The Mile Castle Pub in Newcastle upon Tyne has gone further by supporting the North East Bereaved Parents Group, which is much appreciated by the team at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle and the families who attend the group.
CLIC Sargent Social Worker Karen Heale said: “Amanda Dunn, pub manager and Lauren Jenner, shift manager, have been fantastic and we really could not have set up such a successful group in our area, if it was not for the huge part they and their wonderful staff have played in getting this group up off the ground.
“As a CLIC Sargent team we had often talked about our desire to start up a group to reach as many bereaved parents as possible to offer ongoing support.”
The social care team approached J D Wetherspoon to enquire if they had a suitable venue in which they could hold a private group away from the hustle and bustle of a very popular bar.
Karen said “Amanda and Lauren could not have been more accommodating, and from the first visit, we knew that we’d achieved our goal.
“Amanda offered us a lovely room, which she agreed to close off to the public, which included an area that could provide privacy.
“It was ideal and to top it off they offered to provide free tea and coffee.”
The group attended on average by 20 parents including fathers, is supported by three CLIC Sargent staff and a bereavement counsellor.
Karen said: “One father shared with us that the venue had contributed to his decision to attend.
"He said that he didn’t feel ‘threatened’ by the venue, adding that he would not have wanted to attend a ‘formal, therapeutic group’, but just wanted to be able to talk in a supported environment, say hello and support other bereaved parents.”
Mile Castle manager Amanda Dunn said: “We are very proud to be supporting such a great charity and being able to provide a venue for such meetings to take place which are of great value and support to the families affected.
“Over the last few years we have ran many events within the pub to help raise money for CLIC Sargent from beach parties, staff non uniform days, staff bingo, pink nights, to raffles and have taken part in the Great North Run.
“This summer we are organising a cycling challenge where we will have members of staff cycling each day for five days in the pub and our target is to raise £500.”
Can you help?
The location of the pub being in Newcastle has been a difficult place to travel to for many parents, due to the large geographical area the team cover.
Another obstacle for parents has been dealing with the emotional upset of travelling to Newcastle for the group as they are reminded of the numerous occasions they travelled the same journey with their child during treatment, and for many the memories are too painful.
It is on this basis that the team are now looking to find other J D Wetherspoon pubs that would be able to offer a similar arrangement for our groups in the Teeside, Northumberland and Cumbria areas.
If you can help, we would love to hear from you, please contact CLIC Sargent Social Worker Karen Heale in the Newcastle team on 0191 282 4331.