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A special event was held to support grieving families this Christmas – as it can be such a particularly difficult time of the year.

 The Family Remembering Day, is organised by Monmouthshire County Council’s Early Help and Family Support Service was held at Caldicot Castle 26th of November 2022. The special event has been running since 2016.

 The special day allows family members including mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and grandparents who have lost a beloved parent, child, grandchild or sibling to meet up and remember those special to them. It also gives people the chance to access counselling and support to help deal with the grief of losing a loved one.

This year’s Family Remembering Day involved a number of activities, including craft workshops to create a memorial item and the opportunity to place messages on the castle’s Christmas tree. Families also got to share fond memories of loved ones over a festive lunch shared within the walls of the castle banquet hall.  One of the most magical moments was when the children were given bubble wands and blew wishes to their loved ones.  The opportunity for young people to normalise the process of grief is invaluable and many therapeutic conversations were held over a hot chocolate under the twinkling lights in the castle.  Friendships were made and poignant memories about family members shared.

Highlighting the importance of such events, Monmouthshire County Councillor Tudor Thomas, Cabinet Member for Social Care and Health, said:

The Family Remembering Day is a wonderful opportunity to think about those we’ve lost. Monmouthshire’s  Children’s services provide support for families to help them come to terms with losing a loved one. Furthermore, it is wonderful to see what new friendships form as a result of these events and how families can find some comfort from others in similar situations.

 Katie who lost her husband said:

I have been coming with my 3 children for the past 7 years.  We lost their dad 6 months before Christmas, it was a raw and emotional time of year for us.  Coming to these events was really nice, to talk with other families that are in the same situation and understood how we felt.  My children have developed friendships and look forward to coming back every year.”  

Monmouthshire County Council has a number of resources for people facing bereavement here: