Shropshire Star

Bridgnorth funeral director and campaigner raises £55,000 for child bereavement charity

A Bridgnorth funeral director and campaigner has raised more than £55,000 for a bereavement charity.

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Alan Jose of the Westerleigh Group, John Adams of Perry & Phillips, Jason Watkins, actor and patron of CBUK, and Andrew Judd, CEO of NAFD.

John Adams, of Perry & Phillips Funeral Directors, presented a donation of £55,050 to Child Bereavement UK at an event also attended by actors Jason Watkins and Olivia Colman, patrons of the charity.

Mr Adams, who also serves as the funeral industry advisor for the national organisation, joined the stars at a special Christmas celebration concert held at Holy Trinity Brompton in London.

Money was raised through a number of initiatives and events including the Bridgnorth Walk and Great North Run. There was also fundraising at Perry & Phillips and support from Westerleigh Group.

It costs £1,000 for a family to receive full child bereavement support for 12 months through CBUK and Mr Adams said “I feel very privileged and humbled to help support more than 55 families with full bereavement support for the year.

"As a nation we need to do more to help those who need help and care.

"As well as donations received, to have been able to provide training on how we can improve the bereavement journey at Child Bereavement UK and at Parliament through the National Association of Funeral Directors has also been a huge honour."

Mr Adams has played a vital national role in advocating for improvements in bereavement education in schools across the UK. His efforts culminated in a petition to Parliament launched last year, which garnered over 12,000 signatures.

The success of the petition has prompted the Department for Education to consider a public consultation on the inclusion of bereavement awareness in school curriculums.

Mr Adams has been a passionate advocate of the importance of fostering open communication about the inevitability of loss throughout society.

His work with Child Bereavement UK has aligned seamlessly with his broader national initiative to see bereavement awareness integrated into the education system. The goal is to empower young individuals with the knowledge and skills needed to navigate grief and support others during challenging times and increase levels of compassion and kindness within society – which will continue to be reflected into adulthood.

Mr Adams previously explained: "I want to help young people when they suffer a close loss.

"I lost my mum Maria, at the age of 12, and I felt very isolated. People were not sure what to say to me, which is understandable.

"From this experience and what I have learnt whilst arranging and conducting funerals, I believe there is a need for bereavement awareness to be added into the national curriculum.

"I want to give children tools of support and offer advice, in the same way pupils learn about sex education in school.

"It is about helping them understand emotions and feelings when someone dies, exploring those things associated with loss but in a gentle way.

"It's about trying to take the fear out of death through offering support to a child, compassion to friends and support for teachers on how they can communicate and speak.

"If we get things right we can have a positive impact on society and how we treat one another."

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