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Bereavement Memory Boxes provide comfort during crisis

Experiencing a loss in the family is always devastating, but the visitation restrictions due to COVID-19 have made this even more difficult for families and their loved ones over recent months. Thanks to incredibly kind donations from Matt Nation of Provide, BCHC Charity have funded a trial of Bereavement Memory Boxes for the families of patients in end of life care. 
Bereavement Box

The idea was brought to the charity by Ruth Denton, Head of Palliative Care, when it became clear that the pandemic would affect families and friends ability to grieve. The boxes are a way for families to celebrate the life of their loved ones, and contain remembrance items such as memory candles, a dandelion pebble and seeds to grow a forget-me-not plant. The boxes have an inset on the lid to display a treasured photograph, and are large enough that further personal trinkets and items can be added to create a box of wonderful memories.

Sarah Turner, one of the Trust’s Enhanced Care Assistants, prepared a box for the son of a gentleman who passed away at West Heath Hospital. As well as the remembrance items funded by the charity, Sarah placed the gentleman’s glasses and watch inside the box, much to the appreciation of the son. “His son was very emotional when he was given the box”, says Sarah. “He said it was a really lovely thing to receive, as he hadn’t expected to receive anything from the hospital.” Colleagues are also adding their own personal touches, such as signing condolence cards, to let families know how much they cared for their loved ones during their time under BCHC care.

Kind-hearted BCHC Charity supporters and staff also knitted pairs of beautiful hearts which are included in the box; one heart is given to the patient and the other to their family, to help provide a connection between them when they are unable to physically be together. Please contact the Charity Team if you would like to knit hearts for these boxes.

The trial of Bereavement Memory Boxes has been a huge success, providing much needed comfort to very grateful families over recent months, and as such BCHC Charity will be funding the boxes on an ongoing basis across the Trust.

Bereavement Memory Boxes are just one of the items BCHC Charity provides to help support patients, families and carers accessing palliative care services. Each year the Charity spends around £15,000 on projects, initiatives and items to support patients in their last months, as well as providing beautiful mementoes for families and loved ones. If you would like to make a donation to help fund these boxes or any of our other end of life initiatives, please visit our End of Life Appeal page.

Get In Touch

If you have any queries about charitable funds or would like more information about supporting the charity or fundraising, please contact:

Sarah Binks 
Charity Project Manager
Email: 
BCHC.charity@bhamcommunity.nhs.uk 
Tel: 0121 466 7314

BMB Pebbles