Winston’s Wish aims to help 25 families each year with the grant funding provided by Help for Heroes. This week marks the mid-year point of the funding year and currently the charity is on track to meet this target, supporting 19 families, made up of 62 individuals; of which 39 are children.
Prior to the Help for Heroes and Winston’s Wish partnership, there was no dedicated childhood bereavement service for military families. Funding from Help for Heroes has allowed practitioners to plan and deliver a bespoke service, recognising that the circumstancing surrounding military bereavement are unique.
The service covers first contact with the family and a therapeutic call-back with one of the team’s practitioners. Following this, the service usually includes up to four half-day face-to-face sessions for the family with two of the charity’s practitioners, dependent on their needs.
Practical support activities during these sessions may include:
- Creating a Genogram, a pictorial display of a person's family relationships;
- Memory work to help maintain memories and the relationship with the person who has died;
- Talking through the story of what happened when the person died (bearing in mind this may be traumatic);
- Sharing coping strategies, such as how to seek support about what has happened and acknowledging the individual responses of different family members.
Additionally, individual work with children may be offered when a young person is struggling with specific issues that may be best supported on a one-to-one basis.
It is thanks to your help that 19 families have been able to receive this invaluable support in the last six months.
Notably however, Winston’s Wish reported that Battlefield bereavements account for just under half of the families the charity has been working with. While the pull put from Afghanistan draws closer, it is facts like this which clearly demonstrate why our support must continue. Both Help for Heroes and Winston’s Wish are committed to supporting those who have suffered from injury or illness which includes their families, and we need your help to do so.
In the next six months Winston’s Wish will be extending their service to support Military families pre-bereavement, helping those whose loved one is suffering from a terminal illness.
It costs £7,000 to train a Winston’s Wish practitioner to provide trauma therapy to individuals. That’s 1 ½ Kilimanjaro climbers, 2 pedalling Hero Ride participants or 28 London 10K runners helping a family come to terms with losing their hero.
Your fundraising is making a huge difference, thank you for helping us to help our heroes.
You can read more about the grant funding Help for Heroes provide to Winston’s Wish and other organisations at: http://ww2.helpforheroes.org.uk/how-we-help/supporting-other-charities/families/winstons-wish/