Hello to you, our amazing friends and supporters!
So much has happened since we successfully completed our crowdfunding campaign. We can hardly believe we hit 112%, and it’s all thanks to you! Read on to find out what we’re going to be doing with your generous donations.
So the news item people are loving and loathing to talk about - the Royal wedding! Harry and Meghan have announced they’ll be tying the knot next year, and we’re always impressed by the amazing work Harry does on all fronts, not just in love, but also with his brother Will talking so openly about childhood bereavement and promoting the cause of child mental health. We wish Harry and Meghan all the best.
In the meantime, another princess was born. Louis’ wife gave birth to a beautiful girl called Rose a few weeks ago, which partly explains his radio silence (or is it radio goo goo gaa gaa?).
Also on our radar was Children’s Grief Awareness Week, with the creation of a brand new taskforce called Life Matters set up to improve policy and services for bereaved children and families. We applaud this initiative and especially Ben Brooks-Dutton - a big fan of Apart of Me and the Chair of this group. We warmly welcome the call to make death/grief education part of the national curriculum.
Our experience tells us again and again that children have a greater capacity to cope with death than most adults realise, with the right support. Some of the ways we try to protect children from the reality of death actually do more harm than good. One story we loved to hear about this week was how a 6 year old girl called Nina dealt with the death of her dear friend and cousin. Here are some pearls of wisdom from the chaplain who tells the story:
“You can trust a human being with grief…walk fearlessly into the house of mourning, for grief is just love squaring up to its oldest enemy. And after all these mortal human years, love is up to the challenge.”
During Child Grief Awareness Week, Louis was asked by BBC Radio to come and discuss how children cope with grief, and the story of how Apart of Me is supporting kids to find hope when someone they love dies. You can check out the video of that show on the BBC News website, and the radio version here (we’d have to recommend the radio version as our Young Consultant Jamie shares the story of his dad’s death with so much courage and wisdom, and you don’t get to see that in the video sadly).
Before we get down to practical matters, we just want to say thank you again to our incredible supporters: thank you so much for your donations, for your messages of support, for all your encouragement and love and well wishes and blessings during the campaign. It was such a joy to feel how much support there is for the project we have been putting our heart and soul into for the last two years. Thank you!
Now, those practical matters…
First, we are going to announce the winners of our referral competition early next week, so watch out for our next newsletter to find out who won those tickets to Wilderness Festival and the beautiful photo portrait by Dilys Thompson.
Second, perks. For anyone who selected a perk, kindly bear with us. We are just starting to process this side of the campaign now, so we will be in touch soon with an update on how and when you can expect your perk. Thank you for your patience :)
Third, stories. We are now collecting stories from people who were bereaved as children to use as magical, immersive communal experiences in the Cave. We know from our research and experience that one of the greatest points of suffering in child grief is the sense of isolation. We also know that our testers found the stories in the Cave to be one of the most helpful features.
So we need your support. If you have a story of loss in childhood that you would like to share for our kind-hearted cause, please send us your details via this link: https://apartofme.app/apartofme/stories. We would be honoured to hear from you. And if you know anyone who might like to share their story, please forward them the link.
That is all from us for now!
With All our Love and Gratitude, The Bounce Works Team