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  • Writer's pictureElliot's Footprint

Meet Nicola - Our Bereavement Support Worker

We will be doing a will be doing a series of 'meet us' pieces for people involved with our charity - first up here is Nicola Thornton our Bereavement Support Worker whose post we fund in partnership with Child Bereavement UK. We are very proud of our partnership and the work Nicola is already doing supporting families who have sadly lost a child.

Meet... Nicola....

I’ve been working for Child Bereavement UK for three months and work four days a week, Monday to Thursday. I am a SUDIC (Sudden Unexpected Death of an Infant or Child) Bereavement Support Practitioner, a role set up in partnership with Elliot's Footprint and based within the Leeds Service. My role supports families when a child dies and when there is a child death review. The support comprises of two roles, offering practical help through a keyworker role in addition to the longer-term bereavement support offer that families may require. I offer practical key worker support to bereaved parents and carers to help them to better understand, engage with and navigate the SUDIC processes and organisations involved, which can include the police, coroners, hospitals, employers and schools. I also advocate, as appropriate, on behalf of the parents and carers ensuring the family's voice is heard throughout the process. In addition to this work I provide bereavement support for bereaved parents and carers when they choose that it is the right time for them. My role also involves identifying and working to fill gaps across the SUDIC landscape such as the development of a SUDIC bereavement parent/carer support group in Leeds and a Professionals Advisory Support Network for SUDIC professionals. The bereavement support has also now widened to include the surviving sibling/s, recognising the need for whole family support. Before joining Child Bereavement UK, I held several support roles across the bereavement and mental health sectors, all which have helped prepare me for my new role. I was a funeral director for an independent funeral director working within West and North Yorkshire, and have supported individuals with a life-changing illness or receiving palliative care through individual and group sessions within community settings and hospices across Yorkshire. I am a trained person-centred counsellor, and was a Samaritans listener, trainer and mentor for six years I have been married to Richard since 2021. It was five days after lockdown ended, which was very lucky indeed as it had been planned for two years! I gained two fabulous stepchildren, now teenagers, and we have an elderly cat called Oscar who thinks he owns the house, and I am his servant. My hobbies outside of work are spending time with family and friends and going on holiday. I love swimming - I used to open water swim and have completed swims in Windermere and Loch Lomond! I also enjoy the theatre, pottering in the garden and reading - when time allows!I am very happy to be part of Child Bereavement UK and am focused on filling the gaps in SUDIC support across West Yorkshire

Please contact: nicola.thornton@childbereavementuk.orgIf you want to help fund roles like Nicola's please see link below:

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