The Bluebell Foundation

Wed 20th June 2018 at 18.30 - 20.00

Heling local people to cope with grief.


We had visitors Bev and Joy from the Bluebell Foundation Bev began by telling she is a volunteer for the organisationan which she became involved in when the baby of a nephew died and to help them with their grief turned to the Bluebell  Foundation. Bev told us that it is a wonderful organisation, compassionate and operates on a shoestring. They do work extensively with the NHS but receives no funding from it. Indeed they have to raise their own money and need £2.k to £2.5k per month to operate. And 6 months ago were in grave danger of folding.
Bev gave us a few statistics commencing with he number of referrals they had had since last September, 114 (which represents dealing with approximately 400 people). The Foundation covers an incredible area, from Bootle in the west to Sedbergh in the east with just two full time staff.
Joy as Senior Practioner, continued to tell us what she and her co-worker Liz do. She told us they are both full time they work flexi hours and they are paid for the time they are with their clients, in such a wide geographic area they are paid a mileage allowance but do not get paid travelling time (which can be quite considerable).
She then began to show us some of the  things they use to help their clients cope with grief. They make a lot of use of Memory Books and for children various colouring books. They have a Jig Saw man book where children are asked to chose colours to illustrate their grief, some might chose black, or  in one case orange, it did not matter what colour was chosen, it is just a means of getting the child to express their grief.  Joy showed us one book a teenage girl who had produced following the death of a grandparent. She could not put into words what she was feeling and produced a book full of colourful  abstract designs. To you or I they meant nothing, but to the girl they expressed her grief and enabled her to deal with the death of a very close relative.
Joy told us that they have an office which the Emanuel Church provides them with free of charge. They make do and mend, simple folders are used instead of costly ring binders and other such tricks to make their funds last.
She then showed us a number of books they have which they loan out to their clients, one in particular “Death and How to Survive it”, a most readable and practical book. For children, “Sad isn’t Bad” and for those times when families have a very ill child and a healthy one who gets dumped anywhere and everywhere whilst the parents focus on the ill child, “What about Me”. Joy told us also that kids can find some of our language so confusing, when a mother talks about having “lost a baby” - that can be a dangerous expression for a child to hear who may then become anxious that they too don’t get lost ! After lost of questions Rotarian Fred Winkfield gave a vote of thanks which everyone responded to heartily.