'Anyone old enough to love is old enough to grieve'
OLIVIA's Smile is a charity determined to bring change to the way school communities are supported following the death of a pupil. Olivia Wood was in Reception class when she unexpectedly died following a routine operation in hospital. Her classmates, teachers and the whole school community were left in deep shock with nowhere to go for general support at such a devastating time.
Olivia's Mum, Aimee saw first hand the effect the death of her daughter had on the whole school community. As a primary school teacher of 21 years herself, she quickly recognised that there isn't help available for schools to address such shocking news. They have to distribute the heart-breaking information to pupils, parents, staff and the wider school community while also grieving themselves.
"There is very much a business as usual approach in schools and an expectation to keep school the 'norm'. Whilst that may be true for an individual suffering grief where school is the place away from the emotional setting e.g their home after the death of a relative, it is not possible when the school setting is the place associated with the death. In this situation, it is vital we approach things differently as school is no longer the place of normality - in fact it becomes the place where the grief is most evident"
With courage, care and compassion, we can accomplish great things. To volunteer or contribute to the OLIVIA's Smile charity in any way, please send a message and I will get back to you as soon as possible.