Memory Tree

Over 130 children and their families came together to remember loved ones who have died and create new family memories at a special event organised by Treetops Hospice Care.

The Family Fun Day was open to all children and young people who have received support from the charity’s bereavement service. The day included a visit from Stormtroopers, drumming workshops, army cadets, battle re-enactments, a medieval village, disco dome, giant bubbles and opportunities to make personal memory crafts.

View more photos from the day

Treetops provides nursing care and emotional support for adults, their carers and families including bereavement counselling. The service is available to children and their families across southern Derbyshire and Derby city who have experienced any type of bereavement, including unexpected and traumatic deaths such as suicide and accidents.

Treetops have seen us through a very difficult period

Amongst those who attended was Tony Trueman from Ilkeston and his son Hadley who has been receiving counselling from Treetops following the death of his mum last year:

“I wanted to come to the event today as we’re really grateful for the support we’ve had – Treetops have seen us through a very difficult period.

“My sons were teenagers when their mum died and it can be difficult for them to open up so it’s been really good for them here. She died a year tomorrow on the 22nd so we wanted to come and mark that.”

The funnest day of my life

Adam Beastall, 10, came with his dad David Beastall and his dad’s partner Emily Milnes. Adam described the event as ‘the funnest day of my life’.

David explained:

“Adam’s had a rough ride. His mum died 19 days after she was diagnosed and he just wasn’t grieving. It’s emotional but he’s making leaps and bounds with support from Treetops.

“Today’s been really good for Adam and he’s really enjoyed it. He met someone else earlier whose mum also died – it’s a good opening up opportunity.”

Without a doubt the counselling for our family helped

Rebecca Walker attended with her family including son Riley:

“It’s been fantastic today. Riley’s really enjoyed it and he’s loved the Stormtroopers. It’s been lovely to spend time together.

“Without a doubt the counselling for our family helped. It’s been two years since we came but Treetops are still in touch. Thank you.”

A shared experience to remember their loved one

Jules Kirk, senior families’ counsellor, added:

“We wanted to bring families together for a shared experience to remember their loved one who has died, to spend time together and make some new memories.

“Today has been amazing and we know it’s made a huge difference to everyone who’s come along – to have fun and enjoy themselves and create positive family memories to look back on.

“Today wouldn’t have happened without the fantastic support from so many different people. Some of the families who’ve come along have donated money towards the day and lots of local businesses have provided their services and entertainment for free or at a huge discount.

“Big thanks go to the Treetops staff and volunteers who have also helped on the day.”

A minute’s silence followed by the firing of a huge colour cannon marked the end of the day.

Treetops Hospice Care services include Support and Information, a Day Care unit, Hospice at Home nurses and Therapeutic Services including counselling and art and complementary therapy.