In the run-up to Children in Need on 18 November, The Drop has spoken to a number of charities who have been able to change people’s lives thanks to the funding they have received. 

Last year, Children in Need (CiN) raised a total of £51m. 

The money raised helps charities and organisations up and down the country support disadvantaged children.

For Winston’s Wish, the money raised has helped them provide bereavement counselling to more than 2,000 extra children across the country.

Winston’s Wish

Winston’s Wish is the UK’s first childhood bereavement charity. They specialise in supporting children who have been bereaved by suicide or have special educational needs and disabilities. 

This could be the bereavement of a parent, sibling or close family member. 

Bereavement counsellor Dan Jones, 45, from Gloucestershire, said: “It’s the best job in the world because you build a relationship with these young people and see them develop.

“You see them build resilience and become better able to articulate their thoughts and feelings. 

“Life and death are two of the most important things to talk about in life and we help to support young people along the way.

“It’s an amazing job to do, it’s a real privilege.”

The team supports children and young people, up to the age of 25, nationwide, via online video meetings and group work where they can connect with other bereaved children.

They help to provide young people with the coping mechanisms to better deal with future bereavements.

Mr Jones told The Drop: “There’s an old fashioned idea that you just ‘move on’ from bereavement, but the way we think about it now is that you live with your bereavement and take your connections and memories with you through life. 

“And that’s a much more positive, much more natural way to cope.”

Credit: Winston’s Wish

Why did Winston’s Wish apply for the grant?

CiN has supported Winston’s Wish since 2010 and played a vital role in their transition from face-to-face to online services.

After the pandemic, they made the switch to online services permanent, so they could offer help to children nationwide.

Mr Jones said: “The transition was difficult at first and it was a huge change but it has allowed us to make much more of a difference in more young people’s lives.”

He explained that whilst often children struggle to articulate their thoughts and feelings at first, throughout treatment they gradually build their confidence. 

Mr Jones said: “They’re not just able to do that with us, but in their lives going forward with new relationships or friendships.”

How and who has the money helped?

Mr Jones said: “We have supported more than 2,000 extra young people nationwide that we wouldn’t have been able to do without CiN.

“It helps us help children who are most in need, so we thank anyone who has ever supported CiN because it really does help to make a difference with their lives.

“We all have to live with bereavement but we can find better ways to cope, and that’s part of what we do at Winston’s Wish.”

Click to read about how CiN has helped charities Dorset Mind, and Aerobility.

You can find out everything you need to know about Children in Need here.