Our Impact 2022/23

This year we supported more grieving children and young people than ever before.

Teenage girl sitting on a bench

It’s been a demanding but enormously positive year for Winston’s Wish. In April 2022, we launched our most ambitious three-year strategy to date, challenging ourselves to break the script of childhood bereavement services and make real our vision to create a society where no child or young person faces the devastation of grief alone.

Here’s what we’ve achieved in our first year:

13-year-old Alice reached out using our live chat. Alice shared that her mum was very poorly in hospital, and she was worried her mum was going to die soon. We listened to her worries and reassured her that we would support her as much as we could at such a difficult time. We also encouraged her to reach out to her dad, who had called our helpline days earlier to seek advice on how to keep Alice informed with what was happening.

Bereavement Support Worker

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Alice’s mum died a couple of weeks later and Alice returned to live chat. She shared that she felt very sad and had lots of bad feelings. Alice said she didn’t want to talk to her dad because she didn’t want to upset or worry him anymore. We explored this further and talked about grief being very different for everyone. We also explored the idea that dad getting upset meant that he was getting his feelings out and emphasizing this as a positive.

Alice returned to live chat a few days later where she talked about struggling, particularly about the funeral and saying she was feeling anxious about going to the funeral. After some more encouragement and reassurance, we encouraged her to open up to the people around her, including her dad. She then told us that she recognised she no longer has to be on her own with these difficult feelings and she can now reach out to her dad, no matter what time of day or night.

During the chat we also explored tools that might help her further with her feelings, which she said she would like to try. Alice left the chat sharing that she felt better after speaking with us.

Bereavement Support Worker

Ambition provide more care
Supported 62,484. This year we supported more children and young people than ever before - \62,484 - through our bereavement services, training and education initiatives. Winston's Wish

We re-launched our live chat offering direct and discreet support for children, young people and the adults support them. We supported 1,595 children and young people over live chat.

We provided more hours of telephone support by extending our helpline hours to 8am to 8pm, weekdays. We had 4,887 conversations, supporting 13,947 young people.

We supported 12,514 children and young people over ASK email.

We introduced a tiered service model, underpinned by research and reflecting best practice to include bereavement counselling for young people who’ve experienced multiple, traumatic and complex bereavements.

We ensured children with special educational needs and disabilities could receive support that is sensitive and inclusive of their needs by investing in a dedicated SEND Bereavement Practitioner.

We exceeded our target of a minimum of 90% satisfaction scores with 97% of surveyed users saying they would recommend Winston’s Wish to others and 92% rating the support they received 8/10.

My support person listened and showed warmth, care and understanding. She was confident in her advice and knew exactly what to say.

Somebody understanding me.

Being able to message and chat to someone online out of office hours which is better, especially while grieving. I tend to only contact people later in the evening if I can.

Stickers reading Hope and Never forgotten - Winston's Wish
Connect with more people - Winston's Wish

Connect with more people

We created and shared online grief content and resources reaching 3,386,838 digital users across our website and social media platforms.

We introduced the UserWay Accessibility tool, making our website content more accessible and connecting us with people with visual and/or hearing impairments as well as those whose first language is English.

We were invited to deliver training to PGCE students at the University of Sussex by a lecturer who talked so passionately about teachers needed to be prepared to deal with bereavement in the classroom. Delivering the short but powerful presentation to trainee teachers was incredibly rewarding. They were all engaged, and some opened up about their own bereavement journeys through school. We delivered the training to 47 student teachers with the presentation being available to a further 250 students! The reach of this short training session was quite remarkable.

Training Partnerships Practitioner

We provided 1,300 professionals with bereavement awareness training across the education, health and social community sectors to better support bereaved young people. Winston's Wish
Build a wider community - Winston's Wish

Build a wider community

We introduced our online grief talk series – psychoeducational, TED talk style groups helping to ‘normalise’ grief with sessions specifically aimed at young people, and parents.

We redesigned our support groups, connecting people with shared experiences safely and appropriately, starting with a successful parent peer support group.

We built strong connections and awareness in the community of Camden, following work in the previous years supporting those affected by the events in neighbouring Grenfell.

We recruited and built a community of 50 young ambassadors and advisors, all with lived experience of bereavement to help raise awareness and shape our offer.

Being able to host our first ever Winston’s Wish Youth Advisory Board meeting was a moment I’ll never forget. Being able to meet with other young people to discuss, offer ideas and provide feedback for Winston’s Wish has been crucial in moving us forward with youth participation and putting children and young people at the heart of our decision making. This group has allowed us to connect and work on projects that help other grieving young people and spread the word about the incredible work we do. This was a moment in time that for me really helped to signify that we are making a change and creating a community for bereaved young people.

Youth Advisory Trustee

Photo of Grace, youth trustee
Communicate better - Winston's Wish

Communicate better

We invested in a new marketing strategy and team to help us reach new audiences, including communicating directly with young, bereaved people themselves.

We created 130 pieces of content specifically for 13 to 25 year olds, reaching 1.3 million online accounts.

We gave youth team members a platform and the freedom to share their stories, reaching 262,404 social media users.

We supported the nation to start and have open and honest conversations about bereavement following the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Through the creation of dedicated online content, guides and press commentary our articles reached an audience of approximately 48 million.

We showed our gratitude and appreciation as part of our ‘Big Thank You’ day where the whole Winston’s Wish team came together to write, call or record messages of thanks to over 18,000 wonderful supporters.

I’ve been a youth ambassador for Winston’s Wish for eight months now, a charity I had brief contact with as a child. This role has empowered me, given me confidence, and a fulfilling opportunity to inspire others through creating social media content. Losing my younger sister at age eight drove my desire to make her proud. Now, I not only feel that I’ve made her proud but have also started my dream job helping other young people. Thank you for the youth team for inspiring me, advising me, and welcoming me.


Photo of Brooke - Winston's Wish
Create and sustain - Winston's Wish

Create and sustain

We generated £2,187,539 in income, 90% of which was generously donated by supporters.

We became a fully flexible, hybrid employer reducing our building costs and lowering our carbon footprint.

We launched our commitment and action plan towards becoming an equitable, diverse, and inclusive service provider and employer, with the introduction of an EDI events and training calendar, updated governance practices and staff EDI champions.

We launched our health and wellbeing strategy to ensure our staff feel physically and mentally well, supported and able to thrive in their roles.

I had the honour of attending a fundraising event that marked a decade of fundraising by one incredible family for Winston’s Wish. Olivia along with her brother, Harvey, and dad, Russell, had completed a sponsored ‘Walk for Winston’s Wish’ every year for the past 10 years, in memory of their mum and to thank us for the support they received after her death. I listened in awe as Olivia gave her speech at their 10-year celebration ball as she thanked their family, friends, and supporters for helping them to raise over £45,000.

She also shared her pride that the walks had helped people become more comfortable talking about grief and the death of loved ones. Olivia’s Aunty concluded the evening by sharing that Winston’s Wish had been a lifeline to the family and expressed their gratitude that the support Olivia and Harvey had received had given them permission to live life to the full and a wonderful way to keep their mum’s memory alive.

Community Fundraising Manager

Thank you to our funders and partners

BBC Children in Need logo
The Ashfords Foundation logo
One Gloucestershire and NHS Gloucestershire logo
bpa logo
Disko Kids logo
COPS logo
Center Parcs logo
HQR logo
Land Rover
AIG logo
Goodwood classics on track for children logo
St James's Place Charitable Foundation logo
Ocean logo
London & Country logo
NHS Sussex logo
Belstaff logo
NFU Mutual logo
PayPal logo
IAG Loyalty logo
Safran logo
MetLife logo
The D'Oyly Carte Charitable Trust logo
Protectline logo
Zurich Community Trust logo
DMJ Consultancy logo
Ashfords logo
JFK Electrical logo
SAIF logo
Endsleigh insurance logo
Certas energy logo
Innovation group logo
Morrisons Foundation logo
Advent of Change logo
Little Lives UK children's charity
The Summerfield Charitable Trust logo
Joanna Simpson logo
Learning Nexus logo
Moore Allen & Innocent logo
The Eveson Trust logo
Sales Academy logo
Langley Wellington LLP Solicitors logo
The Ellis Campbell Foundation logo
Peter Sowerby Foundation logo
Games Aid logo
Churchill Contractors logo
The Lawson Trust logo
Coral scribble line

Impact reports from previous years

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