Rotary Club Of Warwick

Feb15 - Guy’s Gift – Support for bereaved children

Stuart & Jackie Potter, Trustees of “Guys Gift” charity told the Rotary Club of Warwick this week about their work supporting children, young people and their families deal with bereavement. Their mission is to help children and young people through the grieving process in a safe, supportive and educational environment.

They founded the charity in 2009 when they realised that there was little or no provision to help youngsters throughout the County understand and come to terms with their feelings after a family bereavement. This often surfaces at school when a child’s behaviour and attention suffer, and friends or teachers may realise that not all is well. Mental health issues are now recognised more due to the Princes campaigning, and Rio Ferdinand drawing attention to the impact the loss of his wife had on all his family.

Initially referrals were less than 30 a year, but in 2018 the charity received over 300 contacts across the County, with about 60 from Warwick District. Guys Gift has a team of 4, as well as 25 volunteers, one being a former client now helping others. The team also offers advice and support to parents, carers and professional, along with training and raising community awareness.

Support is tailored to individual needs and may include group support, one to one support, counselling, books, or craft activities enabling children to explore their issues. Group sessions bring children together and can help to reduce the isolation of feeling they are the only one to have experienced loss or separation. Parents are also brought together with similar results.

Stuart Potter wants people to be aware that help is available to support bereaved children and their families through difficult times. Guys Gift has a website where you can find out more , and they need funding and volunteers to continue their work.

David Brain thanked Stuart for explaining their work and President David Smith presented Stuart with a cheque towards their work.

Stuart & Jackie Potter receive a cheque from President David Smith (right)