Tales from the Sunflower Project

 memory jars

When a group comes to an end there is a chance to step back and consider what has been achieved. The #BCD Sunflower Project group has given us lots to reflect on.  In January, five children dealing with the death of a father came together for six, weekly sessions.   From the start there was a sense of optimism.  Everyone was excited about being with other children who really understand how it feels when your dad has suddenly been torn out of your life.  How can your friends and classmates even begin to understand how you are feeling?  How are you meant to explain to them what it’s like?  Probably for the first time since their loss they didn’t have to pretend or dread an awkward remark.

There was a sense of sharing from the very first session when we chose a name for the group, made tentative introductions and started to fill individual scrap books. By the last sessions the children had created a safe environment to talk about how they were feeling and the things they can do to feel better.  The final half hour of the last session included their mums.  We went through the scrapbooks and to provide a glimpse of what had been achieved.  It was an emotional session with some very proud parents.   Staff and volunteers were also moved by the #BCDs .

If anyone doubts the value of group work the #BCD Group made a pile of postcards encouraging other bereaved children to take a chance and attend a Sunflower Project group. We asked them to make postcards to say, ‘Why you would encourage someone else who had lost a mum or dad to come to a group?’  Some of the many suggestions included:  ‘It’s not as scary as you think’, ‘It’s not just about talking’ and ‘You’re not alone’.  Of course they also mentioned the tasty snacks, the fun games and activities and the wonderful volunteers.

If you know a child or young person who has experienced the death of a parent or sibling please encourage them to at least find out a bit about the group. As the children said ‘it’s not as scary as you think and it helped us feel better.’

Contact: Denise at The HUB for more information.

 post card