Broadcaster Ben Fogle and writer Marina Fogle have become Patrons of Child Bereavement UK, a charity which supports families and educates professionals when a baby or child of any age dies or is dying, or when a child is facing bereavement.
The couple have spoken openly about loss, grief and how to talk to a young family about bereavement, since their son, Willem, was stillborn in 2014. Ben and Marina are active supporters of Child Bereavement UK. They spoke movingly of their experience of losing Willem at 33 weeks for the charity’s #One More Minute campaign, in which bereaved families talked about what they would say if they had just one more minute with their special person who had died:
The couple also helped to raise awareness during October’s Baby Loss Awareness Week in which their short film for Child Bereavement UK, When a baby is stillborn, was released:
Ben and Marina are passionate advocates for bereavement support.
“Having bereavement support is the most important thing we did after Willem died. I think people don’t necessarily ‘get’ how important it is to talk to someone; you need to learn to live with your grief, and you need to learn to ‘live’ again, to react to people. You can probably muddle through, and eventually get there, but if you have a professional helping you through, you will get there so much more quickly, and you will probably do it a lot better.”
“It’s the old saying of – a problem shared is a problem halved – losing a child is far more complex than just a problem, but once you start to talk about things, it’s like the burden is being lifted. It had never occurred to me how the loss of a child you would never meet could affect you. And a lot of people don’t. You start to feel guilty for feeling sorrow and you start comparing your situation to others. It’s when you start to talk about those things that they become clearer.”
On becoming patrons, Ben said:
“I don’t think we would be as strong, and in the position that we are now, without the support we had. What I’ve taken away from it is that you don’t want a single circumstance – however unbearable or tragic – to define you, or to define you and your family. You want it to make you stronger, and you want it to make you and your family a tighter, better group.
“Through our role as patrons of Child Bereavement UK we are passionate about helping spread the word so that many more families can access the invaluable, professional bereavement support the charity provides.”
Child Bereavement UK offers support to bereaved children, young people and their families via its national helpline and from its bases in Cheshire, Cumbria, Buckinghamshire, Glasgow and London.
Helpline: 0800 02 888 40
Credit © Andrew Baker / Child Bereavement UK
Notes for Editors
Child Bereavement UK supports families and educates professionals when a baby or child of any age dies or is dying, or when a child is facing bereavement. Every year we train c.10,000 health professionals helping them to better understand and meet the needs of grieving families.
Tel: 01494 568 894