As a young person who has experienced bereavement through the loss of a close friend, I understand how much of an effect this can have on a young person's life especially whilst trying to balance school and exams too. I found that after my friend’s death, initially there was some support from the school, however, after a week or so this ended. I was also never shown/offered any resources or helplines to look at or get in touch with for additional support and advice; something which I believe would have helped as I found it difficult to admit to my friends and family that I was struggling to cope. It’s with this in mind that I decided to create a website which will offer support and advice to young people going through bereavement, and hopefully show them that they don’t have to go through it alone.
I chose to create a website for my campaign because it’s a great tool to use in regards to young people. Having a website allows for people to access the information they want, when they want, and where they want, especially within the privacy of their own homes! It makes it easier for me to get my message across as the website can be shared across a range of social media sites including Facebook and Twitter, which hopefully in turn, will get the resource seen by the people who need it the most.
What does SOAR mean?
I chose the name SOAR because when read aloud, it can have two meanings which both relate to this campaign:
- Soar- “Fly or rise high in the air”, relates to the idea of rising above our problems created by bereavement; a sense of freedom.
- Sore- “Painful or aching”, relates to the pain caused by bereavement.
The butterfly imagery chosen is very personal to me and my experience of bereavement.
- When my friend was dying, she and her family came up with the idea to set up a charity in her name to help other young cancer sufferers. The logo she chose for her charity was a butterfly which resembled her initials “EB” - With this in mind I too wanted to use the imagery of a butterfly, as a personal testimony to the friend I loved and lost.
- The term “The Butterfly Effect” The theory that a small change, can have large effects elsewhere, is symbolic of the effect bereavement can have. It can be painful for those who knew the deceased on a personal level such as family and friends, but then it can also affect their family and friends and so on…
- Butterflies are symbolic of feelings of freedom and change (something I hope this website can help the users feel and experience too in regards to coping with bereavement). It also relates to the word choice of SOAR.
Why is this project important? Bereavement unfortunately affects everybody at some point in their lives. It can cause a lot of detrimental feelings such as guilt and loneliness, especially when experienced at a young age. Not everybody finds it easy to seek help/talk to their friends and family about how they are feeling. It’s important to offer young people other forms of support and advice in this situation in order to help them come to terms with their loss, hence this project!
Who is this website for? The aim is for mainly young people dealing with bereavement to benefit from this website. However, the website will also offer advice and guidance to those who know a young person going through bereavement such as parents, teachers, friends etc…
How could bereavement support for young people be improved? More support in schools such as being offered a guidance teacher to talk to and help you integrate back into a normal school life, more leniency if the young person starts to struggle with their work and more overall understanding and empathy.
What is the overall aim of SOAR? I hope that this project will offer the vital support that I believe young people in this situation need and raise awareness of how important and beneficial this sort of guidance can be. It will help young people in difficult situations vent their frustrations and allow them a release in order for them to move on with their lives.