Freemasons donate £10,000 to support bereaved families

Essex Freemasons have donated £10,000 to support child bereavement. Picture: PRINCESS ALEXANDRA HOSPITAL NHS TRUST

Essex Freemasons have donated £10,000 to support child bereavement. Picture: PRINCESS ALEXANDRA HOSPITAL NHS TRUST - Credit: Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust

Essex Freemasons have donated £10,000 to The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust to help support child bereavement.

The cash will pay for resources including worry dolls and gobble monsters that help conversations with children, information and activity packs, and funds for specialist child bereavement training.

Sharon McNally, director of nursing, midwifery and allied healthcare professionals said: “The support we have received from the Essex Freemasons has been truly heart-warming.

“The funds will allow our family and women’s team to boost their skills and deliver the best possible care and support when dealing with one of the hardest situations they will face in their career – bereavement.”

Andrea Brewis, lead practitioner from the family and women’s team at the hospital said: “This amazing donation for the team is fabulous and will be used for the benefit of bereaved families and staff development in this very challenging role.

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“We will purchase further resources that are offered to families following a bereavement, including children’s information and activity books, and comforting aids such as teddies, worry dolls and gobble monsters that help to assist conversations with their other children about their feelings.

“The team also offer memory boxes to capture personal keepsakes and memories of their child, such as their child’s footprint and a lock of their hair.”

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The Freemasons have also supplied the hospital team with their first batch of teddybears.

The Teddies For Loving Care Appeal, which started in Essex 20 years ago, has now given out three million bears worldwide, and almost half a million bears in Essex.

Rob Whittingham, chairman of the teddies for loving care appeal in Essex said: “We have been supplying teddies to A&E departments and walk-in centres in every Essex hospital as well as the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance, which are given to child patients suffering trauma and distress.

“When we learnt this team were also using teddies to help children suffering the trauma of a death close to them we were very happy to include them in the TLC family.”

The teddies will now be used by the PAHT family and women’s team alongside the other resources to help young children cope through difficult times.

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