A total of £87,754 has been awarded to the charity, allowing The Lullaby Trust to enlist 30 new Befrienders over the next two years.

Befrienders are bereaved parents, grandparents and other relatives who offer peer to peer support to bereaved families. Each Befriender receives specialist training on how to be a listening support. All our Befrienders have been bereaved for over 4 years, and most for many more.

‘It can feel isolating to be bereaved by sudden infant death, and speaking to someone who has gone through something similar can be very comforting to families,’ says Jenny Ward, CEO of The Lullaby Trust. ‘Thanks to National Lottery players, this generous grant will allow us to expand the breadth of experiences Befrienders have gone through, allowing us to offer even more personalised support.’

In the year 2017-18, 119 bereaved families were allocated a Befriender by The Lullaby Trust. In the UK, over 2,600 infants die every year to stillbirth, neonatal death, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), illness, accidents or other unknown causes.

Befriender Frances lost her brother to SIDS and has found Befriending to be a rewarding experience: ‘I wanted to help provide support to other siblings who have been affected by SIDS, as the emotions can be hard to explain and talk about, and having someone who has been through a similar situation can be very beneficial.’

This project will provide 1-to-1 support from a trained volunteer through a series of telephone and/or email sessions. The frequency and duration of contact will be determined by the bereaved caller, with the aim of moving them towards independent help-seeking from family and friends. The average befriending relationship lasts between 2 and 12 months, and includes approximately 13 contacts of 1 hour each.

Visit the How We Can Support You section of The Lullaby Trust website to learn more about Befriending.

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