Who we are and what we do
The Bodie Hodges Foundation was formed in 2012, to support families who have been bereaved of a child of any age and to promote organ donation. Our vision is to give hope to families bereaved of a child by providing a range of services that support grieving families and encourage them to rebuild and remember.
The untimely death of a child is devastating and causes the parents and family to have their world turned upside down. Such an event is not one that can be moved on from or forgotten about, and it becomes an integral part of the bereaved family. No one is ever the same again and as such, families not only grieve for the loss of their son or daughter, but also for who they were and for who they have become because of such tragedy. The founders of the Bodie Hodges Foundation understand this first-hand, and formed the Bodie Hodges Foundation in 2012, to ensure that families were offered early support following the death of a child. Having such experience informs the services that we provide and engages bereaved families with a shared understanding.
Featured below is an example of a Treasured Memory Bag, sent to siblings across the UK.
Why we need your help
The Covid-19 pandemic has seen the cancellation of all our key 2020 fundraising events that generate most of our annual income.
Images below from our 2019 annual golf day at The Belfry and our 2018 annual sport dinner at Leicester Tigers with Frank Bruno & Jamie Raven. Both events have been cancelled in 2020 due to Covid-19.
The impact of Covid-19 on already bereaved families makes them more vulnerable during this crisis, due to the nature of the grieving process, and supporting their mental health is currently our priority at this hugely difficult time.
During this pandemic, our recently bereaved families have not been able to give their child the funeral that they would have chosen, with many of the child’s family and friends being unable to attend. Therefore, the impact of grief widens, and the grief feelings and emotions become more complex to manage. This affects how a family grieves, as the normal rituals of saying goodbye are unable to happen and the closure that a funeral can provide for some, will be prevented. The Bodie Hodges Foundation is here to support families through this difficult and traumatic experience.
What are we crowdfunding for?
All funds raised from this platform will go towards the cost of providing a one week stay to a family bereaved of a child, which costs approximately £500 per family. We are already completely booked for the first quarter of 2021, with the remaining weeks filling quickly. Your kind and generous support will enable us to offer much needed breaks to more families than ever before, and if we can exceed our target, enable us to include a small welcome pack for each family, providing them with basic essentials during their stay.
After experiencing the tragic death of their 10 month old son Bodie, our founders, Nick and Donna Hodges, were blessed to be given a break away from home, to spend time as a family and to show their daughter that life would somehow continue and that out of tragedy comes hope. Following on from this time away, the idea for Bodie's Boathouse was born and fundraising began.
"A beautiful relaxing space which has been lovingly created to provide a luxurious break for families going through the worst thing imaginable" - Parent quote
In 2016, we opened Bodie's Boathouse, a 3-bedroomed luxury lodge, designed to help families relax and spend time together, providing families bereaved of a child a safe place to stay and spend time together. The lodge is equipped with luxury items such as an outdoor globe, which provides shelter during bad weather whilst looking out at the lake. You can sit and have a meal in here or it turns into a daybed for total relaxation.
"Thank you so much for letting us stay, it was honestly the most amazing week perfect in every way, I doubt we will ever have another holiday that will top that, it was just exactly what we needed, everyone has noticed the difference in me since coming back. For the first time in 7 months I felt true happiness while at the boathouse, I was scared I’d never feel it again so thank you so much. As a family we felt closer to our daughter while there" - Parent quote
The Boathouse is disability friendly with ramp, turning circles and a wet room, to ensure that everyone can stay. The outside space is as stunning as the inside with views of the lake from a beautiful roof terrace and a large decked area.
"I wish I could go back, I felt at peace for the first time in forever" - Parent quote
The setting is perfect for escaping or exploring. Tallington has facilities that will appeal to all ages and includes an outdoor swimming pool, dry ski slope, climbing wall and many water-based activities.
"The time we were given allowed us to mend the bonds that had become so strained through grief. We reconnected as a family and are so thankful for your help and support" - Parent quote
In addition of our amazing Board of Trustees, Team Bodie is led by our CEO Donna Hodges, and our Co-Founder Nick Hodges, who started the charity following the death of their beautiful 10-month-old son, Bodie.
Donna is passionate about supporting siblings and helping them as they grieve, and as Donna and Nick have gone on to have two beautiful girls following Bodie’s death, understand the complexities of parenting after loss. Donna's vision is for bereaved families to feel loved, supported and listened to.
Nick is a full-time teacher who works for the charity as a volunteer, and loves thinking of new ideas for events . Nick runs all of our Bodie Social Media and plays a crucial role in communicating our vision to anyone he speaks to! Nick loves anything sporty and since Bodie’s death, running has been a big part of his grief, and he has completed the London Marathon, the Great North Run and the Leicester Half Marathon in Bodie’s name.
Nicola Rhodes is our Lead Child and Family Bereavement Practitioner, who manages Bodie’s Bereavement Service. Nicola provides support to families in the early days and works with the whole family as they adjust to life without their child, supporting families as they learn to carry their grief and remember. Nicola works closely with siblings to help them to remember their brother and sister by taking part in memory making activities, as being creative is an important part of the grieving process and helping them to develop their resilience is a key part of Nicola's role.
Kellie Charge is our Fundraising and Events Manager, who really enjoys working with individuals and companies that support our vision, and help us to raise funds to enable us to keep providing Bodie’s Bereavement Service, Bodie’s Treasured Memory Bags, stays at Bodie’s Boathouse and our Organ Donation Education Programme. Kellie helps plan and support fundraising activities and provides amazing opportunities for supporters to be a part of Team Bodie and join in with our fantastic range of events!