Last year, to mark our 21st year of helping families to rebuild their lives after bereavement, we invited 21 champions, one for each year of the charity, to receive a special Child Bereavement UK 21 Champions Award.

These awards recognised individuals, groups and organisations from all over the UK who have done something extraordinary and contributed in some way to making Child Bereavement UK what it is today.

You can read the personal accounts of our 21 inspirational and dedicated champions by clicking on the names below.

Alex Mancini

Alex Mancini is a senior neonatal nurse with over 21 years’ experience, and is the Pan-London Lead Nurse for Neonatal Palliative Care, the first regional role within the UK. Alex has received a Child Bereavement UK 21 Champions Award in recognition of her transformational work in the field of neonatal care in developing the skills and confidence of health professionals, thereby improving the neonatal experience for many thousands of families.

Christine Griffin

Chris has been chosen to receive a Child Bereavement UK 21 Champions award in recognition of her 4 years of outstanding volunteering for Child Bereavement UK’s Trusts and Grants team.

David and Julie Kilpatrick

David and Julie Kilpatrick were supported after their baby, Matthew, was stillborn in 2002. They have been the driving force behind the Snowdrop Walks run on behalf of Child Bereavement UK in Sedgefield, County Durham since 2008, giving bereaved families an important opportunity to plant snowdrops in memory of someone special who has died.

Debbie Dunne

Debbie Dunne is one of the team members who organised the event ‘SAZ 5 FEST’ in memory of her daughter, Sara Emma Jones, who died suddenly on 19th March 2009 of pneumococcal septicaemia, just 2 weeks after her 18th birthday. Debbie has been chosen to receive a Child Bereavement UK 21 Champions Award in recognition of her fundraising endeavours, to ensure that other parents receive the support they need after the death of their child.

Eleanor Brain and James Aldridge

Eleanor Brain and James Aldridge, both 18, are Youth Ambassadors for Child Bereavement UK. They joined Child Bereavement UK’s Young People’s Advisory Group after the deaths of their dads, and have been nominated for their work representing the voice of bereaved young people.

Finlay Woods

10 year old Finlay Woods was supported by Child Bereavement UK after his Daddy died by suicide in 2012. Finlay has been chosen to receive a Child Bereavement UK 21 Champions Award in recognition of his entrepreneurial fundraising efforts and his wish to help other bereaved children after the death of a parent.

Galanthus

Buckinghamshire based fundraising group, Galanthus, has raised around £20,000 for Child Bereavement UK since it started in 2012. Galanthus has been chosen to receive a Child Bereavement UK 21 Champions Award in recognition of the team members’ dedication, giving generously of their time to raise funds for and awareness of the charity.

Heather Butler

Heather Butler is a teacher at Manor Farm Community Junior School in Hazlemere near High Wycombe. She writes children’s fiction and also teachers’ resources, including two books about bereavement: Us Minus Mum and Helping Children Think about Bereavement. She has been nominated for her brilliant work in raising awareness of the needs of bereaved children in schools.

India Eriksen

India Eriksen has been chosen to receive a Child Bereavement UK 21 Champions Award in recognition of her family’s commitment to fundraising for Child Bereavement UK. Her 12 year old son, Theo, died in a tragic accident at home in 2003.

Jackie Barker

Jackie Barker, whose husband died in 2011, has been supported by Child Bereavement UK with her three young children. She has been chosen to receive a Child Bereavement UK 21 Champions Award in recognition of her passion for raising funds and awareness for the charity so that other families can find the support they need after the death of a parent.

Jackie Hunt

Jackie has been chosen to receive a Child Bereavement UK Champion in recognition of her 10 years of outstanding volunteering for Child Bereavement UK, from moderating the online Family Forum, greeting families attending bereavement support sessions, supporting children and young people attending group activities and being a friendly face at a variety of Fundraising and Training events.

Jane Miller

Jane Miller OBE works for the UK Government’s Department for International Development working on health issues across Africa. Her 14 year old daughter, Zoe, died in an accident in April 2012. She has been chosen to receive a Child Bereavement UK 21 Champions Award in recognition of her commitment to helping professionals learn first-hand about the experiences of a bereaved parent.

Jo Laker

Jo Laker is Head Teacher at Braithwaite CE Primary School in the Lake District. Braithwaite School has been nominated to receive a Child Bereavement UK 21 Champions Award in recognition of its dedication to improving outcomes for bereaved pupils.

Joan See

Joan See, 91, has volunteered for Child Bereavement UK for over 15 years. She has been chosen to receive a Child Bereavement UK 21 Champions Award in recognition of her endless energy, willingness to help and selfless commitment to the charity. She is an inspiration to our younger generation of volunteers and staff alike.

Joy O'Neill

Joy O’Neill is the Founder of Service Children Support Network (SCSN), a group of education and welfare professionals who work collaboratively with the Service community and associated organisations to encourage and facilitate the provision of high-quality support to Service children and their families. Joy has received a Child Bereavement UK 21 Champions Award in recognition of her dedication and commitment to improving outcomes for bereaved military children and their families.

Marina Copping

Marina Copping is Clinical Information Manager at NHS Lothian. Marina has been chosen to receive a Child Bereavement UK 21 Champions Award in recognition of her dedication to improving outcomes for bereaved children within the NHS.

Matt and Emma Smith

Matt and Emma were supported by Child Bereavement UK following the death of their 9½ week old daughter, Nyah, in 2012 and subsequent miscarriage of their second daughter, Skye, in 2013. Matt runs the Let’s Rock Festivals of which Child Bereavement UK is a beneficiary. Matt and Emma have been nominated to be Child Bereavement UK Champions in recognition of their dedication to raising awareness and funds for the charity so that other parents can access support after the death of a child.

Norman and Frances Grundon

Norman and Frances Grundon became involved with the charity after their beloved two year old twin grandchildren, Betsy and William, were killed in an accident in 2004. Their daughter and son-in-law, Louise and Paul Woodbridge, were supported by Child Bereavement UK. Along with their son, Neil, the Grundon family has organised many events in aid of the charity from cycle rides to clay pigeon shoots and Memorial Planting Days for bereaved families.

Rob Geffen - Neptune Investment

Neptune Investment Management has received a Child Bereavement UK 21 Champions Award in recognition of their long-term partnership with Child Bereavement UK and their commitment to raising awareness and funds for the charity. We asked Robin Geffen, CEO, about the company’s fundraising and why he chose to support Child Bereavement UK.

Steve McAdam

Steve McAdam has been putting on Shakespeare plays with The Garden Players for 7 years. With the help of fellow actors, family and friends, Steve has been instrumental in raising funds and awareness amongst audiences and via local media; since their inaugural 2009 production of Much Ado About Nothing, The Garden Players have raised over £43,000 for Child Bereavement UK.

Trevor Bygate

Sergeant Trevor Bygate, of the Wattisham-based 3 Regiment Army Air Corp, was on a military exercise in America when he learned that his 19 year old daughter Chloe had been found dead in her flat in Wales in April 2014. Trevor has been chosen to receive a Child Bereavement UK 21 Champions Award in recognition of his phenomenal fundraising endeavours to help others facing the devastation of the death of a child.