Back in June, fourteen of our youth and children’s workers from across Leamington, Warwick and Coventry, gathered together on zoom for a great network session led by Pete English on “Loss & Young People in a COVID society.” 

Pete has worked in youth work as a counsellor for over 25 years specialising in supporting young people affected by bereavement and parental separation.  Pete leads the Listening People Project for AtaLoss.org which specialises in training youth leaders, teachers and other professionals who engage with bereaved young people.  Pete and his wife Mandy are great friends of Thrive’s and we were delighted that they joined us at Basecamp earlier this year offering pastoral care and support to our youth leaders and young people.

As the weeks of lockdown went by, more and more children and young people were becoming affected by loss.  Pete shared with us that those we work with are not just facing loss from bereavement, grieving a family member or close friend, but in the sense of parents facing the loss of jobs and income causing stress and tensions at home, to which our young people become affected.  Suddenly everything around them has changed.

It’s hard to feel equipped and to be able to support our young people when at the time, we are faced with lockdown and social distancing.  Pete shared some practical ideas on ways we as youth and children’s workers can reach out to those around us and led us to many useful websites geared to equip leaders.  You can find links to these websites at www.ataloss.org or through our thrive website in the links library under resources.

The session was followed with a time for questions from our leaders.  Many were able to ask about more specific circumstances they were facing and ask for guidance to which Pete was able to share his wisdom, enabling leaders to feel more confident in the way forward.

The feedback from leaders was really positive saying how much they appreciated the session and how helpful the network had been.  We are grateful to Pete English for giving his time to share his wisdom and guidance, supporting our leaders in such unprecedented times.

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