Call for volunteers to join A Child of Mine friends group as the charity offers more support services

Gayle Routledge

A Staffordshire based charity is appealing for volunteer helpers as it steps up its work to support bereaved families. A Child of Mine holds regular support groups for families who have lost a child and developments planned for 2018 include a new group focusing on dads.
Now Gayle Routledge, A Child of Mine’s founder, hopes to set up a Friends of A Child of Mine group to support events and a fundraising drive.
Gayle founded a Child of Mine after her two-year-old son Lewis died of cancer in 2010. The charity has grown to offer support to bereaved families throughout the UK and has established partnerships with major children’s hospitals, including Great Ormond Street, London and Birmingham Children’s Hospital and with hospices, such as the Donna Louise Children’s Hospice, Trentham.
The links with hospitals mean that bereaved parents are signposted to the support offered by A Child of Mine and, in 2017, Gayle was asked to join discussions led by the Department of Health into how Child Death Review panels are conducted.
However, Gayle is the sole employee and event organiser, working from an office in the Hub, Eastgate Street, Stafford.
“We have grown our reach rapidly and need support and funding to grow our services further,” said Gayle. “I am now gauging what support is out there in the community for the foundation of a Friends support group. Volunteers would support us in raising awareness and organising fundraising events and help us to extend the support we give in the community.”
A Child of Mine runs support groups for parents and siblings in Stoke-on-Trent, Stone, Uttoxeter and Tamworth, primarily using venues in the county’s community fire stations.
They have also partnered with the Donna Louise Hospice’s Dads Group and want to expand this offer to other parts of the county.
Explained Gayle: “Our family support groups are well attended but there can sometimes be a perception that they are for mums. While this is not the case, we know that men can be harder to reach and may be looking for an outlet of their own. This could be by focusing on activities that the dads choose, such as launching a green gym, to complete environmental projects while keeping fit, or go-karting. We are open to ideas.”
To find out more about A Child of Mine, please go online to www.achildofmine.org.uk. To get involved, please email hello@achildofmine.org.uk.
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For media enquiries contact Nigel Howle – 07762043436, email nigel.howle@howlecom.co.uk.