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Support Given to Support Staff

Ormiston Families provides a vital service for bereaved children, helping them to process and cope with significant losses.


The impact of childhood bereavement can affect young people in all areas of their lives well into adulthood. Ormiston Families provides vital support to children who need it.

Two people holding cheques and smiling to the camera
High demand for the services has led to waiting lists in some areas.

It was the bereavement support staff from the Ormiston Families themselves receiving the support this month when they received a donation of £600 from Freemasons in Cambridge. The Stars Children’s Bereavement Support Service offers specialist support and counselling to children and young people in Cambridgeshire finding it difficult to cope with the loss of someone significant in their life. Their services have been in especially high demand since the pandemic with some of their services having grown up to 35% over the last year and a number of them now with waiting lists.

The members of The Cantabrigia Lodge in Cambridge made the donation in conjunction with fund matching from the City & University of Cambridge Masonic Charitable Trust. This followed an appeal made by one of the members who, as a teacher, witnessed first-hand the impact that childhood bereavement can have on their education and the transformative work that the charity provides in supporting children and young people towards brighter futures.

Senior Philanthropy Manager Gavin Lamb said:

“Research has shown that bereavement at a young age can lead to a number of negative consequences, including anxiety, depression, anger, lower self-esteem and external loss of control. This can lead to disengagement from school, alcohol or substance misuse and can ultimately have a long-term detrimental impact on a young person’s future. It can be hugely beneficial for young people experiencing bereavement to have support from someone outside of their family, who may also be grieving, to enable them to share their thoughts and emotions. By improving communication about their feelings with family members, young people are able to reduce feelings of isolation and create the possibility of hope for the future while cherishing memories of a lost loved one.”

While presenting the cheque to Ormiston Families, Zedric Grosvenor from Cambridgeshire Freemasons said:

“The work Ormiston Families does with children and young adults is very important. Situations entirely beyond a child's control can withdraw a child from continuing education, and no tragedy is as great as the loss of opportunity, access and engagement with education for a child. Something that my mother persisted on before passing, was that I never missed a day of school and I always got my studies complete before assisting with care or visiting. This value of education has stuck with me into adulthood.  If other children and young adults can be supported through difficult losses and see the value in their life and own education once more, then that is truly a blessing in my opinion.”

Commenting on the donation, Emma Baguley-Lockwood from Ormiston Families said:

“Last year, we were able to help over 3,000 children, young people and families in the East of England.  Support for the Stars Children’s Bereavement Support Service is hugely important, with the service’s work needed now more than ever.”

About Ormiston Families Stars

We provide a growing range of services to promote positive mental health in children, young people and families across the East of England.  All these services help people to build stronger networks, learn from experience and feel in control of their wellbeing.  Ormiston Families Stars is a children’s bereavement support service for young people finding it difficult to cope with the loss of someone significant in their life. Stars offers specialist bereavement support and counselling to those aged 4-19 in Cambridgeshire who may be experiencing difficulties following the loss of someone close to them, such as a friend or family member. All our counsellors are highly trained bereavement counsellors who are specialists in child bereavement.  

More information is available on their website and enquiries can be made here.

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