Big Lottery Fund
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Bereaved children get BIG hug of support from Lottery

Children devastated by the death of a parent or sibling are to get more support to help them with their grief through two grants from the Big Lottery Fund.

Over £10.4 million in Lottery good cause funding has been awarded to 45 projects across England for communities and people most in need from BIG’s Reaching Communities scheme.

The Child Bereavement Charity receives over £333,000 for its Buckinghamshire Family Bereavement Support Services (BFBSS). The UK charity supports families and educates professionals both when a child dies and when a child is bereaved. Children and young people and their network including parents, guardians and schools will all be provided with appropriate support and training.

A widowed father who has support from the Child Bereavement Charity said: “Sometime after my wife died, I saw an article about the Child Bereavement Charity. The work they do with bereaved children is invaluable. The benefits were instant for both Emily (aged 11) and me. It’s a necessity for all bereaved families to have this kind of support – it was our lifeline.”

Also receiving funding today is Guy’s Gift in South Warwickshire. It will use its £499,995 grant to provide a support package for children aged five to 18 who are struggling to cope with the loss of a loved one. Schools and GP surgeries will all be involved in raising the profile of the group so that more families can be reached. Operating in three strands, the project will offer one to one counselling with children and their parents or carers, family workshops and training for professionals such as teachers and health visitors who may come into contact with bereaved children.

Susan Smith, Administration and Fundraising Manager at Guy’s Gift said: “We are delighted that the Big Lottery Fund recognises the importance and value of support for bereaved children. Financial support from both the Big Lottery Fund and the local community enables us to provide our service free of charge to bereaved families, thereby ensuring accessibility to all. We anticipate supporting around 800 bereaved children and young people over the next three years.”

Sanjay Dighe, Chair of the Big Lottery Fund England said: “Bereavement is one of the toughest challenges that any of us can ever face, even more so when it impacts the younger members of our families. It is a pleasure to make a contribution to the kind of essential support that organisations such as Guy’s Gift and the Child Bereavement Charity offer to help families through the toughest of times.”

National charity The Macular Disease Society has also benefited from £339,917 today for its Volunteer Development Project. The project aims to increase the number of volunteers by offering them support and training in a choice of four key volunteer roles including a buddy scheme.

Helen Jackman, Chief Executive of the Macular Disease Society said: “This support from the Big Lottery Fund is fantastic and will be used to bolster and support our growing network of volunteers in the north. Our volunteers, most of whom have macular disease themselves, help us build confidence and independence in many thousands of people affected by central vision loss.

For the full list of today’s grants recipients please click here 

Further Information

Big Lottery Fund Press Office: 020 7211 1888
Out of hours contact: 07867 500 572
Public Enquiries Line: 08454 102030
Textphone:  0845 6021 659
Full details of the Big Lottery Fund programmes and grant awards are available on the website:

Notes to Editors

  • The Big Lottery Fund (BIG), the largest distributor of National Lottery good cause funding, is responsible for giving out half the money raised for good causes by the National Lottery.
  • BIG is committed to bringing real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need and has been rolling out grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK since June 2004. The Fund was formally established by Parliament on 1 December 2006.
  • Since the National Lottery began in 1994, 28p from every pound spent by the public has gone to good causes. As a result, over £24 billion has now been raised and more than 330,000 grants awarded across arts, sport, heritage, charities, health, education and the environment.
  • Families affected by bereavement can get in touch with the Child Bereavement Charity at or Guy’s Gift at

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