My charity: Winston’s Wish

words: Mark Porteous, National SAIF President
Winston's Wish

Firstly, a quick update on what I have been up to! Regrettably the coronavirus has stopped face-to-face contact, of course, but I have still managed to catch up with several members during our online regional meetings. I would like to thank those members and associates who have taken the time to participate in these sessions. I will be continuing with these throughout the coming months so please register with the SAIF Business Centre if you are interested in participating.

I would also like to thank Malcolm Flanders of Golden Charter for inviting me to hold my first ever podcast, where we discussed several matters relating to COVID-19 and how our profession has been coping. I found the experience extremely beneficial and hope to do more in the future.

This month, though, I really want to tell you all about my chosen charity, Winston’s Wish.

The idea of the charity took root when clinical psychologist, Julie Stokes, visited the USA and Canada on a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship. Inspired by the services she saw there, she returned to the UK and set up Winston’s Wish and they have been supporting bereaved children since 1992. Surprisingly, that made them the UK’s first childhood bereavement charity.

The charity’s message is very clear – every bereaved child should receive the help they need to cope with the death of someone important in their lives.

The charity continues to lead the way in providing specialist child bereavement support services across the UK. This includes in-depth therapeutic support in individual, group, and residential settings, as well as a freephone national helpline, plus training for professionals and a range of specialist publications.

There is no doubt that during the last four months the charity has been very busy in supporting children and young adults, but it has also seen an increase in older adults wishing to access the services.

Winston’s Wish is an excellent and worthwhile charity and I hope SAIF members will help me in trying to raise as much money as I can for them over the next 18 months. If you would like to donate, please send your donations to the SAIF Business Centre, or contact them directly for further information. Alternatively, why not arrange a sponsored walk, run, or cycle with your own staff and sponsor each other? There will also be details about the President’s Challenge in future SAIFInsight magazines.

I have been so proud of all SAIF’s members over the last four months. You have all had to endure a great deal of pressure during this difficult and challenging period. We all know we cannot be complacent, but I have no doubt your hard work, support for your local community and willingness to go the extra mile will not go unnoticed by your families.

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