Letter: Supporting those who have lost a child
This letter sent to the Star was written by Steve & Diane Tipping, Nigel & Vanessa Williams, David & Lou Luck, Faye Smith, Sheffield, S35
We are writing this letter to let your readers know about a parent bereavement support event that is happening on June 22 in Sheffield. We are all parents living in Sheffield who have experienced the death of a child and we have all been helped by a national charity called Care for the Family.
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Care for the Family support families in a variety of ways. One of these is helping families who have experienced the tragedy of losing a son or daughter. The Bereaved Parent Support Group consists entirely of people like ourselves, who are themselves bereaved parents. We provide a free, confidential, telephone befriending service so that parents can know that help is available, at the end of a phone, from someone who understands and can stand with them. The charity also hosts day and weekend events where experiences and things that have helped can be shared and discussed. Steve and Diane's daughter Lizzie died when she was 17 from Cystic Fibrosis. It was about 15 months after her death that someone mentioned that Care for the Family were running a day event in Milton Keynes. Steve didn't want to go, he felt that there was no way anyone could help them. Looking back, he now feels that attending that day was a turning point. Whilst no one could take away the pain and grief, the day helped him understand better all that he was going through and provided him with a group of people who cared and continued to care. People who come on the day may have lost a child recently or it may have been decades ago, the loss never goes away. The child may have been in the womb or may have been an adult. It may have been a sudden event or after a prolonged illness or perhaps in a situation that society turns its back on. Whatever the individual unique circumstances the support of others can and does help. A day for Bereaved Parents is being held at St Mark's Church, Grenoside, Sheffield on June 22. This is the only day event this year and open to any bereaved parent from anywhere in the country. There is also a weekend in Northamptonshire, October 4-6. For more details or to book visit cff.org.uk/bps or call Care for the Family on 029 2081 0800.