Winston’s Wish showered with gifts to use with bereaved children – Generous donations from Openwork

Winston’s Wish, the leading childhood bereavement charity in the UK, is delighted to accept a generous donation of IT and play resources to the value of £1200 from Swindon-based Openwork, the UK’s largest multi-tie mortgage and financial advice network.

Openwork donates toys for bereaved childrenThe invaluable bundle of therapeutic toys and games has been donated as part of the Openwork Foundation Community Challenge 2014 and includes Lego, books, paints, a sports day set, puppets, Playmobil sets, two new iPads.

The Openwork Foundation is part of Zurich Community Trust and their Challenges, which started in 1990, is one of the largest corporate charity programmes in the UK. Every year, Zurich and Openwork encourage organisations local to its main offices to challenge their staff to help make a difference.

Winston’s Wish has benefited from the Zurich and Openwork Community Challenge initiatives for over ten years.

Sam Tesch, Manager of the Openwork Foundation, added:

“The Openwork community of advisers and staff has a very big heart and our Community Challenges are part of what bonds us together in helping others. It’s so rewarding to know we’re making a real difference”.

The resources were funded by the £1200 which was raised through fundraising efforts over the past year which included one Openwork ‘chocaholic’ employee giving up their favourite treat for two weeks and raising a staggering £800 through sponsorships. Openwork also put members of their management team into docks – raising money for the right to throw buckets of water over their heads – and less riskily, also arranged book, DVD and cake sales.

The challenge for Openwork was to raise enough money to buy much-needed resources to help the children and young people supported by the bereavement charity. Openwork were handed a wish-list of items by Winston’s Wish and amazingly, managed to purchase each and every item.

Dom Smith, Senior Practitioner at Winston’s Wish, expressed gratitude on behalf of Winston’s Wish to the Openwork team for their hard work and resourcefulness:

“We have once again been provided with an amazing array of items that we can use in our therapeutic work with bereaved children. The toy ambulances, for instance, can help young children understand the story of death and replay events so they’re empowered to explain their experiences. The iPads allow us to point to different games, activities and resources online that can help grow children’s confidence again”.

Each year, Winston’s Wish supports over 30,000 bereaved children and young people through an array of dedicated services. These in-depth support programmes include support following death as a result of accident, illness, homicide, suicide and also through military service.

Dom added:

“These items will make such a difference to the work that we do with families”.

Pictured L-R: Suzanne McCarthy, Laura Linford (Openwork), Dom Smith (Senior Practitioner, Winston’s Wish)