OUR RESPONSE TO COVID-19
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic we have been unable to provide our usual support services which included meeting with new beneficiaries, providing books, resources and memory boxes and facilitating contact at our Rainbow Groups and trips. Regrettably our Rainbow Retreat in Camber Sands is also unavailable.
However we know how important it is to ensure that bereavement support is available and have worked hard to ensure we can still provide it, albeit in a different way. So, upon contacting and speaking with over 80% of our beneficiaries when lock down was declared, we suggested some new programmes we planned to implement. Feedback was well received and these were the figures we had to work from when implementing the new strategies.
- 56 families were interested in attending Virtual Rainbow Groups online
- 38 families were interested in being buddied with a member of staff, volunteer or fellow beneficiary
- 26 families were interested in accessing external emotional and mentor support, available to individuals, families, couples or children and young people
We’re delighted that all programmes have begun and are being closely monitored with positive feedback being received.
Our partnerships with Arthur Ellis and YiS are working well so we can ensure continuity and provision of all services.
Further details of the services we have implemented are below and we have also created a list of resources that may prove useful during these difficult times.
Current service provisions
Services implemented as a direct result of Covid-19
Our private Facebook group has been launched to offer our beneficiaries online communication in a community they know, with a separate one also being launched for our youth group. Resources as well as live chat’s are shared on a weekly basis with signposting to additional information and events such as our online groups.
Mental Health Support
We are working with Arthur Ellis: Mental Health Support to offer a mentoring and emotional support service to those who need it. This can include monthly support session for families, individuals, children or couples and is provided by mentors within Arthur Ellis. We are also working with them to ensure our volunteers who are aiding our services are offered suitable supervision during these difficult times.
Virtual online groups
We have launched groups for both families and the youth group, using Zoom. The groups are designed to provide a space for families to meet and chat, as well as allowing the children to still undertake group activities and crafts. Details of the groups are sent by email and shared within our private online facebook community.
We have 10 buddies made up of staff members, volunteers and beneficiaries who are providing a 1 to 1 contact service to beneficiaries. The purpose is to provide a one person contact service, to discuss, share, signpost and help with any any concerns, and share information about the Covid-19 programmes we’ve implemented.
We are working to create a pack of resources and activities for children to undertake during Covid-19. This will include craft activities, ideas to encourage wellbeing and a colouring competition where the children have a chance to win a tee shirt.
Registration to our service is still open. The way we handle the registrations is different and may take a little longer than usual. To register please click the link and Odette will be in contact with you within 5 days.https://www.harrysrainbow.co.uk/view/register-for-support
All beneficiaries are predominantly contacted by email, with the exception of our buddying group who will also be receiving communication by telephone and text.
If you would like to find out more please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Feedback from families
The support you guys have endeavoured to put in place for all of us, in such a short time, is nothing short of phenomenal! Thank you for your creative hive minds working so hard to achieve great things!
Feedback from families
Really enjoyed our first virtual group! Nathan shared his thankful hands with me after. Such a lovely idea!! We are very thankful for all you do and keep doing!
We have researched various resources to help during these difficult times. Some contains links to alternative websites, downloadable resources and apps that you can download.
Organisations and websites
Youth Information Service (YiS) An organisation for young people to support their mental health and wellbeing.Their help and advice page contains useful help, advice and apps.https://www.mkyis.org.uk/help-advice
Child Bereavement UK have a whole host of very useful resources for families affected by the death of a loved one. They have created some resources specifically related to the coronavirus and various difficulties that may arise because of it.https://www.childbereavementuk.org/Pages/Category/coronavirus
Winstons Wish a national child bereavement organisation have written some advice around supporting those affected by death during the pandemic and provides some alternative ways to say good bye to loved ones at this time.https://www.winstonswish.org/telling-a-child-someone-died-from-coronavirus/ https://www.winstonswish.org/coronavirus-funerals-alternative-goodbyes/
Mind BLMK are offering emotional wellbeing support over the phone to the wider community of Milton Keynes. If you feel that you or anyone you know would benefit from having someone to talk to, either as a one-off or regularly over the coming weeks, please get in touch or you can pass our details on.
Phone: 01525 722 225
Useful apps and resources
Apart of me is an app which is set out as a game and supports young people with loss and bereavementhttps://bounce.works/apartofme/
There are many books now that helps children to understand the coronavirus. This book is particularly good at explaining it as it does also discuss that the virus can cause death. The illustrator is well known Axel Shefflerhttps://nosycrow.com/blog/released-today-free-information-book-explaining-coronavirus-children-illustrated-gruffalo-illustrator-axel-scheffler/
We also understand that anxiety is heightened at the moment and can recommend this resource.https://childmind.org/article/anxiety-and-coping-with-coronavirus/
OUR CHARITABLE AIMS
We became a fully registered charity in September 2012. Our registration number is 1149011.
children and young people and their families who have been bereaved through the loss of a significant loved one such as a parent or sibling.
Access to support and advice
Recreational and leisure activities to children and young people in order to improve their conditions of life and to reduce the isolation felt during bereavement, by facilitating contact with other children and young people.
Public awareness of the need for support and guidance and providing access to information about coping with bereavement.