Chris and I are taking part in the Sunrise Walk for Winston's Wish, in memory of my big sister Mandi and to support her two boys.
Mandi passed away suddenly on 20 May 2012, leaving her husband Andy and two sons (5yo and 3yo). To say we were in shock is an understatement: however, in addition to taking time to grieve ourselves, it was most important to all of us to support the boys.
Explaining things to the boys was incredibly difficult, as was planning for how they could be involved in the funeral, to say goodbye to their Mum in a way they would understand. We also knew that there would be further challenges ahead, in answering any questions the boys had and ensuring that they understood that they were safe, and loved.
Winston's Wish provided invaluable support in those first few days, both through the materials available on their website and through the helpful, kind and understanding volunteers on their helpline. They provided much-needed advice and reassurance in those first few days, and it is a comfort to know that they are there to help us support the boys in the future.
Winston’s Wish rely almost entirely on voluntary contributions to raise over £1.7million needed to maintain the service every year. This is what the charity says about how the money will be used:
£50 funds one of our specialist team answering six calls to our helpline – maybe for the first time that these callers have spoken to anyone about their concerns for a bereaved child.
£100 will give priceless support to bereaved children and their families:
• Ten specialist publications sent out to helpline callers.
• One individual session for a young person or family member with one of our practitioners.
£250 could fund a pre-school child to attend one of our special under 5’s group sessions.
£500 could fund four face to face sessions for a child and their family with two of our specialist family practitioners.
£1,000 could enable a teenage girl to attend our young women’s support group for six weeks.
Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving – they’ll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to the charity and make sure Gift Aid is reclaimed on every eligible donation by a UK taxpayer. So it’s the most efficient way to donate - I raise more, whilst saving time and cutting costs for the charity.
So please dig deep and donate now.