Sue McDermott, former headteacher of St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School, Bircotes, National Director and voluntary Non-Executive Director of Rainbows, has been awarded the OBE.
The honour recognises a lifetime of service to education and particularly for her outstanding impact in supporting children and young people grieving a significant and often devastating loss in their lives.
Sue has supported grieving children and young people for twenty five years in a range of roles: as a bereavement support facilitator, co-ordinator, regional development worker, National Director and now voluntary Non-Executive Director and Trustee of Rainbows Bereavement Support GB. This national charity now operates in over 1,260 schools throughout Great Britain, and continues to expand.
For 25 years she has listened to those grieving; given hope where there was despair; calmed the angry; challenged the depressed and encouraged and supported acceptance of the loss and belief in life itself.
Her practical experience and expertise, her depth of understanding, empathy, personal warmth and wisdom which she has openly shared with those grieving, have had a huge impact on the thousands of lives she has touched.
In accepting the award Sue said, “I’m delighted to accept this honour on behalf of Rainbows and everyone who contributes to our important work for grieving children and young people.
“From my own personal experience I’ve always acknowledged that the loss of someone significant in our lives has massive life changing implications. It’s so very important that all those grieving have the opportunity to express their feelings to someone they trust in a safe, secure setting.
“To be able to help grieving children and young people express their feelings and develop coping strategies is essential. Every grieving child and young person needs to be understood and supported appropriately. Not to do so may well have a negative impact on their mental health and general well-being. That’s why I’m so delighted to accept the honour – Rainbows matters!”
Further details of Rainbows Bereavement Support GB are available on http://www.rainbowsgb.org/.