“Accolade” for Dr Bill

words: Linda Jones

As Dr Bill Webster receives a sought-after British Citizen Award, Linda Jones, of Grief Journey UK, gives a personal view on his inspirational career…

For more than 20 years, Dr Bill Webster has written regular articles for SAIFInsight, befriended many independent funeral directors along the way and built a strong reputation for his work on grief and bereavement, presenting many seminars and providing grief support resources across the country.

Following the sudden death of his wife, leaving Dr Webster bringing up two young boys (aged seven and nine), he has learnt the true meaning of grief, using his own personal life experiences to build on his knowledge and expertise. This was not for remuneration but because in his heart and soul he wanted to help others, after having experienced his own grief journey, something no classroom or course could honestly teach.

Dr Bill, feeling little or no support at the time, decided to do something to help others as no one had been able to help him. After 35 years of dedication, he developed a highly effective, internationally recognised grief support programme. That included creating Grief Journey UK (www.griefjourney.com), producing hundreds of articles, DVDs and hosting a TV programme in Canada, along with appearances in North America, Canada and the UK, and writing numerous books including the famous Now What.

Dr Webster’s work was recognised on Thursday July 4 at Westminster Palace with a British Citizen Award (BCAh), which is testament to his dedication. One of only 35 citizens awarded the accolade this year, he joins the 318 to date who wear their medal with pride. This is such a worthy achievement, befitting such a commendable cause.

Dr Bill said: “I have felt strangely humbled by this award, feeling it is not about me personally, but rather a validation of the work I have done over the years in supporting grieving people and raising awareness of this often neglected area of support.

“I would just like to say that I have no intention of a ‘Brexit’ from the UK scene and indeed I am working to produce a brand new resource as a tribute to my dear son Steve, who died so tragically one year ago. Thank you to all who have supported my work, and become my friends.”

Huge congratulations to Dr Bill, my dear friend and colleague for 20-plus years. You are a true inspiration; your work, direction and guidance has helped so very many people, including helping independent funeral directors expand after care services for their clients and families, and will, I am sure, help so many more over the coming years. This accolade is so richly deserved. Well done.

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