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On Saturday, 2nd December, young people and families who have experienced grief came together at Caldicot Castle for a Remembering Event. 

The annual event has been organised since 2016 and is a time for Monmouthshire County Council to show support to children and families at a time that can be very difficult. 

Throughout the day, young people and their families had an opportunity to connect with their emotions and feelings of bereavement/loss/grief safely through carefully planned creative activities and sharing memories of their loved ones at a time that can be challenging as grief is as individual as the individual. 

Activities throughout the day included decorating gingerbread, a quiz, musical activities and creating memory labels for the Christmas tree. Young people were invited to plant a seed to understand the cycle of nature and, in turn, the cycle of life, which can give comfort by watching nature grow and develop. 

At the end of the event, all the young people and families gathered outside, were given bubble wands and blew wishes to their loved ones.  

Young people and families gathered outside and blew wishes to their loved ones.

The day allowed young people to normalise the grief process and many conversations were held throughout the day. Friendships were made and poignant memories about family members shared. 

All activities were run and supported by our dedicated Children Services team, which includes trained councillors and a number of volunteers from across the council’s services. 

When asked about the day, one young attendee said: “I was expecting the day to be boring, and I was expecting to leave quite soon, but it was really fun. There were so many fun activities, like making gingerbread men and decorating them with icing and sprinkles. We decorated cards, and we blew bubbles at the end. Throughout the day, I was given support in my Dad’s passing, and when I was writing the card, it made me feel like my Dad was still with me, and it was like writing a card for him to take home from school. I think I’ll attend next time it’s on, as it was a lot more fun than I expected.” 

Monmouthshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Social Care, Safeguarding and Accessible Health Services, Cllr Ian Chandler, said: “Being able to support children and families through these difficult times is vital. It’s normal to have different feelings and emotions around losing a loved one. Thank you to all the staff and volunteers who supported young people and their families throughout the day and continue to do so throughout the year. Our dedicated team is here to help you or someone you know who may feel vulnerable at a difficult time. If you or anyone you know needs support, please get in touch with our team.”

Monmouthshire County Council has many resources to support people facing bereavement:

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