Charlies-Angel-Centre

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Up and down the country, there are thousands of people doing good deeds every day, and we decided to celebrate the great work that charities undergo with a regular feature on Tuesdays, to tie-in with #CharityTuesday on Twitter. We caught up with Sam to find out more about bereavement charity Charlies-Angel-Centre.

Where are you based and what geographical areas do you support people in?
We are based in Leeds and support people from the West Yorkshire area for some of our services, other services we offer world wide.

How do you support people?
At the moment we only offer free bereavement counselling to bereaved parents in the West Yorkshire area, this is by a referral form and can be by self referral or an outside agency. We eventually want to have a bank of counsellors across the UK to offer support to many more families. We also offer a Community support group on a fortnightly basis, this is held in Middleton area of Leeds. We also offer within the UK and on a world wide scale:
* Email and telephone support
* Information and support in whatever area you are from
* Bereavement packs
Our website is also packed with information and support for anyone that needs it.

How did the charity come to be founded?
Charlies-Angel-Centre was founded in May 2013 after founder and trustee Carrie-ann Curtis lost her son Charlie to a rare syndrome called Potters Syndrome. Once she left hospital she found there was little support for bereaved parents and families and when accessing support she found there were long waiting lists for counselling. She decided to raise awareness for better aftercare and also aims to have a 24 hour 7 days a week bereavement centre with the first one being in West Yorkshire then expanding across the country.

How many people do you have working at the charity?
Everyone who works for Charlies-Angel-Centre works for free, we are a non funded charity and have
9 trustees and committee members
3 patrons
5 bereavement counsellors

How can people support you?
We are always looking for people to support us, this can be by offering their time for free. One of our aims is to have bereavement counsellors in every city in the UK, all we ask is that each counsellor offers 1 hour free per week. Fundraisers are so important to us we need people who can raise money for Charlies-Angel-Centre, all money raised goes to supporting bereaved parents and families plus it helps us provide the free services that we offer. We have our first Charity Ball this year and are looking for sponsors.

Have you faced any challenges along the way?
We have faced many challenges and we still campaign tirelessly for better aftercare for bereaved parents and families. We fought hard for a review of bereavement services in Leeds to be undertaken and this has just been completed and it highlighted several issues, the NHS CCG have recommended several changes and we are working with them to make these changes. We fought to have a bereavement midwife employed in our local hospitals and she has now been in her role for nearly a year.

Do you have any charity events coming up and where can people find out about these events?
This year we have been very busy with events, all our events can be found on our website.

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Is there any advice you could give to other charities?
For anyone thinking of starting a charity it takes hard work and commitment and very long days but if you are passionate about why you want to start a charity there are lots of positives along the way.

You can find out more about Charlies-Angel-Centre at their website or via Facebook or Twitter.