When Sophie Berger’s twin sister Charlotte died, she left behind two small children. Berger has undertaken a project to help bereaved children and their families by putting on a fundraiser for the charity Grief Encounter. The event is Berger’s project in her Self Expression and Leadership Program offered by Landmark Education. The event attracted the attention of the Willesden & Brent Times, of the Times Series of suburband London newspapers. Here is the story.
A SPACE-inspired party is being held to aid children suffering from the loss of family members, writes Zainab Rahim.
The ‘Love you to the moon space party,’ which will raise money for the charity Grief Encounter, will take place on August 9 at Osteria Del Ponte Bar, Kilburn High Road.
The party will feature highly-rated London DJs Paul Noble and Julian de Metz, as well as top prizes including tickets to see Stevie Wonder and the Ting Tings in performance.
Sophie Berger, event organiser, said: “The party will be held in celebration of Charlotte, my twin sister who left two sons: Sam who was five months and Sol who was two and a half years old at the time.
Ms Berger said the event name was inspired by a sisterly exchange she used to always share with Charlotte, ‘love you to the moon and back.’
“It embodies the love we had for each other but also symbolises what Grief Encounter is about. The charity helps children understand that it is fine to feel sadness and anger, and not to shove things under the carpet.”
Patron of Grief Encounter, Kevin Wells, father of Holly, who was murdered in 2002, highlighted the importance of such projects: “Mt son Oliver was just 12 years old when his sister Holly was murdered. The advice I received from the Grief Encounter Project enabled me to understand that we could learn to grieve for Holly in a way that paved the way for a family future together.
“For us as adults, the reality of trying to cope after losing someone special from our lives is a lengthy and difficult taskmaster to appease. Imagine, therefore, how the effects of loss impacts on a child, both in the short and long term.”
Shelly Gilbert, Director of Grief Encounter, set up the charity in December 2003 after receiving positive response towards her book: ‘Grief Encounter Workbook.’
She said: “There was a real lack of services for children in the UK. We operate in schools and homes, setting up group workshops with meetings for families and children. Many say we provide the light at the end of the tunnel.”
“It’s a chance to talk about their loss properly. It’s hard to let feelings out, but it’s harder to keep them inside.”
“I was orphaned at the age of 9, and I always say, if only we had this kind of help back then. The generation before didn’t talk about death. Siblings particularly are the ‘forgotten mourners.’
The event will be guest list based with a suggested minimum donation of £20.
To get on the guest list go to www.justgiving.co.uk/spaceparty. For further information on the charity please visit www.griefencounter.org.uk