“It Means The World…”

‘It’s difficult to put into words what the real impact has been.”

The words of Rob Lapsley, Co-founder and director of Love Jasmine, a charity based in Liverpool which offers bereavement support to families who have lost a child.

Rob and wife Kathy decided to launch the charity after tragically losing six-year-old daughter Jasmine, who passed away after choking on a grape while on a family holiday in 2014.

As they struggled to come to terms with their trauma and devastation, they found there were areas of both practical and emotional support that were sadly lacking.

And so, as time went on, they decided to start a new charity, in memory of Jasmine, and, at the start of 2016, Love, Jasmine was officially launched.

The Steve Morgan Foundation awarded a three-year grant of £82,986 to Love Jasmine, who have now provided an update at the end of the first year of funding.

“This grant has made a massive difference to our organisation,” says Rob.

“The Steve Morgan Foundation is well known in our area and for them to believe in the work that we do was a turning in point for our charity. 

“Because of this investment we have been able to massively increase our counselling provision for bereaved parents, grandparents and siblings as well as introducing a new bereaved grandparents support group here in Liverpool.

“We have also made a concerted effort to introduce new services on the Wirral and we’ve been working hard making connections and promoting our work in the area. 

“We are now part of the Wirral bereavement advisory group, chaired by Child Bereavement UK and we have also introduced a monthly bereaved Parents Support Group, a new monthly coffee morning which is also open to wider family members and fortnightly yoga and meditation class, which are all free to bereaved families.”

The support provided by Love Jasmine is extremely wide-ranging, not just focusing on those services already mentioned but also developing long-term coping strategies, all from the position of being able to completely understand and emphathise with the terrible experience of losing a child.

“We believe that bereaved families should get the support that they need, when they need it and we believe that we are meeting that need for the families that we support.,” added Rob.

“When someone is referred to us for counselling, they are seen as soon as possible, normally within a week and are assigned a counsellor as soon as one becomes available that suits their availability. 

“We have adult counselling sessions taking place from Mondays to Fridays and our children’s counsellors work on a Saturday morning, so that their schooling isn’t interrupted.

“Families that come to us for support know that as an organisation, we genuinely understand what they as bereaved parents and grandparents are going through and that is hugely important in gaining someone’s trust. 

“They trust us as we help them develop coping strategies, whether that is through one-to-one counselling, group support, self-care strategies or respite breaks at Jasmine’s Retreat (a holiday caravan at Ribby Hall Park).

“Our service is growing and many bereaved family members would not have been able to access support had we not been there for them.”

All the work carried out by Rob and Kathy is done with Jasmine very much in their minds, and they are hugely appreciative of being given the opportunit to help other people via the charity.

“It is difficult to put into words what the real impact of the funding has been,” says Rob.

“As an organisation we’ve grown and matured so much over these last 12 months and our reach grows daily, yet our passion and the determination to do more is stronger than ever. 

“What we’ve achieved over this last year quite simply would not have been possible had the Steve Morgan Foundation not believed in us when they did. 

“From a personal perspective, it means the world to Kathy and I to help others in memory of our daughter and I can’t thank the Foundation enough for their support.”

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