'We Are Family' Sweatshirts - Supporting Winston's Wish
When you are thrown into a situation that you never dreamed you would have to face with a 3 year old child, having support from a charity who are experts in their field is priceless. My daughter Lottie lost her Dad to Melanoma cancer when she was just 3 and a half years old. I was faced not only with losing my partner but trying to muddle through how I would know what to say to Lottie, how to say it and what she needed to hear. As a Mum all you want for your kids is for them to be happy & feel secure Winston's wish gave me many solutions to what I was facing and they really helped me through a very difficult time.
I hadn't previously heard of Winston's Wish but was introduced by a friend who had gone through the same loss as me a year earlier. That's just our connection with Winston's Wish but they are dealing with many families all over the UK who are experiencing grief in many different circumstances.
As the first charity to establish child bereavement support services in the UK, they continue to lead the way in providing specialist child bereavement support services across the UK, including in-depth therapeutic help in individual, group and residential settings. They also have a very in depth website with loads of advice for anyone wanting to understand what support children need to cope with loosing a parent or loved one.
More than 100 children are bereaved of a parent every day
1 in 25 young people have experienced the death of a parent or sibling
41,0000 children are bereaved every single year in the UK.
We caught up with Sophie recently when we visited the charity who works there & thought it would be good to hear more about the charity first hand.
Tell us about Winston’s Wish - when did the charity start?
Winston's Wish has been providing support for bereaved children since 1992, so this year we've been celebrating our 25th anniversary! Winston's Wish was founded by Julie Stokes OBE. Julie was a clinical psychologist who developed the idea for child bereavement services when she visited the US and Canada on a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship. 'Winston' is now also the name of our mascot, Winston Bear!
How many people are in the Winston’s Wish team?
We have 55 staff split between our 3 regional hubs in Gloucestershire, North West and South East, and now London. In addition we also have hundreds of dedicated volunteers up and down the country!
How many children / families would you say you were dealing with on an average week?
Every year we reach 40,000 children through a range or services including the Freephone Helpline, face to face support, the ASK email service, publications, training and more!
Tell us a little bit about ‘Wish Upon A Star’ ?
By taking part in Wish Upon a Star, you will enable us to provide bereaved children and their families the tools to not only help them during what can be an incredibly difficult time of the year, but also to face the future with confidence and hope, and lead full and flourishing lives.
Decorate stars with memories, dreams, wishes or art to help bereaved children, whilst decorating your tree!
You can order your stars online at https://www.winstonswish.org.uk/wish-upon-a-star/
What's your favourite music to listen too?
At Winston's Wish we love a variety of music! You can listen to some of our favourites during a special Winston's Wish playlist which will be broadcast on Radio 2 next Friday 17th November, 1-2pm on the Jeremy Vine show! Tune in!
If you know someone who might benefit from the the help Winston's Wish provide here's the link the website //winstonswish.org.uk
Their freephone helpline 08088 020 021
& if you want to donate to the charity - Donate here
We are trying to help raise as much money & awareness as possible for the charity by donating part of the profits from the sale of our 'We Are Family' Sweatshirts to Winston's Wish.
Thanks to models Lottie now aged 11, Sam, Lily & Keira who as a family were another big part in supporting Lottie ( & me ) through this time.
Follow Winston's Wish on Facebook here
& Winston's Wish Instagram here
Winston's Wish website here