Nottingham’s independent fifth-generation family funeral firm, A.W. Lymn The Family Funeral Service, is backing a campaign to add bereavement to the national curriculum to help children deal with loss and understand death as part of life.
The petition, which was set up by the National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD) earlier this year to make bereavement lessons part of compulsory Relationships education, received over 10,000 signatures.
In March, the Government responded stating it would “review the statutory guidance” and “assess whether content on bereavement is needed”.
A parent dies every 22 minutes in the UK, and 80% of people will suffer a close loss by the age of 18, according to the NAFD, yet UK schools have no formal education on grief and bereavement in place.
Having cared for the bereaved in the East Midlands region for over 115 years, A.W. Lymn is campaigning for change and wants to open up the conversation in schools by adding age-appropriate content on death, dying and bereavement to the national curriculum.
Matthew Lymn Rose, Managing Director at A.W. Lymn and father to two young daughters, said: “Working in the funeral industry we see first-hand the impact grief has. Historically society has tried to protect children from sadness and loss, but it’s incredibly important to understand this is part of life and something we can’t avoid as part of living.”
It comes at a time when children’s happiness continues to decline, with a rapid increase in those battling mental health issues like anxiety and depression. The 2022 Good Childhood Report revealed five children in a classroom of 30 are now likely to have a mental health problem.
Matthew added: “From an early age, children are taught about how life begins through the national curriculum, and similarly, we should not be shying away from equipping children with the skills to comprehend death. Addressing the topic at a young age in an appropriate way can be extremely helpful for children, it sets them up for the rest of their life, being able to have honest conversations and better manage emotions.”
The fifth-generation family business operates 27 funeral homes throughout Nottinghamshire and South Derbyshire with quality of service at the heart of its ethos.