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Lilies: An app for bereaved teenagers and young people

Author: Sophie Russell
05 April 2017

Sophie Russell, a 15 year old pupil at Talbot Heath School in Bournemouth, reviews a new smartphone app created to support teenagers going through bereavement. Most impressively, it was created by a group of Year Nine school children.

Lilies is a grief support app helping 13-16 year-olds overcome the loss of a loved one. 

It's a place to collect special memories, and find help and advice. It was set up by a group of Year Nine students at Stratford Girls' Grammar School, Warwickshire. Originally, they were looking to create an app that dealt with mental illness but this area was so broad that they narrowed it down to bereavement. 

At their school, a few people had been recently bereaved and they really struggled for support. Going to professionals seemed quite daunting and there did not seem to be an app on the market for bereaved young people. 

The group got in touch with a variety of grief organisations such as Winston’s Wish and Guys Gift who gave them lots of advice and information about coping with grief. They then turned it into their app.

The Lilies App users join a group of young people who are going through the same experience. They use the app to...​​
  • Post memories (pictures and words) about their loved one
  • View others' posts
  • 'Hug’ a post to show they care
  • Discover expert thoughts and ideas on how to deal with grief
  • Link to safe forums and charities offering further help and support

The app felt well thought out and accessible. Items like the "memory wall" where you can post photos, thoughts and feelings, felt personal and based on experience. It is aesthetically pleasing, calming and peaceful – simple in design but innovative and unique. For example, users can give each other virtual hugs to show support when they are reading or viewing another’s post. There is also an ability to block or report other users if inappropriate material is posted.

It’s practical and useful. The support section has a host of ideas and tips organised into advice and activities that teenagers and young people might find helpful in their bereavement. The advice and activities are sourced (with links) from a wealth of resources such as Winston’s Wish, Bereavement UK, Grief Encounter – this reassures you that advice is sound and reliable. 

But, there are also examples from Lilies users who offer personal suggestions. For example, I liked the idea to ‘Do Something Productive in Their Memory’ such as planting a garden or making a donation in their name. I would love to see the app developed even more, I can see it being a lively forum to share and support each other.

The group behind the app were the finalist team from the Connected Communities Category in The Apps for Good Awards annual competition, showcasing some of the best apps created by student teams each year. I can see why – it’s an apt app for teenagers and young people. It is certainly something that I could see myself using in the future.

More information about the Lilies app is available on the apps for good website and you can follow them on Twitter @LiliesApp

*Sophie Russell is the daughter of Dr Sarah Russell, Head of Research and Clinical Innovation, Care and Clinical Leadership at Hospice UK. 

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Comments | 3 comments


Leila Hawkins

Hi Julia, it's only available for iPhones and iPads at the moment.

11/04/2017 11:21:30


Brilliant idea. Thank you for telling us about it, I will spread the word too:)

07/04/2017 10:01:02


I can't find this app in the google play store, is it available for Android yet?

05/04/2017 15:41:35

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