2wish’s Journey to England

We’re pleased to announce that as of 2nd January 2024, we have been able to offer our support services in England.

Since the start of 2023, the team have been busy meeting with partners, supporters, colleagues and future referrers as part of 2wish’s journey to England. As we enter the final months of building the England service we want to showcase where we’ve been and how this exciting expansion has come to life.

After reaching out to contacts in England we’ve been up and down the M5 and M6 raising awareness of the charity’s expansion to professionals working in Cheshire, Shropshire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Avon. We’ve achieved this through face-to-face and online meetings, providing presentations, and sharing the story of how 2wish was born and why the support on offer is needed by so many. In addition to this, the team have been offering awareness-raising training to all those that are met.

2wish England Team

In order to cover the demand for this new arm of the charity, 2wish has expanded the support team to ensure that there are staff embedded in the communities accessing the support on offer. Kirstie Edwards has joined 2wish as the Bereavement Services Manager for England. With a background in building new services and managing national and regional youth and community projects, Kirstie will be supporting the team positioned across the length of England that borders Wales, being known within the service as Phase 1. This new team is made up of Mark Ryan (ISC based in Cheshire & Shropshire), Rachel Newnes (ISC based in Herefordshire, Worcestershire & Gloucestershire), Katie Clarke (ISC for Bristol) Catrin Cross (ISC for Avon & Somerset). Along with our Counselling Support Outreach Coordinators Helen McSpadden and Lydia Sorrenson.

With this team in place, 2wish is now mirroring their support services that have been running in Wales for 11 years, to include an immediate support pathway and ongoing therapeutic support to anyone who has experienced the sudden and unexpected death of a child/young person under the age of 25 years old.

This immediate support will look like:

Once the individual is ready, their Immediate Support Coordinator (who is assigned to each family upon referral) will go on to offer ongoing therapeutic support such as talking and complementary therapies. Those referred to the England service will be able to access Ty Uchaf and 2wish and 2wish Cymru-wide events such as the annual remembrance service and fundraising events.

In order to meet this offer 2wish has been recruiting and building a network of qualified experienced counsellors, complementary therapists and play therapists who are local to communities within Phase 1. If you work within these fields and would like to find out how you too can join this network and support those affected by the unexpected and sudden death of an under-25-year-old please contact the team at support@2wish.org.uk

You can follow our journey to England over on our social media to see weekly updates of our travels and who we’re meeting with!

We’d like to thank all the hospitals, health professionals, police forces and charities across Cheshire, Shropshire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Avon whom we’ve met with over the last couple of months. The team have been welcomed by all and we expect referrals to start coming in once the service has formally been opened.

Everyone we’ve met so far!

Health staff at the Countess of Chester/ Leighton Hospital/ Warrington Hospital/ Macclesfield District General Hospital/ Royal Shrewsbury Hospital/ Princess Royal Hospital/ Worcestershire Royal Hospital/ Alexandra Hospital/ Hereford County Hospital/ Gloucester Royal Hospital/ Cheltenham General Hospital/ Southmead/ Bristol Royal Hospital for Children/ Bristol Royal Infirmary Hospital/ Royal United Hospital/ Musgrove Park Hospital/ Yeovil hospital.

Police staff within Cheshire/ Gloucester/ Avon & Somerset forces.

Charities that have included Cruse/ Made a Mark/ Rethink Mental Illness/ Suicide Bereaved Community/ Sunflowers/ The Good Grief Project/ St. Richards Hospice/ St Vincent de Paul Society/ The Lily Mae Foundation/ Freddie’s Wish/ Keystone/ Love Jasmine/ UK Sepsis Trust/ Brake