Our aim at SLOW is to provide an informal, quiet place for bereaved parents. Some parents say that our groups provide a safe haven, a place to take time-out from the demands of the ‘outside world’ at a time when life has been irrevocably changed by their child’s death.
We know that the death of your child affects every aspect of your life, including relationships with family, friends and the world at large. SLOW is a place to be just as you are and take strength from the support of others, before returning to daily life and its challenges.
We understand that there is no rush to the grief of a bereaved parent. Changes may happen imperceptibly slowly to the outside eye, but time and again, we see bereaved parents as they move slowly forwards, step by step and learning to adjust to a different life. And, eventually perhaps, they find a way to walk alongside their child, not in physical life but by cherishing their memories and living with the legacy of their child in innumerable ways.
As bereaved parents, we understand that life will never feel the same again, and that our children will be forever missing.
Listening to bereaved parents has shown us that gradually life may begin to offer different perspectives, different values, different strengths and different relationships and, most importantly, a deep and continuing bond with our child who has died.
SLOW came about in 2007, when two bereaved mothers, Nicola Whitworth and Susie Hanson, decided to provide a space where other bereaved parents could meet, take time out, have a cup of tea or just be with others who felt isolated in their grief. SLOW started offering support with small weekly daytime groups based in Islington and numerous bereaved parents found comfort in the groups and made lasting friendships.
In 2013, in response to member feedback, SLOW introduced quarterly creative workshops for bereaved siblings. Five year later and SLOWsibs continues to enable siblings to meet with other bereaved children and share their experiences.
With the help of Lottery funding our North London monthly evening group was introduced in 2014 as another opportunity for bereaved parents to receive support.
SLOW became a registered charity in 2015 and two years later, in 2017 we celebrated our 10th birthday and were also proud recipients of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. This award is the equivalent to a MBE and is the highest award that can be made to a voluntary group. We are excited to announce the recent launch of a South London group in the Spring of 2018.
Meet the team
SLOW is run today by Nicola Whitworth and Kelly Carter, together with help from facilitators and a large group of volunteers, many of which were bereaved parents who have received support from the charity in the past.