2wish, the charity which offers support to families affected by the sudden and unexpected death of a child or young person aged 25 and under, has opened a new bereavement room at The Grange Hospital in Cwmbran.
Thanks to the help of Tonypandy-based EBM Group, Space Group in Gloucester and Hertfordshire Altro, the rooms have been refurbished and fitted out with new furniture, allowing them to be a safe haven for families who have suffered a bereavement at the hospital.
EBM Group has committed to help refurbish and furnish multiple rooms in hospitals around Wales as a way to thank 2wish. EBM Group owner Gethin Edwards is himself a bereaved uncle and his family was supported by 2wish at their time of need.
Gethin explains that this is his way of giving back and helping others who have been through what his own family has: “‘I initially came across 2wish at a business event a few years ago. Rhian Mannings was a speaker at the event, and I remember that Rhian’s story had left a profound impression, not just on me but on everyone in the room. I particularly remember the bereavement boxes and the small plush elephants.
“Fast forward to June of last year in the hospital with my brother and his wife, witnessing the moment they were told the most heart-wrenching news any parent could ever hear about their beloved 13-year-old son. I saw firsthand how these small items brought great comfort to them notwithstanding the Counselling they have received since.”
Gethin added: “In business, it is easy to write a cheque or make a donation to charity. By making a commitment to help the charity deliver Bereavement rooms, this is my way of giving back.”
Kathryn Oliver, Senior Nurse at The Grange University Hospital, said: “We would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to 2wish for the wonderful relative’s room they have created for us.
“Having a loved one in critical care can be a very difficult time, often leaving families and close ones afraid, anxious and uncertain. So much thought went into the planning of the room to ensure it is as comfortable and friendly as possible, taking away the hospital surroundings and offering a calm, peaceful space for families to spend time.”
Kimberly Connick, who’s father-in-law passed away at The Grange’s ICU recently and used the bereavement room, said: “The Family Room provided a little sanctuary for my family during our final days with my father-in-law. It felt almost like a home from home.”
2wish founder Rhian Mannings MBE said: “Having a quiet place for families to sit whilst waiting for news of a loved one is so important. When the news is difficult to hear, both families and supporting staff need a place like the room that 2wish has provided at The Grange Hospital. It is homely, despite being in a clinical setting, the colours are calming, and the room will provide much comfort to families.
“2wish couldn’t have done it without the generous support of Gethin and Simon from EBM Group of Companies, Ian Bidmead from Space Group and Cheryl Clarke from Altro, as well as Friends of Hope. It’s by working together with companies, hospital staff and families, we have created a place that we know will help so many.”
Ian Bidmead, Managing Director of Space Group, explained why his company supports 2wish: “As a father and stepfather of six, losing a child is my, and probably every parent’s greatest fear in life. When I heard about 2wish and the amazing service it provided to families in that situation, it was an easy decision for Space to support it. We supply millions of pounds of commercial furniture into all every type of establishment you can possibly think of but seeing the sofa and chairs in that beautifully appointed bereavement room in The Grange Hospital gave me as much satisfaction as anything else we’ve supplied, knowing how it will be used. We are looking forward to supporting 2wish with many more bereavement rooms to come.”
Cheryl Clarke of Altro added: “At Altro, charitable works and support is a core value within our business. As such, we are delighted to be working in collaboration with 2wish and play a small part in the delivery of its vision to provide bereavement rooms across Wales for families and individuals in need of support.
“Altro donated wood adhesive free loose lay vinyl flooring, chosen to minimise disruption to the surrounding areas, with the end goal to provide a warm, homely nonclinical feel, with safety and comfort in mind. A project close to all involved, that we are very proud to be a part of.”
2wish also wanted to extend thanks to Friends of Hope, a Community Group that every year picks local charities to fundraise for and chose 2wish and the bereavement room at The Grange. Tina Donovan, Friends of Hope member, explained: “We met with 2wish and asked what was really needed and she said the bereavement room at The Grange and memory boxes, so this is what we focused on. We raised nearly £3,000 which funded the development of the room plus memory boxes.”
2wish, which offers support to families affected by the sudden and unexpected death of a child or young person aged 25 and under, has so far supported over 1379 families during their time of need. Working hand in hand with organisations such as the Police, NHS Wales and Organ Donation Wales, it provides support to make sure that no family is missed. Across every Emergency Unit and Critical Care Unit in Wales there are now immediate support pathways in place.
It is an all-Wales charity providing immediate casework support, as well as ongoing aftercare services including counselling, alternative therapies, play therapy, support groups, residential weekend and monthly events.
2wish was founded in 2012 by Rhian after she and her husband Paul experienced the heartache of losing their baby son, George. They left the hospital heartbroken, confused and bewildered with no support. Five days later, consumed with grief, Paul took his own life. There was no support available, and she and her children felt completely alone and so she set up 2wish to ensure that there is help available for any families going through a similar experience.
This is the third bereavement room that 2wish has opened in Gwent, as it has already opened rooms at Nevil Hall Hospital in Abergavenny and one at the Royal Gwent in Newport. It has plans to create more at Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr, Glangwilli Hospital in West Wales and another at Morriston Hospital in Swansea.
To find out more about 2wish and its work, please visit: https://www.2wish.org.uk.