The Youth Commission, its Sunflower Project, and a number of professionals and volunteers have given eleven young people a fun and energetic weekend of therapeutic activities.
All the children attending at Les Mainguys Activity Centre last weekend have been affected by the death of a parent or sibling.
The weekend was intended to provide a combination of fun and energetic activities such as archery and climbing alongside therapeutic work including activities concerning their feelings, remembering their important person, and talking about what helped.
The annual event is kindly funded by the Smile for Georgie Foundation which paid for the young people’s stay, activities as well as hoodies and teddies.
Pictured: Georgie Le Prevost. The Smile For Georgie Foundation was set up by her parents following her death in a car accident in 2017.
Jenny Le Prevost from Smile for Georgie said: “we are delighted to again support Sunflower Project and it is wonderful to hear the positive difference they are making to the lives of the young people they work with.”
Together, the staff and volunteers said they aim to reduce the sense of isolation that the loss of a parent or sibling can bring.
Hannah Robilliard, a member of the Youth Commission's Sunflower Project team said: “we could see the benefit of the friendships and connections made over the weekend based on their shared experiences.
Pictured: The children were aged between 8 and 16.
"We hope the young people will be able to maintain these connections by attending the Sunflower Youth Group which runs on the 2nd and 4th Monday of each month and is open to 8- 16 year olds who have experienced the death of parent or sibling."
She added: "We are already excited and planning for next year.”
Youth Commission CEO, Charlie Cox, said the number of children affected by a close bereavement is higher than you may think.
“This is such an important weekend for the Sunflower Team and is an opportunity to build upon existing support as well as welcoming new young people to the service to find out about the support available to them during their grief journey," she said.
Pictured: The Smile for Georgie Foundation supported the weekend.
"As national statistics show one in 29 5-16 year olds have been bereaved of a parent or sibling. The Sunflower Project as part of Youth Commission can offer support to those affected”
Staff were joined this year by Dr Tom Littlefair, who held a ‘Doc Spot’ so the children could ask him any question they liked.
He said these ranged from questions about physical pain from grief, to questions about illnesses, and how doctors are sure someone has died.
“I love coming each year for this weekend and there were certainly some challenging questions, but it is so important the young people know that they are not alone in how they are feeling.”
Pictured: Dr Tom Littlefair answered questions over the course of the weekend.
Other organisations supporting the weekend include Project Linus and Wicky Face Paint.
The Project Linus blanketeers created a comforter for each young person to use during the weekend and to take home with them.
Nicky from Wicky Face Paint donated her time to face-paint the young people, and staff.
At the end of the weekend families and carers were invited to a BBQ where they could also speak with the therapeutic staff and see all the work produced by the young people.
Pictured: All images provided by the Sunflower Project.
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