We were delighted to be a winner at the Dartford Business Awards last week!
Held at Bluewater, the evening was a brilliant get-together of businesses across the area, with special guest Simon Weston CBE proving to be an inspirational and fitting choice to present the awards.
Holding On Letting Go picked up a Covid Heroes award in the Caring Professions category – our nomination outlined how we continued to provide much needed bereavement support to children across Kent and SE London.
Unable to provide our more normal bereavement support weekends we quickly adapted to provide one to one support either on Zoom or in socially distanced, safe settings such as schools, GP surgeries or clients own gardens- thank goodness for the good weather! We were uncertain as to how well the digital offer would be accepted in such a sensitive area as bereavement support, but our families, staff and volunteers adapted well to the change and we continue to offer this as a means of support since the lifting of Covid restrictions.
As soon as we were able, we set up smaller groups within the Covid guidelines with all equipment and materials, including felt pens, meticulously cleaned between sessions.
Although our referrals doubled during this time no family went without the support they needed.
CEO Caroline Ford said: “I’m so very proud of the team for winning this award. The pandemic made us change our whole support service overnight. Initially our clinical lead was running the service on her own as the rest of the clinical team was furloughed at the start, so she did a fantastic job of both delivering support and also keeping everything going too.
“Bereavement support has always been face to face – it was never an option to provide it remotely, digitally or virtually but what we found during the pandemic was that it was a welcome option where it was the choice of virtual support or no support.
“It’s a choice that now suits families for many different reasons and we are always looking to support the child and their family in a way that works for them.
“We are very grateful to our volunteers who continued to work with us during the difficult times over the past couple of years and I am delighted that some of them were able to join us at the awards ceremony where their dedication was recognised.
“Well done to the whole health sector who worked so hard in what was a completely overwhelming situation to keep people cared for and safe.”