Local business raises thousands for Swindon-based child bereavement charity

By Swindon Link - 5 December 2018


Swindon-based charity Wiltshire Treehouse has been given a much-needed boost to its fundraising efforts after receiving a £5,000 donation from local insurance broker and risk management specialist Gallagher.

  • (L-R) Mark Holmes, Mandy Archer, Pat Gallagher (Chairman and CEO of Gallagher) and Amanda McConaghy

    (L-R) Mark Holmes, Mandy Archer, Pat Gallagher (Chairman and CEO of Gallagher) and Amanda McConaghy

The Swindon office of Gallagher, located on Gloucester Street, nominated Wiltshire Treehouse for an internal Gallagher prize fund initiative called ‘Making a Difference’. The UK-wide competition encouraged colleagues from across Gallagher’s 50-strong UK-wide branch network to nominate locally run, small charities to whom a monetary award could make a big difference, have a significant impact and offer ways of building a mutually beneficial ongoing partnership with the local office. 

Wiltshire Treehouse works hard to provide support to children and young people across Swindon affected by parental bereavement. It was founded by two midwives in 2000 as it was clear there was a gap in provision, with no other service of this kind in the area. Without appropriate support, the death of someone close to a young person or child can result in social isolation, strained family relationships, significant impacts on mental and physical health and pooreducational attainment and subsequent employment.

Wiltshire Treehouse’s aim is to be able to support bereaved children and young people through the grief process, enabling them to develop the coping strategies, skills and confidence to mitigate these risks and consequences. The charity received around 120 referrals in the last year and provided support through one to one work, groups for bereaved children and their families and a group for young people. The charity is keen to expand its services, which are free to families, open, accessible and co-ordinated by skilled practitioners and committed volunteers. 

The Gallagher team in Swindon has been working closely with Wiltshire Treehouse throughout 2018. A couple of people from the office are currently volunteering with the charity to help out in the group sessions with the children and are due to attend training courses.  The team has organised a Christmas market in December 2018 and the funds raised will also be donated to Wiltshire Treehouse. Moving into 2019, the Gallagher team in Swindon will continue to support Wiltshire Treehouse locally. As well as fundraising and volunteering, colleagues will be utilising their skills to support the charity in practical tasks, such as business planning and marketing workshops.  

Faye Auty, Trustee from Wiltshire Treehouse, said: “We are so grateful to the local Gallagher team for their support of our charity and nominating us for their company’s ‘Making a Difference’ awards fund. The impact of bereavement is far more widespread than just the family unit, often leading to social isolation and other difficulties if children and young people aren’t able to process their grief.

"The funding from Gallagher will help us to continue to offer and to expand vital services, which are important for the long-term well-being of the children and young people in our community.”

Mark Holmes, Head of Office for Gallagher in Swindon, added: “I am incredibly proud of our Gallagher team for choosing Wiltshire Treehouse as their nominated local charity for Making a Difference, winning this award and securing much-needed funding for the charity.

"Members of our own team have personally witnessed the huge impact that losing a parent can have on children, and the immense difference that intervention from an organisation like Wiltshire Treehouse can make to their future lives. The support given is so important when these children are at their most vulnerable. We look forward to working with the charity in 2019 and supporting the valuable work they do.” 

For further information about Wiltshire Treehouse visit www.treehousewiltshire.org.uk

For further information about Gallagher visit www.ajg.com

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