About Simon Says

We support Hampshire children and young people up to the age of 18 years who have a significant person in their life who has died or is dying.

How We Started

Simon Stanley was a 37 year old teacher from Southampton when he died from cancer. His wife Sally found there was no bereavement support locally for their two small children. Their experiences have led to the establishment of “Simon Says” as a registered charity.

Our research has shown that the Stanley’s experience is not unique and there is a wider need to provide resources and information to children and parents and to those working with children eg: teachers, health professionals.

The need for support in Hampshire is astonishing.  It is estimated that each year, around 400 parents die in the county, leaving around 690 dependent children (aged 0-17). Overall it is estimated that 4370* children and young people (5-16 years) in Hampshire have been bereaved of a parent or sibling at some point in their childhood (*source: childhoodbereavementnetwork.org.uk).

The charity became registered in 2001 and a formal launch took place on March 25th 2002.

Our Aims

When children are dealing with the death of someone close, they may feel angry, guilty, frightened and alone. It can be very difficult for a parent, carer, close relative or friend to help a bereaved child when they are grieving too. Simon Says aims to:

  • Support Hampshire children and young people up to the age of 18 years who has a significant person in their life who has died or is dying

  • Offer information and advice to move forward in their lives, but never to forget their significant person

  • Run a telephone support line

  • Host monthly age appropriate support groups

  • Offer the opportunity to meet other families who have also been bereaved

  • Support and give advice and training to teachers, and other professionals working with bereaved children and young people

  • Host an Annual Residential weekend for up to 45 children and young people

How Much Does it Cost?

The support and advice we offer to families dealing with a child’s bereavement in Hampshire is provided completely free.  We need to raise a minimum of £120,000 per year, to enable us to maintain and develop this service.

Here is an idea of how this money is spent:

  • School Resources Packs – £100 each

  • Support Booklets – £3 each

  • Support Line – £2,500 p.a

  • Residential Weekend x 45 children – £7,500

  • Arts & Crafts for the support groups – £2,500 p.a.

  • Day’s out for the families – £400

  • Monthly support groups running costs – £5,800 per group p.a.

  • Library restocking

Business Plan 2022 - 2024

Our Business Plan 2022 – 2024 is available here to view and download if desired.


Our Team

  • Chandra McGowan Chief Operating Officer
  • Debs Adams
    Debs Adams Education Lead
  • Jen Rustom
    Jen Rustom Support Group Coordinator
  • Rhian Sewell
    Rhian Sewell Head of Fundraising
  • Rosie Burt
    Rosie Burt Team Administrator

Our Trustees

Contact Us

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