Do you know a child or young person who has been bereaved by suicide?
Everton in the Community, in partnership with Alfie’s Squad and Liverpool Bereavement Service, is soon to launch a weekly programme at The People’s Place to provide support for young people aged eight to 17 who have been bereaved by suicide or self-inflicted death.
The sessions will include a wide range of activities such as sports, quiz and movie nights, art sessions and exciting trips as well as having the opportunity to receive peer-to-peer support by being part of a group with likeminded young people with similar experiences and individuals who will also be able to access additional support from Liverpool Bereavement Service if needed.
Led by fully-qualified staff from Everton in the Community, the hour-long sessions will be split into two age groups with one focused on children of primary school age (8-11) and a secondary school group (12-17).
The new programme has been made possible thanks to the incredible fundraising efforts of 14-year-old Evertonian Alfie who, with the help of the Club’s official charity, launched ‘Alfie’s Squad’ in 2019 to develop a children’s focused area within The People’s Place.
Alfie, pictured above alongside Michael Keane at the launch of Alfie's Squad in 2019, sadly lost his own father to suicide in 2017. He has so far raised more than £30,000 to help support other children deal with family bereavement through suicide after he and mum Allison discovered there was a lack of support available across the country for children. Alfie has worked closely with Everton in the Community staff to help develop sessions which he feels will be most beneficial, engaging and supportive to other bereaved children.
Recognised for his efforts with a Pride of Sport Young Fundraiser Award in 2019 as well as Liverpool Echo’s Young Personality of the Year, Alfie has big fundraising plans for the future to contribute towards the sustainability of the project including a curry and quiz night, a charity golf day and a shark dive in the autumn.
It is estimated that more than 9,000 children and young people lose a parent or primary caregiver to suicide every year in the UK with it being the biggest cause of death in men under the age of 50 in England. This new programme will ensure that bereaved children are able to receive support that is not currently widely available to them.
Fiona Brereton, from Everton in the Community, said: “This new project will offer a much-needed safe space for children who have been bereaved by suicide or self-inflicted death, allowing them to come together as a group and take part in engaging activities.
“We are proud to offer this service to children in the local area, in the hope that they feel supported and can benefit from connecting with other children who have had similar experiences.’’
Alfie, Founder of Alfie’s Squad, added: “I'm so glad our support group is launching after working so hard to raise money for it and it will help many children who have been bereaved by suicide or self-inflicted death.
“I hope that through this programme we can help other young people from feeling isolated and feeling that no one understands what they are going through.”
Lesley Mosses, from Liverpool Bereavement Services, said: “After years of providing support on both a group and face-to-face basis to young people who have been bereaved by suicide, we recognise the need for a support group where young people can meet with peers who have been through this extremely traumatic experience.
This group will massively benefit the young people that take part, giving them a place where they can feel understood and open about their experiences.”
To register your interest in the weekly sessions please complete the form here and a member of staff from Liverpool Bereavement Service will be in contact in 72 hours.