Friday, 28 April 2017

Last weekend we spent the days in Lush Spa, Commercial Street, Leeds. 

One of the ladies we have supported had contacted Lush initially to see if they could donate a prize for the auction at our Charity Ball.

They got back to us and unfortunately they no longer offer such prizes.

However they now allow charities to go into store for their Charity Pot events. 

These events mean that someone from a charity can apply to go along to their nearest Lush store to raise money. 
We went along on both the Saturday & Sunday to set up our charities leaflets and info whilst the store sold a product known as the 'Charity Pot' Hand & Body lotion. All the money from selling these products goes to the charity.

The staff at the Leeds store were amazing, they made us feel so welcome and went out of their way to make sure we were ok. They even gave us a tour of their Spa which looked like an amazing experience.

The staff had all read our leaflets so they knew a little about us so they could talk to the customers about us and if someone wanted to find out more about us the staff would bring them over to us. 
The staff were also given a target by their manager of a total they would like to achieve.

Throughout Saturday I was able to talk to many customers about our work and a few had heard of us and were pleased to meet us and get chance to chat.
There were a few customers who came into the shop and you could see them reading our banner, eventually they plucked up the courage to come over to us and share their story. It was great to know that we could support these people face to face and they all seemed to leave looking happy that they had got chance to talk to us.

At the end of Saturday the shop manager, James, said that he thought that they had taken around £300 for us. This was amazing.

We went back Sunday morning and had another great day, I was surprised at how many people actually go out shopping on a Sunday but I think the lovely weather helped. The staff were again so supportive and many were actively approaching customers about the charity pot product. Their target for the Sunday had been £150.

At the end of Sunday we packed up, weary from busy day, but very happy and grateful to everyone who had supported our cause. We were told that the figures would all have to go off to head office and once they had a total raised they would let us know. We can't wait to find out what the final figure is.

The manager told us that he would be happy for us to go back into store at a later date in the year which is brilliant. 
James said the fact that we were a local charity was a big reason he wanted us to go back and because he has a small child it was a cause he felt he could really appreciate. He said he could not even begin to imagine how he would deal with losing a child and that the support should be there immediately for these families.

Thank You so much to everyone who came in store and bought the product, Thank You to all the staff who made us feel so appreciated and Thank You to everyone who passed by us and said hello.
As soon as we have a total for the money raised we will let you all know.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Through my work I was sent on a course to look at how I could help people that had been effected by grief.

Everyone has ideas and thoughts about how it will affect you and they mainly seem to be linked to how your mind deals with it. 
However a lot of the reactions we experience are physical responses. 
One of the most common early symptoms of grief is extreme tiredness that makes even routine tasks hard. Some people have even said that it feels like having the worst case of flu, in that you don't feel like you can even get your body out of bed
You feel total fatigue that completely knocks you off your feet.

When you suffer a loss you can feel like your heart has been totally broken and again we feel that this is an emotional reaction. 
Over the years scientists have found that grief can actually cause heart problems. 
Grief not only changes our hormones it can also cause changes to our immune system which can make you prone to many more ailments. 
You may find that you are picking up every bug that is doing the rounds and that the minute you start to recover from one you start with another.
It has also been shown that the stress caused by the grief can lead on to increasing rates of heart problems in vulnerable people.
In older people experiencing grief it has even been shown that the loss of a partner can bring on heart conditions which can shorten their own life span considerably. 

With these physical problems that can occur, and not everyone will get them, it is so important that you try to take care of yourselves. 
I know this can be really hard to do and can often fall on to other family members to make sure that the grieving person is eating and taking in enough water. Just these two things can make a huge difference to the persons quality of life. 

We have all heard so much about the positive benefits of exercise and being out in the sunshine and we can be quite sceptical about this but it has been proven that even a short 20 minute walk outside can help you cope with things more. 

I know it can feel like a huge mountain to conquer but with support from family & friends and sometimes professional support, families can move on. 
Knowing that the physical things you have been experiencing are totally normal and are actually happening, rather than you thinking it is all in your head, can make you see that you are 'not going mad' you are GRIEVING.

Grief is a very powerful emotion and can cause both mental and physical reactions. Don't let others tell you any different or make you feel like you are making it up. 
Bereavement support is so important to anyone going through the loss of a loved one and getting the right support can make a persons adaptions to their new lives a lot easier to bare.

If you know someone that is grieving spare a moment to pop round to say hello, take them a prepared dinner or just sit with them for a while. Showing you care can make a huge difference.

Friday, 14 April 2017

This time of year can be quite difficult for a grieving family. 

Easter is traditionally a time for families to get together and celebrate, even if you are not religious. 
It is normally one of the occassions during the year when the family all gets together, but it is also the time that you look around and realise the people who are not with you anymore. 
Family gatherings can either be very difficult for a grieving family or be a chance to all have the chance to talk and grieve together.

Nowadays Easter has taken on a more commercialised meaning and revolves around the giving and receiving of Easter eggs. The shops are full of chocolate and activities to do with your little ones and all around you there seems to be events all geared for families with their children. Everywhere you turn and every TV channel you turn to is all about families and their children.

For families that have lost a baby or child it can feel overwhelming.

If they have other children they want to make it a fun time for them but they will always have their missing child in their thoughts. Walking round the shops seeing all the families and parents buying all the eggs can bring emotions to a head. 

This is where friends, extended family and support networks can really provide support, they can offer to help organise an activity for the children taking the pressure of the grieving parents. Being able to see their other children join in with the celebrations can be a huge weight lifted of their shoulders. They can often feel guilty that they do not feel able to participate in things like they used to and knowing that the kids are not missing out can be an enormous help. Just being there for them might give them that extra bit of strength to keep going when all they want to do is stop.

For those that have a strong faith they may find this time of year quite the opposite, they can draw strength from attending the Easter services and being around people who share their views. They may feel that going to their church brings them closer to their child and the extra services that are going on can allow them to be around others for support.

Whatever way you find the best for you to get through these holidays please remember to spare a thought for any parents or families that you know that might be really struggling with their grief. Dropping them a text or nipping round to check that they are ok can make a big difference.

If you are worried about a family or you are a bereaved parent who is finding this holiday period difficult remember that we are always here to offer help and support. 
Go to our website,, to look at the ways we can help you. The telephone numbers to contact us are on there and there is always someone there at the end of the phone to listen to you.

Please Don't struggle on alone.

Friday, 7 April 2017

We put out a newsletter out four times a year, here is our second one of 2017. Just click on the link below.

April Newsletter

If you would like to subscribe to receive them you can go to the website ( and complete the form or drop us an email at

Hope you enjoy it.

There is a very moving recount from one of our trustee's which demonstrates how important having support around you so vital. This is what continues to inspire and motivate us even when times are difficult.
If there is something you would like us to include in our newsletters or you like what we are currently putting in them please let us know, we always appreciate feedback.