GREAT Ormond Street Children's Hospital opens a Child Death Helpline on Thursday. As well as being devastating for the immediate family, the death of a child can be shocking for the child's friends, teachers and people in the emergency services who may have had to help.

All these people may find it difficult to cope with their reactions and they may not know whom they should turn to for support. The helpline is run by volunteers who have themselves suffered the loss of a child and have been trained to deal with the range of emotions that can result.

The helpline will be on 071-829 8685 from 7pm to 10pm, Mondays to Thursdays.