Fundraising appeal for families facing loss

Rennie Grove helped Heather following the loss of her dad

Rennie Grove helped Heather following the loss of her dad - Credit: Rennie Grove Hospice Care

Rennie Grove has launched its spring appeal, raising funds for its Family Support Services helping families struggling with illness and bereavement.

The appeal features family member Heather’s story, explaining how Rennie Grove’s counselling service helped her following two bereavements just five weeks apart.

“Losing my dad has made me face the feelings I’ve been running from all my life,” says Heather. “With Rennie Grove’s help I faced them head on, unravelled them and finally made peace with them.”

Heather didn’t ask for help straight away. But she began to feel increasingly overwhelmed after her dad died.

“I wasn’t sleeping, I couldn’t think straight, I didn’t recognise myself,” she admits.

Head of Family Support Services, Lisa Jackson, knows from experience that everyone grieves differently, and that people might need help at different points along the way.

“Dealing with life-limiting and terminal illness is hard,” she says.

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“Patients and their families can feel afraid, alone and overwhelmed. Heather felt that as she held her dad’s hand through the final, difficult days of his life. And her daughter feels it now, a year on.

"We’ve been able to help them both and we want to be here for everyone who needs us. As soon as they need us and for as long as they need us.”

Lisa’s team is seeing the effects of the pandemic every day.

“COVID-19 made caring, grieving and saying goodbye much harder,” she says, “and although we’re learning to live with it now, the people we help are still reeling from its impact.”

With more referrals, increasingly complex cases, and higher levels of serious psychological distress, Rennie Grove’s trained team of specialist counsellors, listeners and therapists is determined to reach everyone who comes forward.

“We know it takes guts to ask for help,” says Lisa. “When patients come to us, we must work with them while they’re still well enough. And when family members ask for help - they don’t want to wait.”

A gift of £30 could pay for a session of specialist counselling or bereavement support in a one-to-one or group setting.

You can donate at www.renniegrove.org/springappeal or on 01442 890222