Today is the first anniversary of us receiving our Registered Charity Number from The Charity Commission (No. 1169397). We regard 28th September 2016 as the day the charity was founded, because even though we’d been working hard in the months beforehand preparing our application to the Charity Commission, this was the day 12 months ago that we could really begin work.
Looking back, getting that charity number a year ago was our equivalent to the sound of the starter’s gun to a 100m runner. Once we got the number, we were off. And for us to do what we wanted to do, we had to get off to a flyer as we never even had a bank account, let alone a penny to pay into it.
We spent the rest of the calendar year raising funds and making plans to start a number of services that we hope would begin in early 2017 and since the turn of the year we’ve supported over 25 different families by establishing: -
· 3 bereaved parents support groups
· 2 sibling support groups for children aged between 4 and 11
· complimentary therapies and hairdressing services to families in their own homes
· practical support to families
· coffee mornings for parents, grandparents and older siblings
· a pilot scheme where a qualified counsellor will work with a family as whole unit
We will also shortly be announcing details of yoga and meditation classes that bereaved parents, grandparents and older siblings can access free of charge.
One of our proudest moments of the last 12 months was when Liverpool City Council decided to waive child burial and cremation costs after a request by ourselves and we’ve since wrote to Wirral Borough Council and Knowsley Council and asked them to waive their remaining charges that they would normally pass on to families.
I don’t write this blog post as way of self-congratulating ourselves for the work that’s been done this year, but it’s important to let people know what we do. It’s also an opportunity for us to thank a number of organisations for their valuable support over the last 12 months such as Yellow Sub Play Centre, Defence Business Services, Liverpool City Council, Co-op, The Quaker Meeting House, The Lodge Restaurant and Stanley Park. We’ve also been supported by a number of other local charities such as The Alder Centre and our friends at the Owen Mcveigh Foundation and The James Greenop Foundation.
We’d also like to thank the many people who have volunteered or done some fundraising for us over the last 12 months. There’s been a mad sock day at St Mary’s Primary School in Crosby, some people have climbed mountains, ran marathons, held bake sales, raffles, cycled from Liverpool to Brighton to name just a few. But we’d like to say a special thank you to all the kids who took part in our Kids Love To Run event in July this year, which helped us raise nearly £10,000! It was a great event and one that meant a great deal to us a charity and we can’t wait for next year’s event!
Thank you for helping us support bereaved families over these last 12 months!