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NatWest toy appeal enables Winston’s Wish to spread a little joy

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P1000829Winston’s Wish, the leading childhood bereavement charity in the UK, has been able to re-stock its toy cupboard thanks to the generosity of staff and customers at NatWest bank in Cheltenham.

In the run up to Christmas the branch launched a toy appeal, asking clients to donate gifts which could put a smile on the face of a bereaved youngster coping with the loss of a mother, father, sister or brother.

The response was fantastic and generated piles of craft materials and toys which will be ideal for use during Winston’s Wish’s therapeutic sessions and residential weekends. Playdoh is especially useful as it enables children to express themselves using tactile materials. Puppet-style toys, such as dolls and figurines, can be used during storytelling sessions for children aged five and under.

Winston’s Wish was delighted to deliver a bundle of toys to selected families before Christmas, ensuring their little ones had something special to open on December 25.

Laura Price, Branch Manager of NatWest in Cheltenham, said:

“At NatWest in Cheltenham we are passionate about supporting local charities.  Christmas is traditionally a time to spend with family but we realised that at this time of year some families may be missing a special person in their life.  Winston’s Wish provides a massive support to children who are affected by bereavement.  We have staff who have personally experienced the care and support given by Winston’s Wish so it meant a great deal to us. I was incredibly pleased with the success of our appeal and the generosity of our customers
and staff who donated. I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who supported our appeal.”

Helen Fisher, Family Services Team Leader at Winston’s Wish, added:

“Toys and crafts materials are vital to our work with young children, giving them ways to express themselves through play following bereavement. NatWest’s toy appeal was particularly poignant given that Winston’s Wish has been able to support staff at the branch. We are incredibly grateful to everyone who took part and everyone here wants to say a huge ‘thank you’.”

Each year, Winston’s Wish reaches more than 40,000 bereaved children and young people through an array of dedicated services. These specialist support programmes include support following death as a result of accident, illness, homicide, suicide and military service.

The Winston’s Wish Helpline, staffed by qualified clinical practitioners, provides guidance and information for anyone supporting a bereaved child – 08452 03 04 05, 9am-5pm Monday – Friday and 7pm-9.30pm on Wednesday.

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