Sandy Bear Children's Bereavement Charity has partnered up with Jess Childs, an author who writes about 'big issues for little people.'

The youth charity and author have joined forces to help support the increasing number of young people affected by bereavement.

Jess is the author of 'Ivy and the Rock' based on her own experiences of love and loss, which made her want to help the bereaved youth, particularly in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

There is a free reading of Ivy and the Rock by Jess herself, available to view on the Sandy Bear website.

Jess' mother Olwen, who tested positive for coronavirus, died in November after delayed cancer treatment following the first UK lockdown.

Jess said: “My two children have lost a grandma they adored during this pandemic, as well as a much-loved great grandmother after she also contracted the virus and sadly died in January.

“We are just one of hundreds of thousands of families in the UK that have had to try and cope with the loss of a loved one whilst also trying to explain that loss to small children whose lives have already changed significantly as a result of the pandemic.

“So, I’m absolutely delighted to have been given the opportunity by Sandy Bear Children’s Bereavement Charity to try and support others through the sharing of Ivy and the Rock, which is a colourful, age-appropriate story looking at love and loss in an honest, yet child friendly way.”

Referrals to Sandy Bear have risen significantly since the pandemic started, and the charity believe every child and young person should have the opportunity to thrive and to be the very best that they can be in the most challenging of circumstances.

Anita Hicks, clinical lead at Sandy Bear Children’s Charity said: “We are excited to be collaborating with Jess following the launch of Ivy and the Rock.

"We know that conversations about death with children can be challenging and this book provides a good starting point to have those difficult conversations.

"Our approach is always to be honest with children about the death of a loved one in an age-appropriate way.”

Sandy Bear runs bereavement groups and other support services for younger children, teenagers, parents, guardians and carers, as well as professionals working with bereaved children.

The charity is also launching a ‘Sandy Cubs’ group to support parents telling very young children that a loved one has passed away, among other new services, too.

For more information on Sandy Bear's services and to access the virtual reading of Ivy and the Rock with Jess Childs, visit