The Dame Hannah Rogers Trust is a school and Adult Care provision for children and young adults with physical and associated learning disabilities. Alternative and Augmentative Communication is used by the majority of the young people. Last year a member of staff, two students and a parent died within a short period of time. These concurrent deaths had a major impact on the whole Trust, we therefore had to reflect on our existing practices for dealing with the very sensitive area of bereavement.
A multi-disciplinary bereavement working party identified the need for resources to support our staff and young people, a revised bereavement policy and changes to the curriculum. The Speech and Language Therapy department developed a low-tech bereavement package that can be used in the event of initially breaking the news to a young person with learning disabilities about the death of a loved one.