‘Nobody else ever asks me about Gemma anymore so just being given the opportunity to share her and her story was very precious to me.’
The Fund’s bereavement counselling service is personally provided by Jenni Thomas Celine Pearson and Nicki Whitworth. Jenni, who has an OBE for her work in supporting bereaved parents, has over 45 years experience working in the NHS, listening to and learning from grieving families and children, and is widely recognised in the UK as a leading authority in grief support and education. Please visit her personal website to learn more.
Celine has worked as a community nurse for many years. She is a qualified counsellor and holds a Masters in Psychodynamic psychotherapy.
Her gentle and kind demeanour and inner strength and empathy borne of her own personal experience as a bereaved mother ensure that those parents in her care feel well supported and cared for.
Nicki Whitworth brings unique insight and experience to Rosie's Rainbow Fund, both as a bereaved mother herself as well as a trained counsellor. In 2007 Nicki co-founded SLOW (Surviving the Loss of Our World), a support group for bereaved parents based in North London.
The grief experienced by parents when their baby or child dies cannot be adequately described. No loss is as significant as the loss of a child to a parent. These deaths will change the lives of families irrecoverably.
The situation of loss may be anticipated, such as when a child is not expected to live, or it may be following a sudden, unexpected loss or a violent, traumatic death. Appropriate support and counselling at the time of need, and available around the clock, can enable families to work through the trauma of loss and start to see a future – for themselves, their relationship and for the family unit.
The benefits of counselling are multiple – allowing time to explore and work through a range of feelings (many of which cannot be easily shared with others), and acceptance of the grieving process in its many forms. The service also offers guidance on talking to family members about loss, especially affected siblings. This service is designed around the needs of the affected family – offering one-off or multiple sessions, at a time and place to suit the bereaved parents, as well as an essential hotline for when times are very hard.
Annually the Fund holds a ‘One Year On’ workshop, for parents to come together and reflect on their journey since their child died. This is an essential part of the support process and allows parents the opportunity to talk freely and reflect on their loss in a safe and non-judgemental environment.
The service provided by the Fund has been credited with helping many families get through an extremely difficult period and with keeping many family units together through the emotional turmoil of child bereavement, and reducing the traumatic impact on siblings.
Support when a child dies -
Parents can request support from Rosie’s Rainbow Fund before, during and after the death of their child. The situation of loss may be when a baby or child is not expected to live or due to a sudden unexpected death.
Jenni Thomas can be contact directly by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Jenni will respond to identify what support you would find most helpful. Thereafter telephone support can be booked both day and evening. Meetings are arranged either at the home or at a mutually agreed venue. Travel costs within an 80 mile radius or Marlow in Buckinghamshire is provided by Rosie’s Rainbow Fund.
Support Groups -
From time to time we run Support Groups for bereaved parents to offer an opportunity to share experiences and offer mutual support. We also run occasional bereavement skills sessions to help parents and grandparents understand and respond to the needs of children when experiencing loss.
I just wanted to thank you for yesterday’s workshop and tell you how much I valued the experience of being there. It was immensely powerful for me to be in such a safe environment where I felt I could talk about Gemma, something I rarely get to do these days, and know that the other people in the room would understand where I was coming from and not think I was either mad or dwelling on things, or tell me I needed to ‘forget and move on’. If you knew me well, you would know that I rarely if ever cry in public, and never in front of people I don’t know well, so the fact that I did cry, spontaneously and several times, is an indication of the safety of the environment which you and Nicki created. I found this to be very healing and quite cathartic.
Nobody else ever asks me about Gemma anymore so just being given the opportunity to share her and her story was very precious to me. I think the workshop is a great idea and I hope you do more because I would love to come again.
Thanks again, take care,