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Boost for Bereavement Boxes

Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust’s bereavement nurses have received a generous donation to help fund an important initiative.

The funding, in the form of a £2,000 grant from Foresters Financial, will go towards restocking ‘Bereavement Boxes’ which are placed on each ward at Wigan Infirmary.

The boxes, containing books, leaflets, soft toys, toiletries and organza bags with ribbons for locks of hair, will help to support families suffering with the loss of a loved one.

Volunteers from Foresters Financial, an international financial services provider, and WWL visited the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary to help nurses replenish the boxes with the new items.

WWL’s Three Wishes Charity Fundraising Manager, Janet Pennington, applied for the grant after being approached by the bereavement team who were hoping for new boxes to be funded by the Trust’s registered charity – Three Wishes.

Speaking about the donation Gail Brown, Specialist Bereavement Nurse, said; “It is absolutely amazing to, not only receive this grant, but for people to volunteer their time with us to help get the new boxes ready.

“This will make a massive difference to families who are going through the most difficult time of losing a loved one and will, hopefully, help to create positive memories that can last forever.”

Alongside the boxes, bereavement nurses offer a range of support to help families through difficult times, including a detailed hand print transfer, and special framed photographs of their loved one’s hands.
The team also offers sets of cuddly toys for children, one for the child and one for the patient, which can be exchanged after death. This serves to act as a lasting connection and memory between the two.

Many of the new cuddly toys in the boxes were donated by local company, 8th Wonder.

The bereavement team’s aim is to provide a personalised service to all regardless of time or cause of death with the belief that every death should be equitable.

Gail said; “Everyone is treated as an individual in life and we should treat everyone as an individual in death as well.

“We make sure to encourage families to be involved in care at the end of life by comforting their love one and holding them.

“This also acts as a way of helping to process the loss, as many suffer from ‘anticipatory grief’ when they know a loved one is near the end of their life.”

Janet added; “We are so grateful to have received this donation from Foresters Financial.

“The grant will allow our staff to continue to provide as much support as possible to families going through what may be the worst time in their lives.”

Alexis Bovington, Membership Development Manager at Forresters Financial said; “Helping is at the heart of all we do and there’s no better way to demonstrate this than with a team of willing volunteers helping such a great cause.

“We’re pleased to have made such an impact and hope that our grant makes a difference to the welfare of the families at Wigan Infirmary.”

If you are experiencing the loss of a loved one you may find the below guide, produced in partnership with Wigan Council, beneficial.

The Bereavement Journey