Skip to content

Bereaved families welcome special hampers thanks to Pelican Procurement

May 21, 2024

Families who experience the sudden death of their child will be gifted a specially curated bereavement hamper, which has been kindly packaged by Pelican Procurement as part of their Aramark Builds Communities’ Day.  

Alongside this, staff from the company worked hard to tidy and freshen up our gardens at our purpose-built hospice in Guildford, Christopher’s, and at Shooting Star House, as part of their mighty volunteer day on Thursday 2 May. Employees also gave up their time to sort stock at our distribution unit in Woking. 

Pelican Procurement has been supporting Shooting Star Children’s Hospices since 2006, raising an incredible £217,000 over the years through various activities including staff events, challenge events, donating a percentage of their annual profits and by providing us with refreshments free of charge for events such as London Marathon, Sunrise Walk and more.  

The contents of the bereavement packages were carefully chosen by mums and dads who once received our bereavement care themselves, using funds donated by Pelican. Each contains a microwavable heat bag, a weighted blanket, an aromatherapy pulse point roller and an age-appropriate grief journal for adults and children depending on the need of the family. They also include a Lego photo frame for siblings to make and put a treasured photo in, as well as an eye mask with inbuilt Bluetooth headphones for relaxation.  

Pelican Procurement also added a candle and small box of luxury chocolates into each hamper too.  

In November, we extended our bereavement care to include families who have experienced the sudden death of their child. This service is available to families across communities in our catchment area of Surrey, south-west London and north-west London. Since the launch, we have already had 60 families referred to us for this service. These are families who would not have access to bereavement care without us. They receive the necessary, tailored programme of specialist bereavement care previously given only to families who have a child with a life-limiting condition.  

Sarah Hodkinson, Head of Psychosocial Services, said, “Bereaved families tell us how difficult it can be to wake each morning and face another day without their child. We take a Bereavement Hamper out to each family’s home so that, in a moment of need, they can open their hamper and find something that may help them, bring them comfort and gently soothe their mind and body. We didn’t want to assume we knew what to put inside, so we talked to bereaved mums and dads to find out what items to include. They are the experts in knowing what helps.

“For many of our bereaved families, the cost of living crisis has meant that self-care items are unaffordable. Pelican Procurement, we are so grateful for your generosity in supporting this project, both financially, but also with your time and energy, so that our bereaved families can show themselves a moment of kindness during what is such an unimaginably difficult time for them. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”  

Ellie Constable, Corporate Relationship Manager said, “On behalf of everyone at Shooting Star Children’s Hospices, we want to say thank you to everybody at Pelican Procurement and the wider Aramark team for their incredible support in the lead up to and on their ABC Day.  

“The teams worked so hard in the gardens at both Christopher’s and Shooting Star House and got stuck in sorting stock at the retail distribution unit. Not only this but they provided the funding for, and packaged beautiful bereavement hampers so that they’re ready to be hand delivered to families during home visits from our Family Support Workers.  

“Without Pelican’s support, we wouldn’t be able to offer these bereavement hampers which we know will bring such comfort in times of crisis.”  

Annette Castell, Office Manager at Pelican Procurement said, “There has been so much amazing feedback with regards to everyone working in both gardens, the retail distribution unit and even putting the bereavement hampers together. Thank you again and we really look forward to working alongside you again to help and support Shooting Star and the amazing team there.” 

The long-standing corporate partner generously donated $5,000, which funded the purchasing of the items and packaging for the bereavement hampers, as well as the garden equipment and plants. They also, through supplier Bewley’s, donated £1,000 to fund Merlin Entertainment passes for supported families.  

Shooting Star Children’s Hospices would also like to thank the following companies and people who made the day possible:  

  • Van Arnhem Nursery in Godalming donated 100 lavender plants to us so that the team from Pelican Procurement could plant them as part of their volunteering day.  
  • Mike and Steve at M&S Trees did an amazing job at removing several trees at Christopher’s ahead of Pelican’s volunteering to ensure the grounds were ready and prepped for the new planting. Thank you for all your hard work and for providing this service free of charge.  
  • Our volunteer, Di, organised the whole plan for the day in terms of the planting. 

    Corporate volunteering can be a great team-building activity and a way to help motivate and inspire staff, all while making a difference to babies, children and young people with life-limiting conditions and their families, as well as those suddenly bereaved. To inquire about how your business could volunteer, email