Diocesan Department for Education - H and N Diocese

Hexham and Newcastle Diocesan Department for Education


Bereavement Support Great Britain
Rainbows Bereavement Support GB is a well-respected national charity having a proven, positive impact on the lives of children, young people and adults grieving a significant and often devastating loss in their lives.

Introduced into Great Britain in 1992, the charity now operates in over 700 schools in England, Scotland and Wales.  It is currently available to over 72,000 children and young people.

Rainbows came to schools in the North East in 1995 supporting many grieving children and young people. Rainbows North East, a region of Rainbows Bereavement Support GB was formally established in 2012 to ensure continuity and further development of this important ministry. The Rt. Rev Seamus Cunningham, Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle is our patron.

Our Mission
Our mission is quite simply for every child and young person in every school in Rainbows North East, grieving a significant and often devastating loss in their lives, to be understood and supported appropriately.

To achieve this, Rainbows North East offers training in bereavement and loss, and supports communities in reviewing or developing their own bereavement policy and procedures. Through our locally based Registered Directors, we offer training in the use of Rainbows age related peer support programmes which help foster emotional healing among children, young people and adults. On-going support is provided to affirm and advise the trained facilitators and co-ordinators that run the programmes.

The  Rainbows Programmes
(a generic name covering all our 12-14 week programmes):

SunBeams: for children from Foundation One to the end of Key Stage One.
Using teddy bears, puppets and play activities, children are helped to express their feelings of loss and to feel supported through their grief.
Quote from a bereaved father: “Since attending Sunbeams my son can now speak about his Mum. Thank you for the change you have made in him”

Rainbows: has three different levels and is suitable for children in Key Stage Two and lower Key Stage Three.
Using journals, story books, games and activities, children learn to talk about their feelings in a safe secure environment with trained caring facilitators.
Quotes from children who have participated in the programme:
“It helped me by letting all my feelings out”. Year 5 pupil
“I did not know I was not the only one”. Year 3 pupil

Spectrum: for Secondary age pupils usually from Year 9 upwards.
Spectrum explores a range of themes using journals, discussions and activities to allow young people to express their feelings and begin to develop coping strategies in a safe and secure environment with a trained trusted adult.
Quotes from young people who have participated in the programme:
“It helped me with my anger and not to bottle up things and that it is okay to talk about things” Year 9 pupil
“It’s a time when I can say everything to someone I trust” Year 9 pupil.

Local Registered Directors offer high quality training to suit the needs of individual schools. Many schools opt for a full day’s training or three twilight sessions of  an hour and a half.
On-going support is provided to schools through visits, email, phone calls and newsletters.
Rainbows North East offers an annual conference, refresher sessions and training for new facilitators.

Financial Investment
The work of Rainbows is tried, tested, researched, monitored and evaluated; our plans are strategic, specific and realistic. We know the impact of our work is long-lasting and has a tangible impact on people’s lives.
High quality training for all members of staff, specific training for facilitators and co-ordinators, planning and resources for each of the 12-14 week sessions and on-going support are all covered in the “set up fee” of around £700. In subsequent years, a very small budget is required to replace consumables used by the children and young people.

Registered Directors
Rainbows Registered Directors are Development Workers who have been trained to offer high quality training and support to schools. For further information they may be contacted through Rainbows North East.
Secretary: Ruth Higginbottom
Email: rainbows.northeast@btinternet.com
Tel: 01670 518546


Picture shows Rainbows North East Support committee including the National Director, Sue McDermott but minus the Chair, Father Sean Hall.


You can also find further information on the website: www.rainbowsgb.org