The Harvey Hext Trust – A Siblings Wish

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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. This week, we caught up with Sarah Hext from The Harvey Hext Trust - A Siblings Wish to find out more about them...

Where are you based and what geographical areas do you support people in?
We are based in Bristol but support families in all areas of the UK.

How do you support people?
We currently support families who have lost a child by supplying each child in the family with good quality bespoke Memory boxes. The Memory boxes are designed using digital images supplied by the bereaved child - this can be photographs or drawings that the children may have done together or character images, pretty much whatever the child would like, if it can be photographed it can become part of their design. The boxes are A4 in size and wooden so will last for many years to come. The results have been stunning. We also supply each child with a 'Harvey bear'. This is a standard size soft bear that conceals a secret pouch and can be used to contain ashes or something that is special to that child. This means that the child can always carry something with them that reminds them of their sibling. The Memory boxes are a great therapy and an aid for bereavement support.

How did the charity come to be founded?
I founded the charity in March 2016 after we sadly lost my 9 year son to Neuroblastoma cancer 5 months earlier. I very quickly learnt that there is great support for seriously ill children but very little support for the bereaved siblings that are sadly left behind and wanted to do something to change that in some way. Many siblings spend years looking after poorly and disabled children and then when the worst happens support for them is limited.

How many people do you have working at the charity?
There are 8 trustees including myself and one grant applications volunteer. Each has their own particular strength and I tend to manage the day to day running of the charity. We all currently work on a voluntary basis.

How can people support you?
By sharing our website, twitter and FB pages on social media. We really want to reach as many bereaved families and bereavement professionals as we can so we can make them aware of our service. Obviously we always need fundraisers and volunteers so that we can continue our work. The general public have been so supportive of our charity we have held some great events this year.

Have you faced any challenges along the way?
Not really, our service has been very well received by professionals and families alike. Its a simple process that works well with great end results.

Do you have any charity events coming up and where can people find out about these events?
We have a Northern soul night in May but this event is now sold out.
1st May 2017
We have a Stand at the North Somerset show
07 May 2017
We have charity places in the Great Bristol 10k
21st May
Winford Dog 🐶 show
17 September 2017
We have charity places for the Great Bristol Half Marathon.
We are currently arranging more events and details will be on our website when confirmed.

Is there any advice you could give to other charities?
We have found one of our greatest strengths has been working with other charities and supporting each other. You have to be 100% committed and it's hard work to start with but the benefits completely outweigh the hard work. Being able to help people at the worst time of their lives is very satisfying.

You can find out more about The Harvey Hext Trust - A Siblings Wish at their website or via Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

You can see some example boxes below:

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