Funeral director's petition to teach children about grief reaches signature milestone

A funeral director who launched a petition to get bereavement support included in the national curriculum has reached enough signatures to force the Government to respond.

John Adams (left) with King charles III (Picture: British Ceremonial Arts)
John Adams (left) with King charles III (Picture: British Ceremonial Arts)

John Adams of Perry & Phillips Funeral Directors in Bridgnorth launched his campaign in October last year.

Mr Adams, who is also President of the National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD), wants schools to begin talking to children "in an age-appropriate way" about death in order to help youngsters understand that it is a normal part of life.

His petition has now garnered more than 10,000 signatures, which means the Government has to provide a response.

"I'm delighted we have reached 10,000 signatures," he said. "Every 22 minutes a child will lose a parent in the UK and that doesn't account for siblings, other relatives or even pets that die.

"A lot of adults are not very good when it comes to talking about death so the key is to approach it at a young age so people get used to talking about it.

"It does not have to be a depressing subject, it is about empowerment. Love is an emotion that carries on into the future after somebody dies."

Bridgnorth funeral director John Adams

Mr Adams, who has support of the NAFD, says the subject is also a "personal one" for him.

"I lost my mum, Maria, at 12 years of age and my school did not know how to talk to me about it," he recalled. "If more schools start talking about bereavement I believe the outcome will be a kinder, more compassionate and empathetic society."

He says he has the backing of Ludlow MP Philip Dunne and has even spoken to King Charles III about it after a recent invite to Buckingham Palace as his role of President of NAFD.

The funeral director was at a prestigious reception to recognise "the contribution of small businesses to the economy of the United Kingdom".

"I think he [Charles] understood the importance of what I'm trying to do because he has two children that went through it when they lost their mum," he said.

If Mr Adams's petition reaches 100,000 signatures it will mean the subject will have to be debated in parliament.

But he believes it will be implemented without having to reach that milestone.

"Schools around Bridgnorth are now talking to children about bereavement and we have the backing of a lot of MPs," he said.

"The more signatures we get the better but I am talking to the All Parliamentary Group on Funerals and Bereavement about it and we know that there is a discussion about changing compulsory relationship education in school so I hope School's Minister Nick Gibb includes it as part of the discussion," he said.

The petition is running until April 2023 and can be viewed and signed here:

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News