Gran’s plea to save charity for children

Newspaper: Hemsworth Express.'Story: Doreen Butterfield from Hemsworth and her grand daughter, 10 years old Maddy Colpus, are both calling for funding help for charity Star Bereavement Service, which helps young people throughout the district to cope with grief. The charity is currently uder threat from funding cuts.'Maddy was helped by the charity when her mother died in 2011.'Photo date: 17/02/15
Newspaper: Hemsworth Express.'Story: Doreen Butterfield from Hemsworth and her grand daughter, 10 years old Maddy Colpus, are both calling for funding help for charity Star Bereavement Service, which helps young people throughout the district to cope with grief. The charity is currently uder threat from funding cuts.'Maddy was helped by the charity when her mother died in 2011.'Photo date: 17/02/15
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Caring grandma Doreen Butterfield is urging the community to help save a charity that supported her granddaughter when her mum died.

Ten-year-old Madeline Colpus was helped by Star Bereavement Support when her mum Leslie – Mrs Butterfield’s daughter – died in a road accident in 2011.

The charity – which helps bereaved children across the Wakefield district – has had its annual £90,000 funding cut by Wakefield Council and the NHS and could close in the summer.

Mrs Butterfield, of Grove Lane, Hemsworth, said: “Madeline came to live with me when her mum died but struggled to cope with the loss. She changed from a very happy little girl into a very sad one. She wouldn’t go to school or even get out of bed some days.

“Star worked with her for 12 months, they came to our house and helped her through the grief.

“They are really caring and it would be terrible if the service they offer stopped.

“Surely someone out there can finance this amazing team. To me, my family and Madeline they are all stars.”

Claire Taylor, Star Bereavement’s service coordinator, said: “If we don’t get any more funding the service will be lost in June. We offer individual and group support- other services don’t offer that group support so children don’t get the chance to meet others going through the same thing.

“A lot of young people don’t want to go to a counselling service when a parent dies because there can be a stigma attached to it.”

Dr Phil Earnshaw, clinical chairman for NHS Wakefield, said: “Following discussions with Wakefield Council regarding our joint approach to developing children’s services, we decided that we could not continue to extend the contract with Star Bereavement beyond the end of March 2015.

“There are a number of other bereavement services that are already available and which will still support these children.

“As we continue to develop our joint approach to services with the council, should any gaps arise we will tender specifically to meet those needs.”