It’s volunteer week and it’s been a really challenging year at SLOW with the pandemic and we’d like to thank our many, many special volunteers who help SLOW run in so many valuable ways.
We like to give a shout to these very special people who donate their time freely with a passion and commitment for the work we do to support bereaved families:
- Susie, Nic and Tim – our expert bereaved parent facilitators
- Liz and Maria – our welcoming Wednesday group volunteers
- The wonderful SLOWsibs volunteers – Lisa and Laura
- Our new SLOWsibs 18+ volunteer facilitator, the lovely Michael
- One of amazing supervisors, Steve
- Ben who kindly verified our accounts last year
- Millie, Geena and Lizette from Herts Uni who are working with us to evaluate our support services
- We’d also like to thank those who offered to work for free during the pandemic – thank you Clara
- And finally, our trustees who worked tirelessly over the last year, Pippa, Tim, Kieran, Andrew, Sara, Fin, Samara and Helen
A quote from one of our lovely volunteers:
Walking into a room of bereaved parents for the first time was for me was like finding an oasis in a desert. I was with others who understood completely how I felt. It gave me strength to carry on. As the years have gone by I try to help SLOW regularly in small ways each week because I feel so passionately about its work. SLOW was and is still my lifeline of which I am proud to be a part.
We whole-heartedly appreciate the time and support you have dedicated to SLOW over the last year.
After over a year of Zoom support, some of our groups are returning to face-to-face meetings and we’re so looking forward to seeing our bereaved families – both new and old members.
We’ll be starting with our Wednesday North London bereaved parent support group that will return to its first face-to-face meeting on Wednesday 19th May 2021. These groups will run socially distanced and super safely, following all the current government guidelines. All face-to-face group participants will be advised ahead of the meetings the guidelines that they will need to follow including track and trace etc.
Our next SLOWsibs workshop for children aged 6-15 years, on 10th July will also run in person – we’re so looking forward to seeing our amazing sibs there.
Naturally if you have any COVID symptoms please do not attend the face-to-face groups. For symptoms of COVID check here
Still apprehensive about face to face?
We know that some of you are apprehensive about returning in person to groups, so going forward SLOW will run a regular Zoom weekly daytime group and a Zoom monthly evening bereaved parents group too.
Our weekly Zoom meeting for bereaved parents launches Monday 17th May 2021 with our lovely bereaved parent facilitators – Erica and Susie.
Our SLOWsibs 18+ meetings for bereaved adult siblings will remain running via Zoom, every other month.
Please see our calendar for all the dates of our forthcoming meetings and if you are new to SLOW and need support please do get in contact with us via the contact form page.
Losing a child is a devastating experience and for many of us it was hard to find the right support at the right time. SLOW has been and is a lifeline for so many of us. SLOW has grown from Nic and Susie meeting round a kitchen table to the charity it is now.
We want hear from our members about their experiences of coming to our bereaved parent support groups and being part of SLOW, so we are working with Geena Saini and Millie Witcher, two students from the University of Hertfordshire.
Your feedback and views will help us understand how our support helps you, so we can make improvements to how we run our groups as well as plan our next steps as an organisation.
Millie and Geena will be running a number of 90-minute focus groups via Zoom and we want these groups to represent a range of views from long term members, newly joined, monthly or weekly members but also those who don’t attend anymore, all views are welcome.
And, if you’d prefer to share your views privately, they will also be holding a small number of telephone interviews.
They plan to record the sessions but please be assured that all views will be anonymised.
If you are interested in taking part in either the focus groups or the interviews, or if you would simply like to know more about the research, please contact Kelly Carter at email@example.com by Friday 4th June. She’ll then be able to forward your details onto Millie and Geena who can provide you with further information.
SLOW is proud to be launching a new adult sibling support group from April 2021.
Our new support group, SLOWsibs 18+, will run every other month, initially via Zoom. The first meeting will take place on 1st April 2021 at 7.15 via Zoom and future dates are detailed on the SLOW calendar. Eventually, the support groups will run as face-to-face meetings in Central London, when COVID infection rates allows.
We warmly welcome all bereaved siblings over the age of 18.
These meetings will be a safe space to take strength from the support of other siblings, before returning to daily life and its challenges. It doesn’t matter how long ago or how recent your loss or the varying circumstances in which your brother or sister died – we can still provide you with support.
The groups will be facilitated by trained bereaved siblings and we warmly welcome our two new facilitators, Shushma Jain and Michael Ward. Shushma recently said:
“SLOW held my hand during my darkest time and gave me hope, something I now want to do for other bereaved siblings”.
For further information about the groups click here and to join a group please contact Shushma on 07506 272 309 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Beautiful words from Clara Francis – our bereaved parent facilitator:
It’s National Grief Awareness Week this week – a week that aims to normalise grief and get the nation to talk about their own losses.
This is my beloved daughter Maude – she died when she was was two and a half years old, very suddenly, to Sepsis. I talk about my own grief a lot. It is a part of me now…it has burrowed through my skin, sunken into my blood, plunged through my veins, snuck into my bones and subsequently forever altered my DNA…my grief knows no bounds. It is a massive scary beast that can lay dormant for days and weeks, a constant nagging hum and then unexpectedly, sometimes with a trigger sometimes without, simply smash me in the face with memories, longing, sadness, ‘what ifs’.
We as a nation MUST be able to talk about Death without fear…by talking about it, it releases us.
My brilliant friend, Rob Delaney, was on the Radio 4’s Today Programme talking about the death of his beloved son Henry 🕷….it was so very VERY beautiful – I encourage everyone to have a listen… He talked about how he loves his living children all the ‘better’ since Henry’s death, as he has since come to the realisation that ALL his children are merely “temporary gatherings of stardust” none of them will be here forever, but they are here NOW…. how beautiful is that?? So don’t be scared to talk about your grief – if people can’t handle it that’s THEIR problem not yours….
And here’s the link for Rob on Radio 4 – https://www.instagram.com/p/CIiSuEnlpmr/