The Milton Keynes Bereavement Service was due to close in 2012 after it had its £7,000 funding cut. However, it has been named charity of the year 2011 by the towns Sainsbury’s branch, who announced they would hold events to raise money to keep the service running for an extra 12 months.
Sainsbury’s customers were invited to vote for their favourite local good cause following in-store presentations, which resulted in the charity being named the winner from a shortlist of three.
The Milton Keynes Bereavement Service, which has supported the local community since 1979, has to apply for a grant annually from Milton Keynes Council, which covers around 75 per cent of its funding. It is run by volunteer counsellors with some paid secretarial help each week. The charity also relies on one-off grants, fees for training and donations to keep it running.
One local mother, Odette Mould, who lost her five-year-old son Harry in 2009 and benefited from the counselling service, said she was ‘really pleased that the service will continue and continue to help other families’.
After Ms Mould initially looked for support for Harry’s twin sister Jessica, the charity was able to give the family invaluable support.
Ms Mould said, “Milton Keynes Bereavement Service put a counsellor in touch with us who came round to see Jessica to discuss things with her and it made me feel more secure that there was someone there for Jessica to talk to. I do believe it helped her to have someone to talk to straight away, even if she doesn’t remember it now.”
View the original BBC News article here.