A collage of pictures that show drawings by children

The Childhood Bereavement Network (CBN) is working for a time that all children and young people in the UK, together with their parents and carers, can access the best possible support to manage the impact of a bereavement on their lives. As a membership organisation, CBN works with its members to improve the range and quality of bereavement support for children and their families and to increase access to information, guidance and support services.

True Colours has supported the work of CBN since 2011. Over the last few years, the organisation has undertaken a large amount of work for schools, providing primary and secondary schools with tools to improve their support for bereaved students and helping students to plan ahead to support pupils who may be facing the death of someone important in their lives.

CBN also runs the Plan If campaign which provides resources and support for parents to make a plan for what would happen to their children, were they or their partner to die.

Throughout the pandemic, CBN undertook a huge amount of additional work to support its member charities, all of which were adapting to the new working environment at a time when bereavement support was vital.

CBN also campaigns for change to policy which will improve the lives of bereaved children and their families. In January 2023, we were absolutely delighted to hear that MPs voted to change the eligibility criteria for bereavement benefits. Under the existing system, around 1,800 parents a year missed out on bereavement benefit payments because they were living with - but not married to or in a civil partnership with - their partner when they died. The new Bereavement Benefits (Remedial) Order 2022 means that these families will be able to access financial support, currently worth £9,800. It also means that around 21,000 families who have previously been denied support will be able to apply for retrospective payments. This change is absolutely vital for creating a fairer society – last year, for the first time ever, more babies were born in the UK to parents who were not married or in a civil partnership.

Childhood Bereavement Network has been tirelessly coordinating the campaign for this change in policy for around 12 years.

True Colours has supported the work of CBN since 2011.

Further information on CBN can be found here.

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