Children’s charity marks anniversary milestone with Edinburgh Mile of Memories
Published on 14 August 2023 3 minutes read
A charity which helps children and young people deal with the loss of a loved one is marking a special milestone by inviting people to help create a Mile of Memories with its own "memory stick".
Richmond's Hope is recognising 20 years of service with a special event on Edinburgh's Royal Mile next month.
The charity, which provides children and teenagers aged between four and 18 with a safe place to address their grief, is asking people to decorate a one metre wooden stick in memory of someone who has died or to show their support for the children who come to Richmond's Hope.
Each wooden stick will have a groove in the top just large enough to hold 40 £1 coins. People are being encouraged to decorate their sticks, which will then be used to create a colourful installation along a mile-long route at Holyrood Park on the 3rd of September.
While it will be a day for remembering, it will also be a time of celebration for all the family with live music and performances, Highland dancing, fun activities and mindfulness sessions, and all funds raised will go towards supporting bereaved children and families in Edinburgh and the Lothians.
September will also see Richmond's Hope expand its services into Fife, with the opening of a service in Methil, enabling it to help even more young people.
The charity was established at the Church of Scotland's Richmond Craigmillar Church in Edinburgh, 20 years ago in response to a need identified in the local community.
Opportunity to reflect
This year's anniversary has encouraged Richmond Craigmillar minister Rev Liz Henderson OBE, who co-founded Richmond's Hope with local parent Jessie Douglas, to look at how far the charity has come in those two decades.
"Richmond's Hope's 20th anniversary is an opportunity to reflect on the impact of the work with the families who've come to Richmond's Hope, thank those who have been instrumental in its success and to raise the profile of the organisation moving forward," she said.
"It also offers an opportunity for reflection and helps motivate staff, volunteers and other supporters. We'd love to hear from anyone who has used Richmond's Hope in the past and are asking people to join in our Mile of Memories event on Sunday 3 September."
After 20 years of support, the number of potential respondents to that request could be in the thousands.
Helping over 5000
Since it was established in 2003, Richmond's Hope has supported over 5,000 children, young people and their families and currently has full-time bases in Edinburgh and Glasgow and satellite bases in East Lothian and Midlothian, soon so be joined by Fife. The charity also has plans to open more satellite locations to respond to the need of local communities.
Richmond's Hope continues to receive support from the Church of Scotland, but works with children and families of all faiths and none in a way that respects their own beliefs about life and death.
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, the free service offered by Richmond's Hope's support workers continues to be in much demand, with its Edinburgh and Glasgow offices supporting approximately 300 children a year in Edinburgh, the Lothians and the West of Scotland.
Its staff can offer support through therapeutic play and specialised grief activities to enable young people to tell the story of their grief and changes to their lives. These activities allow children to explore their memories, express and understand their feelings and develop coping strategies to build resilience.
The charity also provides health, social care and education professionals with training in child bereavement.
Memory sticks can be requested by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, but interest can also be registered via Eventbrite at: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/mile-of-memories-holyrood-park-tickets-635323719347