Shropshire Star

Bridgnorth man launches petition to put bereavement support on national curriculum

A Bridgnorth man campaigning for bereavement awareness to be taught in schools has launched a petition with nearly 1000 people having signed it within days.

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John Adams

John Adams, who is a director of Perry & Phillips Funeral Directors, hopes to get an initial 10,000 signatures as he looks to press the government to consider adding the subject of bereavement to the national curriculum.

Mr Adams has launched the petition with the support of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

He has worked with MPs such as South Shropshire's Philip Dunne, who has also spoken at national level to push to get Mr Adams' idea introduced.

"While steps are being taken, lots of people have asked how they can get involved and support," said Mr Adams.

"This petition provides a platform for us all show backing and highlight how necessary this is.

"We need the public's support to get behind this movement to push it through parliament.

"I truly believe by having bereavement awareness discussions at school, we can help in providing future generations the right tools when suffering a loss whether it be as a child or in their adult life.

"Discussing the emotions and feelings involved when we suffer a loss also highlights the importance of why we have a funeral; with an increase in direct cremation, this education could also be critical in demonstrating the importance of saying goodbye."

He added: "Her Majesty The Queen's recent death has reinforced the purpose of a funeral, that it is not just for the deceased but also for the bereaved to pay their respects and have closure.

"Grief is very personal, however, death is throughout the media and amongst us in every day life on a regular basis which younger people see and listen to so providing tools on how to recognise feelings, provide empathy to others and open up discussions about death can only be a positive and remove the fear surrounding the feelings associated when someone will die."

Mr Adams suffered the loss of his mother as a child.

And he said: "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."

To sign the petition visit