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New bereavement service launches

A bereavement service specialising in supporting those affected by the sudden death of young people aged 25 and under has been launched in Cheshire – the first county in England to benefit from the provision.

2wish was founded by Rhian Mannings MBE in 2012 after she and her husband Paul experienced the heartache of losing their baby son George. They left the hospital “heartbroken, confused, and bewildered” – and with no support.

Five days later Paul took his own life. There was no support available for Mrs Mannings and her other children.

Cheshire police and crime commissioner John Dwyer said: “Losing anyone at any age is extremely tough on family and friends. But losing a child is absolutely devastating, with many people unable to comprehend their loss.

“I believe it’s important to provide a service that can help and support people through the toughest time in their lives, especially if they have lost a young loved one to crime. I have commissioned 2wish to provide this to families across Cheshire.”

The service originally started in Wales but has recently expanded into England with Cheshire being the first county in England to implement the service.

Mrs Mannings said: “We’ve seen the significant difference that we’re making to families who lose a child or young adult under certain circumstances, and are proud to be able to extend our support to local communities in Cheshire.

“When it comes to mental health, there’s often confusion that bereavement is a mental health condition. But bereavement is sadly a part of everyone’s lives, and it can become something that significantly affects our mental health in different ways.

“It’s important to offer early intervention, making sure families are cared for and feel valued when they go through difficult times.”

2wish can offer:
• Memory boxes and immediate support, with first contact in 24-48 hours;
• Ongoing family support;
• Counselling and complementary therapies;
• Support for children and young people including support for parents on how to support the bereaved child/ren and play therapy or young person counselling as needed; and
• A range of ongoing support including group support, support events, coffee mornings and a beautiful respite cottage.
Visit 2wish.org.uk for more information or to ask for support.

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