Children's bereavement charity seeks community help for new hub

By Claire Dukes - 5 March 2019

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A charity supporting bereaved children is getting ready to celebrate its fifth anniversary by expanding - but they need help.

Wiltshire Treehouse is looking for the support of businesses and the local community in order to set up a hub in the Wiltshire area to mark the charity's fifth anniversary.

Swindon families have benefitted from Wiltshire Treehouse's support since 2014, and Wiltshire families will now be able to access the support programmes operating in Swindon. But the charity says this is not enough.

With limited specialist bereavement support available for families in Wiltshire, the charity is planning to extend its services across the county this year.

Wiltshire Treehouse already have funding from The National Lottery Community Fund which will help with some costs, but are calling on businesses and the local community for further support. The charity hope to have the new hub up and running by late this year.

Kath Brownlee, Bereavement Service Lead, said: “We often receive calls from parents and professionals in Wiltshire, looking for help for a child whose parent, sibling or close family member has died. These deaths can cause anger, anxiety and great sadness for children and young people, and parents don’t know who to turn to.

"Up until now we’ve had to explain that we don’t have the capacity to help them.”

Wiltshire Treehouse is now looking to set up a hub in Wiltshire where the charity can deliver more of the support programmes for primary and secondary aged children.

Darren, whose child attended the family support programme, said: “Before Treehouse we’d never met any other children who were dealing with bereavement.  For us the power of being in a room of likeminded people was simply invaluable.

"Our little boy still speaks about Treehouse now; the stories that he read with the group and the arts and crafts that he still has stuck up on his wall which are a reminder of the skills he learnt to process his grief.”

With volunteer training planned for June, Wiltshire Treehouse aims to have the new team ready to help families later this year.

If you can help, or for more information, contact Kath Brownlee, Bereavement Service Lead, at admin@wiltshiretreehouse.org.uk or on 0749 350 9750.

www.treehousewiltshire.org.uk

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