Winston’s Wish, the charity for bereaved children in the UK, is the subject of a ground-breaking new documentary film on Channel 4 titled ‘A Killing in My Family’, as part of the channel’s flagship documentary strand Cutting Edge.
The documentary gains unprecedented access to the UK’s only residential weekend specifically for children who have been bereaved by an act of murder or manslaughter (homicide).
The group of 16 children attend with a surviving parent or guardian to face their grief and pain together with others in a similar situation.
‘A Killing in My Family’ will be aired on Channel 4 tonight (Wednesday, March 8) at 10pm.
Winston’s Wish supports children who have been bereaved of a parent or sibling, one of the most fundamental losses they will ever face.
On average, every single day a child in Britain is bereaved through homicide.
When someone else has been responsible for someone’s death, emotions will be intensified.
Children may experience profound and lasting shock, enormous anger at what has happened, rage at the person who caused their relative to die, confusion and mixed feelings if the perpetrator is a family member, deep fear at the perceived insecurity of the world around them.
On the weekend, children and their families are given the chance to share their story and are supported by expert family practitioners from Winston’s Wish.
Adults and children are split into separate groups, where they receive support and guidance from Winston’s Wish staff and their peers.
The documentary was produced by Dragonfly TV, part of the Endemol UK group, which has been behind successful documentaries such as One Born Every Minute, Ambulance and Inside Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
Sacha Richardson, director of Family Services at Winston’s Wish, said: “A Killing In My Family is such an important documentary as it highlights the difficult and often traumatic situations that children find themselves in following the death of a parent or sibling by murder or manslaughter.
“These children are ordinary children in extraordinary circumstances.
“Winston’s Wish works hard to support them through their grief, to help them to come to terms with any anxieties or trauma around the death.
“We support families to access their own coping mechanisms and know that they can talk about even the most difficult things. We ensure that the rest of their lives aren’t defined by what has happened to them.”
Kirsty Cunningham, director and producer from Dragonfly TV, added: “We feel very privileged that after many months of discussion and consideration, the staff of Winston’s Wish and the families with whom they work, have entrusted our team with unprecedented access in order to allow their stories to be told.”
Anyone seeking support for children and young people following bereavement should contact the Winston’s Wish Freephone National Helpline.
The Helpline, staffed by experienced professional practitioners, is free and confidential and provides guidance and information for anyone supporting a bereaved child.
Call 080880 020 021, or visit www.WinstonsWish.org.uk