Monday, 14 March 2016

Tea, Cake and a Competition

We had a great time at White Stuff's 'Are You Thready?' tea party in Leamington Spa last week. It was all in aid of White Stuff's latest fundraising initiative - to create a decorated fabric patch. For each patch decorated, White Stuff will donate £5 to Guy's Gift - hooray!

29 patches were entered into the competition. They looked fabulous pegged up behind the shop's counter.

 Cubbington (one of our Buddy Bears) had a lovely time exploring the Leamington Spa store.

There were lots of cakes, sandwiches, biscuits and other appetising nibbles to choose from.

Lots of shoppers stopped by for a cup of tea and a piece of cake!

The patches all looked amazing...

It was a very tough job to choose a winner, but after much deliberation we chose this fabulous patch. Bunting, dogs, tea and cake - how very White Stuff!

Thank you so much to everyone who created a patch and thank you to the White Stuff team for hosting this wonderful event. All the patches will now going to be sent to White Stuff HQ to be made into a quilt for this space for news of the finished quilt.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Buddy Bears Join the Team

We’re really excited to introduce some new friends. 

AirTanker Services, based at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, has donated 100 Buddy Bears to Guy’s Gift. Leamington Bear and Katie (Guy’s Gift’s Fundraiser) had a great time visiting AirTanker recently to collect the bears. They even got to go on board one of the Voyager aircraft!

These bears are an important addition to the Guy's Gift team and they'll soon be finding new homes with the children and young people we support. By providing hugs whenever they're needed, the bears will give comfort to those who are struggling with the experience of grief and bereavement.

Lindsay Shearer, Chair of the Charity Committee at AirTanker Services said, "It’s great that we can support the work of Guy’s Gift knowing that the bears will soon be heading off to new homes and make such a difference to children’s lives". "The work that charity undertakes has a real impact on people’s lives not just now but also for their futures so we were delighted to be asked to help".

Katie, Lindsay, Leamington and the new Buddy Bears.

Thank you, AirTanker Services!

Friday, 8 January 2016

Time to Reflect

Happy new year! 2016 looks set to be another busy and exciting year for Guy's Gift. 2015 was a good year for the team and we feel privileged to have been able to support so many wonderful families throughout Warwickshire.

Our annual Lantern Walk took place in December. A good number of Guy's Gift families joined us at Coombe Country Park and over 40 of us enjoyed meeting up, creating memory stars and going for a lantern lit walk to the memory tree in the park.

It was great to see so many families.
 Special thanks must go to Sainsbury's in Kenilworth for kindly providing festive refreshments. 

Leamington Bear had a lovely time and even joined us for our walk through the park.
There were stars aplenty to be decorated with families' messages and memories.

 When all the stars had been made and everyone was full of cake and hot chocolate, we headed out into the darkness, with only our lanterns to show us the way.

When we reached the memory tree there was time to reflect, as well as a moment to come together for a group photo.

The stars looked really pretty on the memory tree - each one unique and personal to the person who had created it.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Kings of Swing (and fundraising)

Friends of Neil Jones (whose family Guy's Gift supported after he lost his battle with cancer in 2010) gathered for a fundraising day of golf on Saturday. The 6th Corporal Cup was a great success, despite the wet weather, and everyone had an enjoyable day of golf, raising over £500 for Guy's Gift.

Thank you so much to everyone who took part!

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Dazzling Dance-a-thon

Move over Strictly Come Dancing, Warwick University's Classical and Modern Dance (CMD) society has been tripping the light fantastic too...and all for a great cause! CMD recently held a fundraising dance-a-thon in aid of Guy's Gift and Alannah Hills, CMD's Vice President, told us more about it...

"We danced for 5 hours in total and had about 20 people involved, including workshops run by different dance societies across campus. We decided to support Guy's Gift because of its very localised charity work. We also felt that our members could really relate to the struggle of coping with a bereavement as it is, unfortunately, something that most people have experienced."

The Dance-a-thon raised over £250. A huge thank you to everyone who was involved!

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Guy's Gift's Groups

Everyone made wonderful salt jar sculptures at the last group session in Kenilworth earlier this month. 

Have you ever wondered what our group therapy sessions are all about? Read on to find out!

Our programme of group therapy sessions was developed in response to requests, from the children and young people we support, their parents and teachers, for support in a group setting where bereaved children and young people could meet others who have similar experiences.

Different groups, arranged according to age, currently cover age ranges from 5 to 18 at locations in Rugby, Kenilworth, Nuneaton and Stratford upon Avon. Each programme runs as a series of 4 sessions and tackles the profound isolation young people can experience when bereaved.

Each group session is planned around a specific therapeutic theme. The overall aim is to:
·        provide a time for reflection;
·        reduce feelings of isolation;
·        build self esteem;
·        encourage self-help and mutual support;
·        enable disadvantaged young people to reach their potential.

The group sessions include time to have fun and for creative activities, as well as time to focus on and work through more painful issues.

Children and young people who have attended group therapy sessions unanimously agreed that Guy’s Gift’s support was beneficial:
“It helped me to cope with death and getting my anger out.”
“It made me feel less embarrassed about my Dad dying.”
“It made me feel happy because I made new friends.”
“It helped me to talk about my feelings.”
“It made me see things differently and that there is hope.”

In 2014, after many requests, we launched a parents’ support group. The overwhelming response from parents who have been to group sessions is that they have found meeting other parents in the same situation invaluable. The groups have also helped parents understand what their children are going through. As one parent told us, “It has given myself and my daughter a mutual ground to discuss our feelings and emotions and to continue to help each other outside of group sessions. They have really helped give us the foundations to discuss our grieving openly”.

Keep an eye on the 'Events' page of our website to find out when the next group sessions will be held.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Fun at Coombe Country Park

We enjoyed a great day at our Picnic in the Park on 5th August. We all gathered at Coombe Country Park in Binley for a sociable and laid back day. We flew kites, went for a stroll around the park and enjoyed a picnic together. The weather was perfect - sunny, but with just enough breeze to send our kites soaring into the sky. Everyone agreed that it had been a very worthwhile day - with a chance to have have fun, talk about shared experiences and also ask the team questions. It was a day if firsts too - with several people flying a kite for the first time!

 Kites were decorated with special messages...

 ...before being launched.


 There were all sorts of activities on offer. Here's Mary having fun playing football!

 It turns out that Guy's Gift's very own Eniko is rather good at hula hooping!

 Leamington enjoyed meeting everyone. Here he is relaxing while watching the kite flying.

We saw all sorts of things on our walk around the park, including these ducklings having a lovely time splashing about in the water.

There were cygnets too. 

A great time was had by all!