NW sporty partyWinston’s Wish, the leading childhood bereavement charity in the UK, recently celebrated the first anniversary of its North West team with a party held at The Bank of America Offices in Cheshire.

Since launching in 2014 the North West team have supported over 100 children and young people.

The event was attended by 14 families including 33 children, who came together to remember loved ones and celebrate the work of Winston’s Wish in the area.

Ben Wood, Managing Director and Founder of AFYA Sports Training, is an active supporter of Winston’s Wish. Through his company, he helped to plan and organise the first birthday party in Cheshire.

Ben commented:

“It was great to see children and adults enjoying themselves and getting involved with the sports.

A birthday party to celebrate the first anniversary of Winston’s Wish in the North West marked an important milestone for many of the families who attended.

They are helping families who are in similar situations realise they are not alone.”

Rebekah Lawson, Family Services Team Leader for the North West at Winston’s Wish, added:

“There was a great balance between the sport provided by Ben’s team and what our own team offered inside.

There was tennis, rounders, golf, a bouncy castle and football outside in the sunshine. Inside we hosted cupcake decorating, art making and lots of food and chatting!

The event was a great start in bringing families together for mutual support”.

Families who attended the event were also invited to the ‘Festival of Memories’ which is a further Winston’s Wish event planned for November.

Winston’s Wish is providing several drop-in centres across the North West including weekly services at Wigan and Leigh.

The charity is also set to launch monthly drop-ins at The Royal Children’s Hospital, Manchester and The Salvation Army in Southport.

Rebekah commented:

“The drop-in format works really well – children and young people find it really accessible and less pressured than coming to a formal appointment. It’s an informal space to discuss concerns around bereavement and to make initial contact with the Winston’s Wish team”.

The Winston’s Wish national Helpline, specialist publications, interactive website and call-back telephone counselling service remain available to bereaved families nationwide.

Approximately one in 25 children and young people have experienced bereavement of a parent or sibling, and Winston’s Wish reach over 40,000 children a year.