Over three days this June we held our special memory days, welcoming 100 bereaved family members to our Hampton hospice, Shooting Star House.

Sarah Hodkinson, Head of Family Support Services, “After a three year wait, it was very special to see families from both hospices filling the building, but even more so, to hear from families their sheer gratitude to have this opportunity.”

Our memory days are a safe place to join us, alongside other families and treasure memories and celebrate the life of their child.

The hospice was beautifully and thoughtfully prepared throughout, with gentle music playing as the families arrived. Families were able to view our illustrated Memory Book, spend time in our Tranquil Suite and Memory garden and had the opportunity create a keepsake.

“Each day at 11.30am, an emotional memorial service took place, where some of our team performed songs and poems and a specially made video of remembrance was made for the families attending. This was followed by a ceremonial bubble blowing activity in the garden as the sun shone down,” continues Sarah.

Families were then able to enjoy some lunch in our peaceful gardens, taking some time to speak with one another or take time to themselves.

“As the families left, they were asked to participate in a ‘creative evaluation table’. Families chose ‘exceptional’ as the word to describe our care at Memory Day and repeatedly marked the highest scores for all that has been offered, commenting on how safe they felt. Very few families had attended a similar event this year – perhaps demonstrating the impact of the pandemic and the uniqueness of what we provide,” said Sarah.

“We hope this is the beginning of many more incredibly valued opportunities for bereaved families to be with other bereaved families, and to feel less alone.”

If you are a bereaved family, please do call our Family Support team on 01483 230 974 or email Family Support team if you need support. You can also visit our Bereavement Support Hub which lists all our services and resources available.

We’re only able to offer these days, and our extensive level of bereavement support, with the generosity of our supporters – please consider donating here