Emergency Services Families

Winston’s Wish provides support for emergency service families who have been bereaved.

Emergency Services - support for bereaved emergency services families

Support for emergency services families after a bereavement

The emergency services do a special job protecting and helping citizens. Occasionally there are tragedies that result in a member of the emergency services dying on duty as a result of their service. Thanks to two funding partnerships we are able to offer services to emergency services families. These partnerships have specific eligibility criteria but all families can be supported by our team over the phone – call us on 08088 020 021 for immediate support or advice on referral criteria.

Advice and resources from our team

Tell child someone has died
How to tell a child someone has died

Our team offer some gentle and caring ways to tell a child that their loved one has died and suggest the age-appropriate language you could use.

Traumatic death support for children
Supporting children after a traumatic death

When a death is sudden or traumatic, it can be difficult to take in and make sense of what has happened. Our team look at how a child or young person might react and ways you can help to support them.

A Child's Grief book - Supporting a child when someone in their family has died
A Child’s Grief

Our specialist book offers information and practical guidance for adults supporting children after the death of someone close to them. Includes activities and resources.

Separation anxiety in bereaved children

Information for professionals – referral criteria

Please remember to call our team as all families can be supported over the phone.

The Joint Emergency Services Charities Partnership funds us to support families fitting the following criteria:

  • Children and young people up to the age of 25 related to a serving person killed on duty as a direct result of their duties with any of the emergency services – Ambulance, Fire and Rescue, Police Force, HM Coastguard, Designated Air Ambulance Service, Designated Search and Rescue
  • Includes those on duty as volunteers
  • Bereaved after 30th September 2015
  • Resident in England

The Care of Police Survivors funds us to support families fitting the following criteria:

  • Children and young people aged up to 18 related to Police personal who have died while on duty, including death while travelling to or from work, death through natural causes/illness and suicide (while on duty)
  • Resident in the UK (including Northern Ireland)
Explaining suicide to children
Supporting bereaved teenagers

The Metropolitan and City Police Orphans Fund funds us to support families fitting the following criteria:

  • Bereaved of a loved one who subscribed to the Fund while serving
  • All causes of death are included – accident, illness, suicide or homicide – and the person who died may have been serving or retired
  • The service is UK-wide
  • The support will be available for children up to 18 years of age

Who are the emergency services organisations you work with?

The Association was established as a membership body for those organisations which form the air ambulance services in the UK. The Association’s membership which represents the majority of the air ambulance network is made up of charities, ambulance services and the supply chain that provides this valuable life-saving service. Members are governed by a Code of Conduct which formally recognises the integral part that air ambulances play in the medical service provision. The success of the air ambulance services in providing a rapid response to life-threatening situations has been clearly established. Visit the AAA website.

COPS is the UK charity dedicated to helping the families of police officers, who have lost their lives on duty, to rebuild their lives. Since being founded in 2003, we have helped hundreds of families shattered by the loss of their police officer. Historically, on average every year another 10 families suffer a similar tragedy.While realising the dangers of policing, no officer expects to lose their life on duty. When such a tragedy occurs, the surviving family endures emotions including denial, bewilderment, anger and depression. They also encounter practical difficulties associated with such a sudden loss. We aim to ensure that surviving family members have all the help they need to cope with such tragedy and that they remain part of the police family. Visit the COPS website.

The Fire Fighters Charity is the UK’s leading provider of services that enhance quality of life for serving and retired firefighters, fire personnel and their families. They have helped hundreds of thousands of individuals by providing world-class treatment and support services. With three centres in Devon, Cumbria and West Sussex, The Fire Fighters Charity offers a range of support programmes including physical rehabilitation and recuperation. Its centre in Cumbria also offers nursing care and psychological support services are in place at each centre. Visit the Fire Fighters website.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) is the government agency responsible for maritime search and rescue as delivered by Her Majesty’s Coastguard. The MCA is also responsible for maritime regulation, safety and counter-pollution. In 2016, HM Coastguard took on responsibility for all the search and rescue helicopters around the UK. HM Coastguard, also referred to as UK Coastguard, is the maritime emergency service responding to 999 calls for help as well as radio and satellite distress calls, dealing with around 21,000 incidents a year. Visit the MCA website.

The Police Dependants’ Trust (PDT) is a Company Limited by Guarantee (Registered in England No. 8426630 and Charity Registration No. 1151322). The Trust provides financial and welfare support to help ease some of the pressures police families face when an officer has been killed or injured on duty. It was founded in 1966 following the murder of three police officers in London. Since then, the Trust has provided grants and support to the value of £45 million to 7,000 people across the UK. Visit the PDT website.

TASC The Ambulance Staff Charity is the leading UK charity providing support to serving and retired ambulance service personnel, their families and dependents. Launched in spring 2015 TASC The Ambulance Staff Charity was formed through the collaboration of a number of funds across the UK including the Ambulance Services Benevolent Fund to create a national fund for the benefit of ambulance service personnel. We understand the challenges and demands which face all members of the ambulance services and are uniquely placed to support those who are facing difficulties or urgent need. We provide confidential, impartial and independent advice and access to a range of support services, including rehabilitation when recovering from illness or injury, mental health support; bereavement support; debt and welfare advice; financial grants and other support. Visit TASC website.

The charity supports the children of serving and former officers of the Metropolitan Police and the City of London Police who subscribed to the Fund whilst serving and who are either deceased or retired on pension and are so incapacitated as to be unable to contribute materially to the family upkeep. Visit the Met City Orphans website here.