On the 20th of October, we attended the Southwest Out of Darkness Gala Dinner at Ashton Gate Stadium, Bristol. The event was buzzing from the moment it began, it was lovely to be at an event surrounded by people who were there to show their gratitude to the charity and people like us who were there to support and learn more about the work they do.
About Grief Encounter
Grief Encounter works closely with individuals, families, schools, and professionals to offer children a way through the anxiety, fear and isolation caused by their bereavement. They work across the country, with a Therapy Centre based in Knowle as well as London, providing critical support through one-to-one counselling, group workshops, music, art, and drama therapy as well as providing a free national helpline. In Bristol alone, over the last year, they have provided 898 one-to-one counselling / creative therapy sessions, saw a 51% increase in referrals to services, supported 150 families and held their first family residential that was hugely successful.
This charity is very close to our CEO & Founders heart, in 1983 Nick lost his mother. He was only thirteen years old. Back then, professional support systems for bereaved children just weren’t as accessible as they are today, which meant at a young age he had to deal with his grief alone. Nick wants to ensure children today have the support, the counselling, and the opportunity to meet other young people going through the same experience at charity fun days.
The Grief Encounter Southwest Out of Darkness Gala Dinner
As we found our way to our table, we passed the glorious display of prizes for guests to bid on throughout the night. Once we took our seats, dinner was served, and we began to tuck in. After the meal the presentations began, here we learned more about the charities work and history. The speeches were incredibly moving, in particular everyone was deeply moved after listening to Gloucestershire County Cricketer, Tom Smith. Tom told us about his family’s story and how the charity had supported and helped them through their grief. In that moment we all felt honoured to be there to support children like Tom’s and bereaved partners. The evening then moved onto the live auctions hosted by Sebastian. Once the auction was complete ‘The Sisterhood’ ended the evening with fantastic live music, that got everyone on the dance floor! Watch the highlights here.
We are thrilled that this event raised £54,912.00 for Grief Encounter. This money will allow the charity to continue to support many children and families across the Southwest. We are so honoured to have been able to support this event and we look forward to working with Grief Encounter in the future.
If you would like to learn more about Grief Encounter, please visit here.
You can donate here.