An event arranged by Monmouthshire County Council’s Face to Face Therapeutic Services team has helped a range of young people aged 7 to 15 come to terms with the loss of loved ones.
The gathering at Caldicot Castle was held for children and young people who have lost someone they love to remember those who won’t be present this Christmas. Family and friends also attended to lend support and for some, it was their first Christmas facing a tough time without a much-loved close relation.
Among the activities on offer were arts and crafts, face painting and a visit from Santa and Mrs Claus, with cakes donated by Monmouth’s Waitrose store. After the festive fun and a delicious buffet lunch, the children took to the castle’s Christmas tree and released bubbles in memory of those they will deeply miss. It was a lovely, magical and poignant day but a reminder that Christmas can pose difficulties for some people.
All who attended expressed that it had felt comforting to be with others in a similar situation. Young people made new friends and it gave them the opportunity to share the experiences of losing a parent or sibling.
A number of staff members from the council volunteered during the day to help with general organisation and some parents have offered their services for future similar sessions.
Councillor Penny Jones, cabinet member for social care, safeguarding and health said: “We’ve run a number of valuable events along these lines which have been much appreciated. It is important that people are given support to be reconciled to the loss of a much-loved family member, especially at this time of year.”
For further information contact counselling coordinator Rebecca Kent – RebeccaKent@monmouthshire.gov.uk