“I don’t know what sort of person I’d have been without Child Bereavement UK.  I would like to say thank you to everyone who’s helped me - just thank you.”

 When she was nine years old, Keeley’s mother died.  Keeley, now aged 14, talks about her mother’s death and the support she has received from Child Bereavement UK and being part of the charity’s Young People’s Advisory Group.

My mum was a teacher. She was bubbly and very warm. She was like my best friend, we liked to go to theme parks together or the beach, or we’d just stay in and watch movies.  We were very close.

“When my mum died, I was upstairs.  I heard my stepdad shouting and then he called an ambulance.  It was very sudden. The ambulance arrived, and my nan and granddad were called.

“It was very traumatic hearing the CPR being done and everything.  I just remember hiding under my covers, I was trying to block out the noise and I was just so scared. I didn’t know what was going to happen, I just wondered whether I’d see her tomorrow. I never did.

“When the news was broken to me that she’d passed away, it was such a shock. I was quite confused, I didn’t know if it was my fault that she died. It made me feel guilty for anything bad that had happened - if we’d ever had arguments or I’d been naughty. I think it made me a lot quieter and I was very anxious all the time - I was just in such shock and confusion.

“I was referred to Child Bereavement UK by a doctor. I was unsure about it at the time, but it’s been so amazing.  I think I struggled to let out my emotions and say how I was feeling.  Thinking about it so much takes you to a horrible place, it’s so good to get it out and tell someone about it. The support I received was like a saviour. 

“After three years of support, I started getting involved with the Young People’s Advisory Group. It’s a group for young people who have been through similar experiences.  You don’t feel like you are being judged, they know what you have been through and how you feel.  I’ve made a lot of friends from the group - everyone’s my friend there.

“I think the support and Young People’s Advisory Group have really changed me as a person. Without Child Bereavement UK, I don’t think I would have as much confidence in speaking or just doing everyday activities.   

“I would say to other bereaved young people, try your best to go to any local places that can support you. I don’t know what sort of person I’d have been without Child Bereavement UK.  I would like to say thank you to everyone who’s helped me: just thank you.”