Sunday Times Secondary School of the Year 2023

St. Mary's Grammar School

Grief Ally Workshop


On Friday 22 March 2024, Year 10 pupils in St. Mary’s participated in a Grief Ally workshop which was delivered by Cruse Bereavement Support in association with the Northern Trust Community Palliative Care Team.

The aim of the workshop was to help young people understand grief and what can help if they experience bereavement.  It also aimed to teach pupils how they can support others who are going through this experience. 

The workshop covered the following:

  • What is grief?
  • How grief can affect young people.
  • What can help someone to manage grief.
  • Where young people can access help and support.
  • How to help and support a friend or family member who has been bereaved. 

The workshop was delivered by Eleanor Ellerslie (Cruse Children and Young Person’s Project Manager) and Edel McCann (Community Palliative Care Social Worker).

The workshop was also attended by Tracey Stewart (Specialist Palliative Care Dietitian) and Anne O’Hagan (Macmillan Palliative Care Facilitator). 

Following the workshop, pupils were invited to participate in the ‘Heart of Palliative Care’ art competition which was organised by the Community Specialist Palliative Care Service.  This competition asked pupils to design a bereavement card which the Service will send to the families it supports.  All competition entries were displayed in Meadowlane Shopping Centre for public voting and have been judged by a panel of local artists and service user families. 

The winner of the competition will be announced at an Awards Ceremony in St. Mary’s on Tuesday 7 May 2024. 

Photograph Details: Year 10 pupils who attended the Grief Ally Workshop pictured with Tracey Stewart (Specialist Palliative Care Dietitian), Eleanor Ellerslie (Cruse Children and Young Person’s Project Manager), Mr Quinn (Senior Leader), Edel McCann (Community Palliative Care Social Worker) and Anne O’Hagan (Macmillan Palliative Care Facilitator).