JOHN Taylor Hospice has launched a fundraising appeal to support children across the West Midlands whose loved one has died.
The Hope and Healing Appeal aims to raise £10,000 to fund children’s counselling and art therapy groups at John Taylor Hospice to help youngsters through one of the toughest and loneliest times in their lives.
Katie Mitchell, Head of Fundraising at the hospice said:
“The coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating impact on so many families and they will need support to heal from the grief this crisis has caused. Your donation will mean so much to families and will support children to find the strength and confidence to open up, express their feelings and realise they are not alone.”
Fronting the fundraising appeal is Vicki Brennan, 50, from Kingstanding whose eight-year-old grandson Cruz took part in a pilot support group for children at John Taylor Hospice.
Vicki who is now Cruz’s guardian said:
“My beautiful daughter Siobhan was only 25 when she died of cervical cancer in June last year. When his mommy died he was so brave but he found it very difficult to talk about his feelings. The hospice nurses that cared for Siobhan told us about a new bereavement support group at John Taylor. Cruz looked forward to going every week as he felt reassured talking to other children who’d lost parents and grandparents and realised he wasn’t alone.
“In art therapy groups he drew pictures of his mommy – such lovely, happy memories of the two of them shopping and playing together. After a few weeks of counselling and art therapy with the other children, we noticed that Cruz started to open up more, being able to express his emotions and ask more questions. The group has also given us strength as a family, the opportunity to grieve in our own ways and to reminisce about precious moments together that keep Siobhan’s beautiful memory alive.”
The support sessions that Cruz attended were a pilot for the Birmingham-based hospice – and now this Hope and Healing Appeal aims to raise funds so this vital service can be continued and offer a lifeline for more families like Vicki’s.
“For children especially, the loss of someone close can be overwhelming. But with the right support, children can find the strength to cope with feelings of sadness, guilt, insecurity and fear. If you are able to support this appeal we’d be incredibly grateful and your kind donation will help more children like Cruz to heal from their grief and have hope for happier times.”
To make a donation to the Hope and Healing Appeal please visit: www.justgiving.com/campaign/hopeandhealing or text HEAL to 70331 to donate £3, or HEAL to 70191 to make a £10 donation.
To read more about John Taylor Hospice visit www.johntaylorhospice.org.uk