With your help we hope to set up a charity in memory of my son Harvey to provide children with a unique, individualised and personalised memory box to help preserve memories of a lost sibling. When you lose a child there is very little support for the bereaved sibling. The boxes are a very simple, but effective way of helping a sibling remember their brother or sister and preserve their memory.
So far there has been a lot of interest from a major children's hospice and palliative care teams for this as they recognise there is a gap in care during these difficult times. With your help we hope to raise the £5,000 we need to get this much needed charity off the ground and start helping the children that so desperately need our support. Thank you for your help.
WHAT YOUR HELP WILL ACHIEVE
A Sibling's Wish will aim to supply high quality, wooden, individual A4 personalised memory boxes to each bereaved sibling. They will hold the sibling's precious memory items that can stay with them forever and continue to keep the child's memory alive for future generations. The memory boxes will be designed by the sibling using photos, pictures or drawings that are special to them. The memory boxes will be offered at an appropriate time by a lead professional, sometimes when end of life is near or sometimes after the child has passed, this will depend on each individual family. In some cases they will be designed by children who are planning their own funeral - as awful as this sounds it does actually happen, particularly with teenage children who have a long terminal diagnoses. I am sure you will agree it is a beautiful gift to leave their siblings or parents.
The boxes can be important part of therapy to encourage children to show emotions and to talk about their bereavement. The boxes are a very simple but effective way of helping a sibling remember their brother or sister and to preserve their memory. Each box will also contain "Harvey bear". Harvey is a very special bear that can conceal a small velcro pouch at the back. The pouch can be used to carry a small amount of ashes or another precious item. "Harvey bear" can be a comfort that a brother or sister is always close by.Each personalised memory box will cost approximately £200 and will be delivered to the family home.
The Children's Hospice Southwest would love to be able to supply their bereaved families with the memory boxes. They have estimated that they would on average require aprox 60 boxes per year. That's £12,000 per year that we hope to raise in the future. They would have a dedicated member of staff who would design the boxes with the bereaved children - possibly whilst the parents are making funeral arrangements at the hospice.The palliative care team (end of life team) would like to use the memory boxes throughout Bristol Children's Hospital. Currently all that bereaved families are given is their child's belongings in a brown paper bag. This idea has been so well received by professionals who all agree that there is a void in sibling care.
With your support we would like to help fill this void one step at a time. There is no other charity that supplies anything of this standard. Most memory boxes given are cardboard. We need to raise £5,000 to become a registered charity. With your help we can make this happen. Already we have had a lot of interest from companies, but they are unable to support us until we are registered.
Harvey, Spencer and Olivia - the inspiration behind A Sibling's Wish
Harvey Hext was a beautiful, funny, cheeky much loved (ID) twin boy who had a zest for life. In 2010 he was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer called Neuroblastoma. He lived a happy and exciting life with stable cancer for 6 years. Harvey was diagnosed in Oct 2014 with a low grade Sarcoma that was removed in Jan 2015 but sadly returned with an aggressive sarcoma in August of that year. Our beautiful special boy fell asleep in our arms on 29th Nov 2015. The day our world turned grey. Before Harvey passed, as a family with a poorly child, we did many fun and exciting things with other charities but as soon as Harvey fell asleep it became apparent that there is very little bereavement support for siblings. Olivia and Spencer were sent cardboard memory boxes, but my fear was that cardboard was not durable and not special enough to contain such treasured memories. Olivia and Spencer helped to create Harvey's memory box - you can see from the pictures below how beautiful it is. Our box is personal to everything that Harvey loved. With your help we can provide other families with beautiful memory boxes of their own to treasure.
Harvey, Spencer & Olivia together as three.
The team - our wonderful trustees
Our memory box