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Coping with loss, loneliness and lockdown with the help of Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity

For any child, losing a younger sister to cancer would be devastating. For Beatrice, coming to terms with the death of 4-year-old Rosie at the beginning of lockdown, the grief and bewilderment were unbearable.

Without the sanctuary of school or the welcome distraction of friends and after school activities, Beatrice struggled with an overwhelming sense of loss and sadness.

Her parents, Ray and Annette, had already organised support from Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity to help her cope when Rosie was ill. Now, her Family Support Worker Rachel was there to provide bereavement support to the whole family.

And despite being unable to visit in person during the first lockdown, and having to isolate during the second, Rachel was still able to talk to Beatrice in Zoom calls to help her understand her feelings and deal with her worries.

Talking, listening and supporting

“When somebody you love has died, you go through a process of grief, and that’s the same for children”, explains Rachel. “I supported Bea’s parents through those difficult conversations of telling Beatrice. So just having a call where I can phone Beatrice and say, ‘How are you doing?’ Well, you can’t put a price on that.”

BBC Children in Need fund Rachel’s role at Rainbow Trust. She’s one of thousands of project workers across the UK helping children with emotional issues, mental health challenges, poverty and other disadvantages that depend on the generosity of the public.

Beatrice’s parents have seen first-hand the value of that support. “Lockdown was quite hard on the heels of our loss ”, says Annette. “Rachel’s done such an amazing job. I don’t know how we’d have got through this past year without her, when we couldn’t give Beatrice one hundred percent of our time. I can’t express how grateful I am for that.”

As for Beatrice, there’s another reason to look forward to the end of lockdown besides being able to go out and do normal things again. And that’s seeing one of her closest friends, Rachel, in person once more.

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