An investigation of parents’ experiences of finding the SLOW charity, engaging with SLOW services and finding their way through grief with the help of SLOW
SLOW (Surviving the Loss of your world) is a bereavement charity that supports bereaved parents and siblings following the devasting loss of a child or sibling.
This study focuses on parents whose child has died. SLOW offers support groups for parents. These groups bring parents together with others who share their experiences within informal, supportive spaces, offered face-to-face across London, but since the COVID-19 pandemic also virtually, meaning more people can be included.
SLOW support groups are facilitated by other bereaved parents who receive training and supervision from SLOW. Parents can share their stories with others who share their experiences and receive support in finding their way through their grief.
University of Hertfordshire Clinical Psychology programme and parent experts who developed SLOW and/or facilitate SLOW support groups will work closely together to ensure the research is informed by SLOW ethos and values
- Understand ‘where SLOW and parents meet’ – experiences of finding and engaging with SLOW
- Understand ‘where SLOW and I are now’ – experiences of using SLOW from current support group members
- Understand the journey with SLOW through grief – stories of parents whose child has died and who have re-engaged with life, including how SLOW was part of this journey
To evaluate any information gathered as standard by SLOW to understand who uses or chose not to use SLOW services
To undertake focus groups with current parent users of SLOW support groups to investigate:
- Their experiences of engaging with SLOW
- Their experiences of attending SLOW support groups
To undertake individual and/or couple interviews with parents whose child died and who managed (while using SLOW services) to re-engage with life about their journeys through grief.
Anticipated or actual outputs and potential or actual impact/ implementation in the NHS (two or three paragraphs)
We hope that SLOW parent experts and University of Hertfordshire Clinical Psychology researchers will:
- Write up findings for the SLOW report for Reaching Communities Lottery Fund
- Write up findings in academic journal papers
- Develop the findings into a leaflet for parents considering using SLOW support groups
- Develop the findings into a presentation/presentations for SLOW peer facilitator training
Papers/resources associated with this study
Analysis of demographic and focus group data
Develop a proposal for and then obtain ethical approval for the individual/couple interview part of the study
Focus groups conducted by Geena Saini and Millie Witcher
Geena Saini, Millie Wittcher and Mollie Parrish are undertaking this research as part of the requirements of completing the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology course and Lizette is supervising this research.
This research builds on two previous research projects (not with SLOW), namely:
Bereaved parents’ stories of their emotional relationships with their surviving children following the death of another (see: Shankar, S.J., Nolte, L. & Trickey, D. (2017) Continuing bonds with the living: bereaved parents’ narratives of their emotional relationship with their children, Bereavement care, 36(3): 103-111)
Narrative accounts of parenthood following the death of a child to muscular dystrophy (see: Randall, J., Wellsted, D. & Nolte, L. (2021) Facing loss and finding hope in narrating together: accounts of parenthood following the death of a child to muscular dystrophy, Illness, crisis and loss, 0(0)
Researchers and institutions
UH: Geena Saini, Millie Wittcher, Mollie Parrish
SLOW: Nicola Whitworth, Tim Whitworth, Kelly Carter, Sara Portnoy
University of Hertfordshire