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Meet the CLB Team, and hear about our favourite resources

Happy New Year everyone, and welcome to our new followers. We thought it might be useful to say hello and for each of us to share a resource we use regularly and find helpful. So here is our first instalment.

I’m Jo, my day job is ‘Transitions Co-ordinator’, I’m a Seasons for Growth Trainer and Companion and I am a member of the CLB group here in Highland. In real life, I have just returned to work after a year off on Maternity Leave with my very fun and increasingly mischievous daughter!

Ordinarily, I think had I been asked what my go to resource was in terms of change and loss I might have talked about Seasons or the CBUK website. However, after welcoming Eva to the world 11 months ago, and living the last 10 months in a pandemic, my resource has to be bumps to bairns.

Not necessarily what jumps to mind when you think of change and loss?

Bumps to bairns is full of evidence based information and guidance about our little people, from baby to 5 years old. The site’s tagline sums it up ‘Early help for Highland children’.

So why is this my favourite resource, and what has it got to do with the subject of this website?

Well, I’m sure we can all agree that it has been a funny old year. Nothing has been certain; apart from change! I can’t tell you how many times my Mum friends have expressed guilt and fear that they aren’t doing enough. Bumps to bairns is a great place to visit if you have questions, if you want some information and so importantly right now; for some ideas of what to do with your children while we are staying at home.

The advice I needed to hear this week was this:

“Play and talk is all you need

What really matters for young children? It is “just” time to play and to chat. If you do things that everyone enjoys and can chatter about, then learning is automatically going to happen. It just will.”

Thank you to James and the team behind bumps to bairns, your website has been so helpful to me in the transition to becoming a parent, being a parent in lockdown and in doing so it has helped me to be more accepting of the changes that are occurring around us daily.

When People Die: Stories from Young People

When People Die: Stories from Young People is a comic that tells numerous stories about death and resilience from a group of young people. The comic helps
readers gain different and better perspectives on grief and what grieving means for young people.
These stories and scenarios have been written by a group of young people selected from Children’s Hospices Across Scotland (Robin House), HMYOI
Polmont, and Richmond’s Hope, and put together by the team at the Dundee Comics Creative Space.

This comic will help people such as school
teachers, guidance counsellors and anyone who reads it to learn more about how it feels to be in the position of a grieving young person.
Find the link to the comic on our resources page here.

Why might our book list help?

We asked one young person how using the books on our book list had helped her.
One of the Primary Mental Health Work Team in Highland had recommended Badger’s Parting Gifts by Susan Varley to her and her Mum after her Grandad had died. She was worried about how everyone was coping, and even read it with her Gran. This was what she thought about it:

How did the book help you to talk about Grandad’s death?

  • The book made me feel like I wasn’t alone and I got more confidence to talk about it.

Did the book make it easier to talk about death?

  • I understood that it was easier to talk to someone about it.

Did it help?

  • I felt much better once I read the book.

Did it help Granny?

  • My Gran felt better after I read it to her.  I felt sad before I read the book but after I felt more comfortable.

The book helped me and Granny to talk about our memories of Grandad.  At the start I thought it wasn’t okay to cry but when Granny started to cry I felt that I could cry too, because it was a sad time.

Thank you Lucy for sharing your thoughts on Badger’s Parting Gifts.

Is Seasons for Growth helpful? We asked a pupil who has taken part in a group.

Seasons for Growth Level 3 by Anne P Graham 

Someone close to me died. Before the group i felt like i couldn’t talk about it to other people.

I realised I could talk about it because other people have experienced the same type of thing.

I was a bit nervous in the beginning but after a few weeks I realised I didn’t need to be  nervous.

Over time I started to enjoy the group. I would 100% recommend it to someone going through the same thing.   

Aiden Primary 7

Muddles, Puddles and Sunshine

Muddles, Puddles and Sunshine, written by Diana Crossley and illustrated by Kate Sheppard is an activity book for bereaved children that we often recommend to Parents and Schools.
Children can dip in and out of the activities; picking the ones that they are interested in. We have been fortunate enough to see it in use and it has allowed for children to complete activities with their families or with trusted members of staff. In completing the activities, children often find it easier to talk about their loss with the trusted adult.

Don’t just take our word for it though! Here is a review of the book from a pupil who used it last year, with the support of a Pupil Support Assistant:

“Someone close to me died I was really upset.

 Sometimes I struggled to stay in class.

This activity book helped me remember good memories about the person. It also helped to talk about the person.

The memory jar was my favourite activity in the book it was my favourite because it was fun to do.

Sometimes it helped me distract myself from being upset.

I brought the jar home and still sometimes look at it to remind me about the person.”

By Aiden, Primary 7

Featured

Welcome to CLB Highland

Morning all, and a very warm welcome to our new website. As a group of professionals, we realised that collectively we share a lot of information and resources about change and loss with our colleagues, with families and with Children and Young People. However, we also realised that we didn’t have one place that everyone could go to access all of this.
As a result, we have been working on this website, that anyone can access, to find out about the support available in Highland when experiencing Change, Loss or Bereavement.
The website is still under construction, and will continue to be added to over the coming months. We hope to be able to share relevant resources, signpost to support available, point you in the direction of useful websites and also for families, children & young people and practitioners to share with us what has worked for them and why.
This blog will be used to share reviews of books, of support we have accessed, theory, training and anything else relevant to the Highland Community in terms of Change and Loss.
Thank you for joining us on the journey, and for your patience while we develop the site. Sign up to the blog to receive regular updates as we progress.