Edwards Trust celebrates 30th Anniversary

Local charity Edward’s Trust celebrates 30 years of supporting children and families facing loss and surviving bereavement

2019 marks 30 years of Edgbaston based charity, Edward’s Trust, who support bereaved families in the West Midlands. Supporters are invited to a celebratory event at The Binding Site Group, Edgbaston on Tuesday 29th January (6.30pm till 8.00pm) to launch their year of celebrations. The launch event will not only give supporters a view into how their vital work helps thousands of families across the West Midlands each year, but it will also showcase the programme of events for 2019.

Edward’s Trust officially became a registered charity on 10th March 1989 and was founded by Peter and Hilary Dent following the death of their 7 year old son; Edward. Edward died on 29 July 1988 after a battle with a rare form of cancer. Edward’s short but beautiful life inspired the foundation of Edward’s Trust to provide support to thousands of families with a child with a life threatening illness (as it did in the earlier years) and families facing loss and surviving bereavement, (as it does today).

Founder, honorary president and Edward’s father, Peter Dent says, “When your child dies you are left very much alone. We wanted to go beyond just counselling and what we created was what is now called ‘Wellbeing in Bereavement’. It’s amazing to think that we’ve moved from supporting 40 bereaved families to over 3000 every year. If you add these numbers up over 30 years, this is tens of thousands of families that have come through the doors of Edward’s Trust.”

Edward’s Trust are also delighted to share the news that their Patron and long-term supporter, Judy Dyke, has been awarded an MBE in the New Year Queen’s Honours List. Judy has been recognised for her outstanding work with Edward’s Trust and the wider community. Judy has been supporting Edward’s Trust for many years and has helped the Charity on lots of different projects. In 1998, Judy was key in helping to raise more than £656,000 towards the move of the original Edward's House to larger premises near Birmingham Children's Hospital. She became a patron in 1999 and continues to help the Trust each year to generate the vital funding needed to provide our services to bereaved families in the West Midlands. The remembrance event ‘Tree of Light,‘ that Judy organises each December Christmas at her Solicitors firm, Tyndallwoods in Edgbaston, raises approximately £2,000 for Edward’s Trust every year.

Over the past 30 years Edward’s Trust has evolved from an organisation providing home from home accommodation in Birmingham, for families who had a seriously ill child in hospital, to what it is today – a holistic bereavement support service for parents, children and carers. The Trust offers support through counselling and a ‘Wellbeing in Bereavement’ service that includes complementary therapies and respite bereavement care for bereaved parents and carers. Edward’s Trust also provides specialist support groups, retreats and social activities as part of its holistic bereavement support service.

Edward’s Trust now receives around 750 new referrals every year. The work programme provided by the Trust has expanded, and referrals increasingly reflect the challenging and changing world we live in. The Trust now supports bereaved families who have experienced traumatic deaths from violence, accident, road traffic collisions and suicide. Edward’s Trust provide support for weeks, months and even years in some cases. There is no limit on how many sessions family members can have, and once they finish regular sessions they are always welcome to return should they need to.

It costs over £580,000 for Edward's Trust to provide their bereavement services to the thousands of families they support each year. Edward’s Trust are reliant on donations given from supporters, fundraising events and trusts/grants. To find out how you can get involved and support Edward’s Trust this year, reserve your place at the launch event on the 29th January by sending an RSVP to fundraising@edwardstrust.org.uk.