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Greg Mulholland MP voices support for local bereavement support charity

April 6, 2017 2:06 PM

Greg Mulholland MP has announced his backing of local charity Elliot's Footprint's mission to help families who have been affected by the death of a child, whilst campaigning for improved bereavement support.

Elliot's Footprint was set up by Andrea and John Kerslake in 2014 following the sudden and unexpected death of their son Elliot, aged just two and a half years old. The Kerslakes were left alone, like many Yorkshire families, to come to terms with their devastating loss and try to raise their remaining two children without any appropriate professional support or guidance, an experience which intensified their grief and led them to vow to support others in the same situation. The charity currently supports families by providing help and guidance on issues, including bereavement services and information that will guide them through the immediate aftermath.

With families affected by the loss of a child already being supported by the charity's advice services, the charity is now appealing for the funding to pay for a Bereavement Support Worker. They will offer tailored support to the family in need, whether it be helping them work out what to tell their children, advice on the coroner's process, ongoing support through either meeting other families, or one-on-one counselling.

Mr Mulholland has also previously worked with charities to campaign for more compassionate statutory leave for parents suffering the loss of a child, and is supporting the campaign for the BBC to show the film 'Still Loved', which focuses on miscarriage and stillbirth.

Greg with John and AndreaCommenting, Mr Mulholland said:
"Those who have been affected by the sudden loss of a child go through a bereavement process that provides little to no support for families. Elliot's Footprint is doing fantastic work in Leeds, offering immediate support to families affected after their loss. It is amazing that after their own heart breaking loss, Andrea and John have done so much to offer support to other parents in the same situation. This is truly remarkable and inspiring.

"The campaign for improved bereavement services has my full backing. There needs to be an employed bereavement support worker to provide professional guidance on services and ongoing support after their loss."

Charity founder and Elliot's Mum, Andrea Kerslake, added:
"We are just delighted that Greg is backing our campaign and helping to highlight the need to support bereaved families. This is a Leeds wide campaign and we feel that Greg shares our charity's desire to ensure that bereaved families are not left to cope alone. For us every penny donated puts us that one step closer to securing long term help and support that is desperately needed. It's an incredibly difficult journey to be on, one that you could never ever be prepared for, four years on and it still feels like yesterday."