk of poor mental health and lower attainment in school if they can’t access the right support. 

“I don’t believe that this will need a new law, or any complicated procedure. It could simply be as easy as giving someone a piece of paper when they register a death, just to remind young people that there is someone who can help if they need it. 

“But getting the bureaucracy to respond isn’t easy, so I hope the Government will finally make this small change that would make a huge difference to the lives of thousands of young people and their families.” 

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