Hi, I am Isabel Shaver and I am an Educational Psychologist who works in Highland. I am a Seasons for Growth Trainer and I have been training staff in Highland to become Seasons for Growth companions for the last 12 years, introducing Seasons to Highland not long after I moved up here to work. I am also a member of the CLB group and a member of the group who develop and review the Tragic Event Guidance for Schools.
Being asked to share a resource I use regularly and find helpful was difficult because there are so many resources, I thought about including the CBUK website that Jo has already mentioned as well as Winston’s Wish, Child Bereavement Network, Young Minds and Papyrus websites and of course the Seasons programme.
Seasons would be the resource I would choose to share because having the opportunity to attend a Seasons group makes a significant difference to many children and young people. We hear again and again from children and young people who have attended a group (and from their parents/carers, companions and staff at school) about the positive difference this has made. Attending a group provides the opportunity to explore with others the impact of significant change, loss and/or bereavement, including the opportunity to safely explore feelings as a result of the loss. Even when a child or young person doesn’t want to talk about what has happened. But of course this site has much more information about Seasons without me speaking about it so please do go to the Seasons site and find out more if you are interested. Or view our Seasons pages here.
On reflection which one resource am I choosing to share? Well I have chosen one which children/ young people and their families continually report is useful when dealing with the death of someone important to them. This resource is the set of ‘I can’ cards which are now available as a download. A group of bereaved pupils working with Seasons for Growth in Scotland came up with a list of suggestions for support and these suggestions were printed on cards so that children and young people who are dealing with the death of someone important to them can use the cards to let others around them know how to help them. Finding words when dealing with the death of someone important to you can be difficult, however using these cards can help young people to open up conversations or alternatively mean that others can get an idea of how to help without words being used. Children and young people can choose to use these cards to share with others (including their parents, friends and teachers). It is not uncommon to feel powerless and alone when dealing with the death of someone important but this resource can help children and young people to feel connected with others and to have a bit of control in dealing with what has happened. Not all children and young people will want to use them but those who do tell us they have found them helpful.
Click on each card below to access a copy to download.