Jumping For Joy

Jumping For Joy

By Talyn Williams>

What better way to help cope with hard times than get together with a group of people, who are in similar circumstances, and head off for a bounce around a trampoline park? Well this is just what Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice did with a little help from the Alpkit Foundation.

We spoke to Jo and Liam Taylor about the Phyllis Hospice and the 'Storm' group they've set up to help children and teenagers deal with bereavement:

It is estimated that, by the age of 16, 1 in 20 children will have experienced the death of one or both parents. Many teachers and head teachers will at some point have a bereaved child in their care and may need some guidance on how to support that child.

It’s something you’re never prepared for,” says Megan Robinson, head teacher at Elvetham Heath Primary school in Fleet. “Supporting children through separation and divorce is one thing, but when a parent is terminally ill, and then dies, that’s a whole new ballgame.

Our Storm group is aimed at children of secondary school and sixth form age. Adolescence brings its own set of challenges and, when coupled with grief, can lead to a multitude of complexities. Through our informal group activities, teens are able to meet and socialise with others who have similar experiences, building important peer networks. Knowing that they are not alone is a great support at this difficult time, as Liam says: “it’s nice to know you’ve got other people who are going through the same thing, and comforting knowing you’re not the only one.”

Needless to say, we 'jumped' at the chance to help out when we were asked to surrport a trip to the trampoline park. We caught up with Peter Foxton to see how it went:

"Back in September, we took 12 teenagers, accompanied by 3 adults to Gravity Force in Camberley. The group enjoyed their time on the trampolines, which included playing dodgeball, and then we all grabbed a bite to eat aftewards."

"Our aim during the event is to provide a space where the group members can build relationships with others in a similar situation, as well as having an enjoyable time. The trampolines were very popular, and we were also pleased to see that the group were very welcoming to 2 new members. They were all suitably exhausted at the end of the session!"

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