The idea took root when clinical psychologist, Julie Stokes, visited the USA and Canada on a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship. Inspired by the services she saw there, she returned to the UK and set up Winston’s Wish.
‘Churchill’ quickly metamorphosed into ‘Winston’ – a bear – who became our mascot. We say it is Winston’s ‘wish’ that every bereaved child should receive the help they need to cope with the death of someone important in their lives.
We were privileged to part in the Churchill 2015 commemorations to celebrate the life and legacy of Sir Winston Churchill. The Havengore retraced events of 50 years ago, when she carried the coffin of Sir Winston Churchill on his last journey by water from Tower Pier to Festival Pier, watched by a TV audience of 350 million – and we were on board.
The key milestones of Winston’s Wish:
Winston’s Wish founded to meet the needs of bereaved children in Gloucestershire
First residential weekend held
Launch of the service to schools
BT/ChildLine Award for providing ‘outstanding services to children’
Guardian Jerwood Award for community achievement
Royal Television Society Award for the BBC Everyman documentary ‘Goodbye, God Bless’ – a collaboration between the BBC and Winston’s Wish.
Worked with Macmillan Cancer Support on a children’s book. Funding from the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fund for the development of an interactive website aimed at 12-18 year olds
Plain English Campaign award for our booklets about serious illness and suicide
Service recognised by Her Majesty The Queen as ‘pioneering’, making ‘a significant contribution to the life of the nation’
National service launched for children affected by homicide or suicide
Opened our West Sussex office
Channel 4 series ‘The Mummy Diaries’ and ‘Why Did Dad Choose to Die’ aired on national television
National service launched supporting bereaved children of military families thanks to funding from Help for Heroes
Celebrated our 20th Anniversary year.
Funding awarded by Big Lottery Fund for a new service targeted at bereaved teenagers at risk of offending
Launch of new teenagers bereavement service, ‘SWITCH’.
Published two new books to support those bereaved by military service and those living with teenage bereavement.
Opened our North West hub, providing support services in the Wigan and Greater Manchester area.
Won a Plain English Campaign ‘Standard Bearers’ award for our military publication ‘The family has been informed’.