Please help me raise money to launch a charity that supports bereaved people who find themselves unable to cope, are financially challenged or lonely following the death of a loved one. No one can anticipate what it feels like to lose a close family member or friend, and I want to help those who are left alone and frightened and those that are unable to pay for any kind of social gathering (wake) after the funeral - which can be the most comforting time with friends to share memories, laughs and tears.
My work as an independent civil celebrant means that I meet many bereaved people of all ages. It is my job to help create and deliver a loving funeral service. But following the funeral can be daunting and a very lonely place for the grief stricken. And sadly, some people don't have funds to pay for both a funeral and a social gathering afterwards, which just adds to their sadness and loneliness.
After working with so many grieving people, and seeing how much pain they are in and how they find life so challenging after the funeral, I decided that it was my responsibility to do something more to help them. I have been inspired by everyone I have met and want to help ease their pain and sadness. I want them to know that once the funeral is over, life can go on. It is never going to be the same life they lived when their loved one was alive, but it is a life with hope and friendship, all the same. People always tell me that their loved one was 'the life and soul'. Imagine facing life without this this 'life and soul'. People face this every day. There are counselling charities out there but there is nothing like this. This charity will get people together and minimise the suffering of grieving alone.
My charity will offer the following:
- Provide friendly support groups for anyone who is lonely or isolated following a bereavement to seek comfort and understanding from others who are going through the same thing. This could be through providing counselling, creative classes, outings together, subsidised theatre trips, help towards transport costs so they can visit family and friends etc. There are so many ways to get people together who are in the same situation and help them see that there is life, after death.
- A fund in memory of my wonderful friend Alison to help those who are unable to pay for a social gathering following a funeral service (The Alison Fund). To get together with friends and family after a funeral is the most important time, I think. And my friend Alison loved a good get together! Even if it's just for a cup of tea.
I am looking to raise £8000 to get this charity off the ground. The money will be spent on a website to launch the charity (about £500) Printed material that will be distributed to funeral directors, doctors surgeries and those who meet the bereaved on a daily basis (£800) Postage and stationary (£400) Advertising and PR for volunteers to help on a practical day to day running of the charity and fundraising activities (£600). The Alison Fund will be calculated depending on how well the fundraising goes and the rest will be spent on doing good work to help those left lonely after the death of someone close.
If this charity can generate and spend more than £5000 then it can become registered with the charity commission.
Please help me make this happen. It could be you, your neighbour or friend who one day would benefit from this charity.
This charity will be based in North Yorkshire and aims to support those in the North Yorkshire area and one day I hope it will be so successful that it will be a national charity helping those that need it up and down the country.
I am also looking for trustees and people to volunteer so if you are interested then please get in touch.
Please help me, help them. And together we can make those people who are suffering and isolated with grief, hopeful and happy once again.