We are delighted to that The Compassionate Friends has secured a place in the 2018 LONDON MARATHON through the charities ballot. It is wonderful news for us and all the bereaved parents and their families to whom we try to offer friendship, support and hope after the death of a son or daughter, brother or sister.
If you, or someone you know, would like to run for us in this iconic event on 22 April 2018 please do contact our Fundraiser, Stephen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0345 120 3785 (Monday-Friday 9.30 am - 4.30 pm).
Our Gathering of bereaved parents, siblings and grandparents held in Perth, in beautiful Scotland, was held from 12-14 May. Parents from Scotland, England, Northern Ireland, South Africa and Australia came to the event, and many spent the first evening at a social drop in group to get to know each other and there was also a supportive meeting for first-timers attending the weekend - to help new parents get orientated and make the most of the 2 days together.
During our weekend together we heard a moving talk by Stewart Wilson, CEO of Cruse Bereavement Care Scotland. A bereaved father himself, he spoke about all his family and particularly his eldest daughter Anna who was born with a rare genetic disorder - 'crie de chat' syndrome - and sadly died when she a few days from her 17th birthday. Stewart's incredible honesty about family life with Anna and inspiring account of her life, death and the impact her short life has had on both him and his family was both heart-rending and inspiring to hear.
The first supportive overnight retreat for adult bereaved siblings was held last month in Birmingham. 25 siblings gathered together to spend time talking, socialising and sharing their stories with each other.
Emma, was one of the bereaved siblings who was also organising the weekend. She wrote: "Just spent a wonderful weekend with fellow siblings. It was so lovely to hear about everyone's special brothers or sisters. We took part in lots of different discussion groups, craft and creative writing groups. The memory candle jars we decorated were lit on the Saturday evening outside on a big tree. On Sunday some enjoyed going out on the lake in the boat. Thank you to everyone who attended for making it such a special weekend".
Other feedback from the weekend included:
"The biggest thing I took from the weekend - being in a safe place, surrounded by others who understand the grief you are going through and being able to identify with each other about the isolation and frustrations that grief brings.
While I found the weekend tough, as it really brought home that you have indeed lost someone (i’m quite good at denial) it was incredibly healing. The sessions were all extremely well thought out and relaxed. I was terrified about going but there was absolutely no need. The weekend really helped me on my way to acceptance and moving forwards, and I really really hope that i can come again"
Compassion, our supportive magazine for bereaved parents written by bereaved parents....and TCF News, our charity newsletter with articles and features covering fundraising, events and other news going on in charity.
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You can view both publications online here:
Today saw the launch of The Compassionate Friends' Users Survey
The Compassionate Friends' (TCF) Board of Trustees welcomes feedback and suggestions from anyone who has engaged with any aspect of TCF activities either face-to-face or online. TCF is constantly evolving and hearing from people who have experience of our services helps the organisation to develop and be responsive to the requirements of bereaved parents, grandparents and siblings.
So, the Trustees have developed a short survey for anyone who has used our support and services. The questionnaire can be filled in any time you like and as many times as you like. The questions are quite general in order to allow you to comment on any aspect of TCF and make suggestions about what TCF might be able to do in the future.