Shropshire Star

Bridgnorth Funeral Director vows to continue bereavement campaign as he hands over presidency

A Bridgnorth funeral director has handed over the reins of a prestigious presidential role and vowed to continue his efforts to have bereavement awareness placed on the national curriculum.

Funeral Director John Adams of Perry & Phillips in Bridgnorth

At a ceremony held last week in Stratford-upon-Avon, John Adams handed over the role of President of the National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD) to his colleague Barry Pritchard.

But Mr Adams, now serving as the immediate past president, announced his work on promoting bereavement awareness in schools will continue, emphasising the importance of addressing the sensitive topic among young people.

While handing over the NAFD Presidential chain of office, he expressed his gratitude to Parliament for responding positively to a petition that garnered more than 11,000 signatures.

The petition, which closed in April this year, surpassed the required threshold of 10,000 signatures to elicit a response from the government. The Department of Education will undertake a consultation later this year.

Mr Adams said: "I was delighted to receive the response to the petition and I would like to thank all those people who have got behind this and continue to support this initiative.

"I truly believe we can make a positive impact on future generations, and showing young people who do not suffer a loss is equally as important in helping those who do."

Speaking previously about his campaign, Mr Adams 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.

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

"Opening up on sadness and grief through honest conversation is important and you can still protect people by giving them information.

"It doesn't mean you will suffer a close loss but it just means, when you do, it will help. It's just in case."

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