Regular coffee morning are to be held across Staffordshire to offer support and friendship for anyone affected by the death of a child.
Stafford based charity A Child of Mine is hosting the events at community fire stations across the county in February.
The Star Café will launch at Tamworth Fire Station on 10th February (9.30am to 11.30am). Further events are currently planned for Hanley Fire Station on 17 February and Cannock Fire Station on 2 March.
Gayle Routledge of A Child of Mine said: “It is very easy to feel isolated and alone following a child bereavement. The Star Café offers an opportunity for anyone who has been affected by the loss of a child to come along and talk to others with a shared experience.”
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, Stoke-on-Trent.
“As a family, we were cared for very well throughout Lewis’ illness and death, but I recognised there was a huge gap for many families who felt alone and isolated,” explained Gayle.
The links with hospitals mean that bereaved parents are signposted to the support offered by A Child of Mine.
This support includes one to one counselling and group sessions. One vital area, which has in the past been overlooked, is the impact of a sibling’s death on surviving brothers and sisters.
Other groups include our stay and play groups for bereaved parents with other children which is held at Walton Community Centre, Stone on the last Saturday of every month between 2-4pm.
Added Gayle: “As a family, we experienced our own heartbreak, but we have been clear from the start that a Child of Mine had to fulfil a major need for all families suffering the loss of a child and was not simply a memorial to Lewis.
“The Star Café is planned to be the first of several new initiatives to support families in 2017 and beyond.”
To seek the support of A Child of Mine please go online to www.achildofmine.org.uk. Details of how to support or donate to the charity are also available via the website. The charity is based at the Hub, Eastgate Street, Stafford.
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