£75,000 trust donation will give more bereaved children the help they need

More children will be helped through the grieving process thanks to a £75,000 donation to a charity co-founded by a Church of Scotland minister.

Richmond's Hope, which helps children aged between four and 18 deal with the loss of a family member or friend, will receive £25,000 annually over the next three years from the Robertson Trust.

Although there are no restrictions on how Richmond's Hope can use the money, it will help employ an additional support worker, allowing some 45 more children to be supported each year.

Support from the Robertson Trust will allow Richmond's Hope to guide even more children towards a happier future.

Although there are no restrictions on how Richmond's Hope can use the money, it will help employ an additional support worker, allowing some 45 more children to be supported each year.

Richmond's Hope, which operates in both Edinburgh and Glasgow, was co-founded by Richmond Craigmillar Church minister Rev Liz Henderson and local resident Jessie Douglas, whose son was killed in a motorcycle accident, after they became aware of the impact of grief on a number of local children in their community.

Although Richmond's Hope, which marks its 20th anniversary next year, continues to be based at Richmond Craigmillar Church in Edinburgh, the Robertson Trust donation will go towards the work of its West of Scotland team based at Ibrox Parish Church in Glasgow.

Thanking the Robertson Trust for its support, Richmond's Hope chief executive Rev Dr Martin Scott said: "For a small charity like this, anything that gives you guaranteed funding for more than a year is terrific for us and will make a big difference.

"Working with Richmond's Hope is undoubtedly the most interesting and rewarding piece of work I have ever done. You actually see the difference it makes to children's lives, so it is a great privilege to be involved and I think our support workers, who are the core staff, just do marvellous work. It's a very challenging job."

Increased demand

Fundraising and training officer Rebecca Amiel revealed that over the two-and-a-half years since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, Richmond's Hope had seen increased demand for its services.

More children will be helped through the grieving process thanks to a £75,000 donation to a charity co-founded by a Church of Scotland minister.

Richmond's Hope, which helps children aged between four and 18 deal with the loss of a family member or friend, will receive £25,000 annually over the next three years from the Robertson Trust.

Although there are no restrictions on how Richmond's Hope can use the money, it will help employ an additional support worker, allowing some 45 more children to be supported each year.

The Robertson's Trust donation could help an additional 45 children each year.

With one in 29 children affected by the bereavement of a parent or sibling by the age of 16, the equivalent of one per the average class size, even without the additional challenge of the Covid pandemic the free service offered by Richmond's Hope is much needed.

One of the few child bereavement services currently offering in person one-to-one sessions, most of its clients are aged between eight and 12.

"We work with any child who has been adversely affected by grief," Ms Amiel added.

"Anyone can refer a child to us and children over 16 can refer themselves. The service is very much based on the child's needs and development and what their interests are. We explore their feelings and memories and provide them with coping strategies. We are always on the end of the phone for them, but we do realise that we need to give children coping strategies because they will have other deaths in their lives and have to learn to live with their grief."

Maddie, one of the young people who has been supported by Richmond's Hope, talked about the importance of bereaved young people sharing their own experiences of bereavement in this interview with the BBC.

The £75,000 awarded to Richmond's Hope was part of a total of £1.2 million recently awarded by the Robertson Trust to charities across Scotland. Set up by the Robertson sisters just over 60 years ago, the Trust's main purpose is to help alleviate trauma and poverty.