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Support Meetings 2016

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When Jack died, I didn’t know where to turn, I found I very hard to find help anywhere and in a moment of sheer despair, I called a helpline. The horrific experience you hear on this video is exactly why I started Brightest Star, that experience will live with me until the day that I die. Sadly, my experience of telephone helplines was not unique, only today I heard another story almost identical to mine. Due to my own experience, Brightest Star does not have a helpline number for bereaved families and why I would never turn anyone any who has lost a child, at any age, from any cause of death. I will telephone families personally, meet with them, arrange peer support or one to one counselling sessions if they ask me to but I would never take the chance of any parent having the same experience that I did.

Brightest Star offers support groups to parents that have lost a child at any age, from any cause of death. The meetings are very informal and there to provide a space for people to talk about their child and their grief. They allow people the chance to meet others who are sharing similar experiences, thoughts and feelings to them. There are there to let people know that they are not alone.

In Glasgow, our next support meetings are:
Monday 7th November 2016 Level 3, Glasgow Hilton, William Street, 1800-2000
Monday 5th December 2016 - Level 3, Glasgow Hilton, William Street, 1800-2000

In Edinburgh, our next support meeting is:
Wednesday 12th October , Radisson Blue, The Royal Mile, 1800-2000

I am starting a new support group for parents that have bereaved within the last 12-24 months, this will take place on Thursday 13th October and start at 6pm

Brightest Star Office
Pavillion 3 - St James Business Park
2nd Floor
81 Linwood Road

If you know anyone who has lost a child, it doesn’t matter how long ago they lost a son or daughter, what age they were or what they died from, please share this post with them and all your friends. If people don’t know about Brightest Star then we can’t support them. If anyone would like more information on Brightest Stars support meetings, then please feel free to get it touch.

Our Events

13010810 1010173992407885 2824132255275970597 nThis is every parents worst nightmare and one experience that I never want to go through again. This ambulance is almost in touching view for Brightest Star but we need your help to make it possible, you might be one to the people who needs to use this ambulance.

I am overwhelmed at the number of people have already been in touch to say that they are organising fundraising nights or attending future events. We have two organised events left this year.

For adults...The Great ...Scottish Run 10k or half marathon on Sunday 2nd Oct 2016.

For children and families....The Family Great Scottish Run for under 5s or the Junior Great Scottish Run for 9-15 or the Family Mile for 3-8 accompanied by an adult on Sat 1st Oct 2016

Or the Glasgow Santa Dash on Sunday 3rd December.

Tag your friends, family and workmates in this post, do one of these events together and when you see our ambulance on the road, you can feel pride in knowing you helped towards that!!

Thank you for everyones support.

Do you have spare time?

Could you spare 1 hour or a couple of hours on any of the following days?

Friday 12th
Saturday 13th...
Friday 26th
Saturday 27th

Friday 23rd
Saturday 24th

Friday 28th
Saturday 29th

People are always asking for ways that they can support or volunteer within Brightest Star and below is one simple way that you can.

Marks and Spencer in Braehead have choosing Brightest Star as their store charity for 2016-2017 and they have allocated 2 days per month to bag pack from 11-4. If you could give up one hour or a few hours of your time on any of these days then all you have to do is….
Go to customer services desk in the food hall at M & S Braehead, say you are there to bag back and they will sign you in and give you a Brightest Star t-shirt.

These bag packs can allow us to raise vital funds so if you could help, Brightest Star and M & S would really appreciate it

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Help Us Please?

How would you feel if you had to leave your child to travel alone in ambulance?
How would you feel if there was a possibility that you child may die in an ambulance without you there?
How would you feel if your child died in an ambulance and you weren’t there as they took their last breath?

As you can see in the video I will never forget being told that neither I or Jacks dad could travel with Jack in the ambulance.

I will never forget the feeling I had watching them place Jack in an ambulance and close the door as I stood outside, asking the paramedic “please look after my son like he is your own”

I will never forget the guilt that I had and still have from leaving Jack, unconscious and critically ill, to travel from Glasgow to Edinburgh without me or his dad to hold his hand.

I will never forget thinking “what if he dies in that ambulance without us” “what if he wakes up and wants his mummy”.

And I will never forget that I lost two hours of my son’s life with him before he died. Nothing can ever replace those 2 hours.

I totally understand all the health and safety arguments, I totally understand that the patient must come 1st and I understand that some parents may be in no fit to travel with the child but I also firmly believe that NO child should ever die in an ambulance without a parent at their side.

One of Brightest Stars 1st aims was to provide a family ambulance and finally 3 years on…. this aim is well underway. We are currently discussing the ambulance design and specifications but it is our intention that this ambulance with be fitted with extra seats to accommodate one if not two parents. Furthermore, this ambulance will be designed so that it can be used for babies, children and adults. More precise details will be released at a later date but we hope to have the ambulance on the road early next year.
If Jack had not got access to the last bed in Edinburgh Intensive care that day, he would have been transferred to Newcastle. Even today, I can’t bear the thought of that as the chances are, Jack would have died in that ambulance and I would not have been by his side. When our children are sick, our immediate reaction is to take them to our nearest hospital, most times those hospitals do not specialise in children and the child has to be moved to another hospital. From 2015-2016, 1371 babies and children to age 16, in Scotland alone needed to be transferred. That’s 1371 sets of parents that may have been unable to be at their child’s side in their hour of need. We are looking at any estimated cost of £160,000 for our family ambulance but if that stops one child or the possibility of 1371 babies or children from dying without their parent present then it is worth every penny.

Tonight I am asking for your help with this campaign as we need your support more than ever. If you could spare £1, £5 or £10 then it will get us one step closer to achieving our aim. You can donate by texting Jack 06 £5 (or the amount) to 70070.

We have two organised events left this year, all fundraising from these will go solely to funding the ambulance and I would love as many of you as possible to take part.
The Family Great Scottish Run which is a Toddler Dash for under 5s, the Junior Great Scottish Run for 9-15 Family Mile 3-8 accompanied by an adult on Sat 1st Oct 2016 and the Great Scottish Run 10k or half marathon on Sunday 2nd Oct 2016. You don’t have to run, you can jog or walk with the rest of us.
Why not get your family, friends or workplace to do this together and when you see our ambulance on the road, you can feel pride in knowing you helped towards that!!

Until the day that I die, there are two things that I will never stop campaigning for..

1. That parents are allowed to be with their child in an ambulance, especially if there is a possibility that the child may die

2. That bereavement care families that lose a child is vastly improved across the uk

Please join me in this campaign by inviting your friends to like Brightest Star, tag them in this post and share this story on your own personal page.

Together we can make a change,

Arlene, Jack’s Mummy xx

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