Bereavement Charity holds Christmas Siblings Party
Miskin-based, child bereavement charity 2 Wish Upon A Star has welcomed children from across Wales to its Christmas Siblings Party.
The event held at the Miskin Manor Hotel on the 27th November saw siblings that have been supported by the charity enjoy a day of fun, crafts and afternoon tea. There was even a special guest appearance by Santa and his reindeer.
The day saw over 55 children aged between one and 16 join together at the picturesque venue on the edge of Cardiff. The event aimed to provide respite for children that have suffered the loss of a sibling whilst also allowing the bereaved to understand that they’re not alone.
The party started with an arts and craft session where children were able to get in the festive mood with several fun activities. This was followed by afternoon tea with lots of Christmas themed cakes and sandwiches. The afternoon was rounded off with a special appearance from Santa and his real life reindeer, where children were able to have a professional family photo taken.
Nadine Marshall, a mother whose teenage children have received support from the charity following the death of their brother Conner Marshall in March last year attended the event with her family.
“Sibling support is vital, my children are teenagers so just knowing that they could have someone to talk to means the world to us. Events such as siblings parties are a great way for young people and children to meet and interact with others who have suffered a loss.”
Nadine’s 12 year old daughter Georgia lent her support to the charity, attending the event in full elf costume, and helping Santa give gifts to all the children.
“I really enjoyed the Christmas event, everyone was so warm and there was a really loving feel to everything. Sibling events are so important, just knowing that there are other people my age who have lost a brother or sister stops me feeling different.”
Sibling support is a key part of the charity’s work as losing a brother or sister can often leave children confused.
Marketing and Events Manager for the charity Louise Sweeney said:
“Our sibling party was a great success and we’re really looking forward to organising the next one. To lose a sibling is devastating for a child, but at this time of year when there is such a focus on family, emotions often become heightened. It was lovely to bring all the children that we have supported together and help them just be kids again.
“The loss of a sibling is understandably traumatic and confusing, as not only are they grieving, but they can also feel unable to support their parents. We want children to know that they aren’t alone, and that it is ok to laugh and have fun again.”
As well as sibling parties the charity work with specialist play therapists and youth counsellors to help provide appropriate support for children and young people. The charity are also trialling new techniques for teenagers such as online counselling and instant-messaging support.
2 Wish Upon A Star was established in 2012 by Rhian Burke after suffering the sudden loss of her son George and husband Paul. The charity aims to improve bereavement services across Wales to support families who have suffered the sudden loss of a child. The funds raised by the charity go towards helping those who are in need of immediate shock and trauma support and to improve the bereavement facilities in local hospitals and Accident and Emergency departments.