Weʼre raising £1,000 to fundraise for the OLIVIA's Smile charity by completing the 'Yorkshire Three Peaks' challenge - 7th August 2021
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This challenge is to raise money to support the OLIVIA's Smile charity which has been set up to support school communities following an unexpected death. Olivia Wood, aged 5, unexpectedly died in February 2020 after routine surgery in hospital. Her death shocked the local community and in particular left classmates, parents and staff of Cropwell Bishop Primary School and surrounding area facing the emotional task to come to terms with her death. Olivia was known at the school for her beaming smile, her larger than life personality and her unique charm in being able to command a room in an instant. She really was one of a kind and there wasn't a child or adult in the school that didn't know exactly who she was!
The entire school community did all they could to share the news to their loved ones, to comprehend what had happened and to begin acceptance of such an upsetting situation. The death of a young child is never easy for anyone to come to terms with but to explain to 300 youngsters that a child they knew so well was never going to be seen or heard again was quite a challenge. Staff and parents talked to the children of the school in the best way they could but were doing so whilst battling with their own emotions which was no easy task.
Mum of Olivia (Aimee Wood, founder of the OLIVIA's Smile charity), quickly realised that alongside her own trauma of grieving for her little girl, she was not alone. Anyone who loved her girl was grieving too. It was not just family that were suffering; it was a whole community. It was hard for people to know what to say, how to approach the subject of death, how to respond to questions, how to support each other and Aimee soon recognised that more needed to be done. As a teacher of 21 years herself and fortunately one who had never encountered the death of a pupil during her career, she knew schools needed more support. It is so often a case that schools are left to just 'get on' and continue with a 'business as normal' approach but this just wasn't as easy as it may seem. Children have enquiring minds and need truth and honesty to accept something so tragic. It is difficult for parents and staff to provide this when they have their own emotions on top.
Aimee has now begun the mission to launch the charity in which she volunteers her time to support school communities by offering care and compassion following a death. She states...
"My time with a school can be used in whatever way seems best. There is no right or wrong way; no generic worksheet or lesson plan - it has to be tailored to the needs at the time. It has to be a fluid process in which care is given where needed; it has to be flexible and that is what I do. I am there to listen, to talk to, to advise and all with care and compassion as the focus. I am not a bereavement counsellor or a grief professional - this is entirely different! This is about being available and showing a community I care and want to help them at a time so very tragic. With mental health being such a huge factor in the lives of us all these days, it is crucial we ensure opportunities are given to show people they matter, are valued and are listened to. It is heart-breaking to know schools don't have the support needed when something so devastating happens. I desperately want to help change that!"
Aimee is now making that change very real and is working alongside not only her daughters school but other schools nationally too who have needed someone to turn to following a death to their community.
Any help that can be given to supporting this hugely needed provision to schools at a time so very heart-breaking would be greatly appreciated.
For more information about OLIVIA's Smile please see link options below:
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- 3 months ago
Aimee Wood3 months ago
With a week to go, it is fair to say all of the team are beginning to feel a little nervous about this event. We are determined to complete the challenge and hope that every single step we take will in memory of the beautiful Olivia will keep us going with some of the strength, resilience and determination she was known for!
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Aimee Wood started crowdfunding
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Aug 20, 2021
Well done Kate, Darren and the team!
Colin the barbarian
Aug 18, 2021
Aug 11, 2021
Good for you!
Aug 11, 2021
Fantastic effort by you and your team Aimee. Sorry it’s taken me so long to get my arse in gear to donate! Well done Pete x
Aug 10, 2021
Brilliant well done
Aug 10, 2021
Amazing! Well done xx
Aug 10, 2021
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