CHUMS boss Dawn Hewitt couldn’t stop smiling when it was announced that the children’s bereavement service had triumphed in ITV People’s Millions competition.
Thanks to a huge number of telephone votes, the charity was awarded £50,000 to spend on a new recreational therapies service, successfully trialled earlier this year.
Dawn’s immediate reaction was “Wow!” followed by: “This money is going to make a huge difference to so many people and young children across Luton and Bedfordshire.
“It really is a big deal to us and will be used to launch our recreational service. This will help a further 500 children who struggle with traditional talking therapies, who cannot put into words what is making their lives so difficult, and who need a more flexible type of support.”
It will provide regimental-syle boot camps, problem-solving on the football field, music, and arts and crafts activities.
Dawn said: “We are so thrilled to be given the opportunity to expand the service. To be able to forge ahead with something that has been in my mind for at least four years is incredible and to be allowed to be creative and think outside the box is a dream.
“I know we really can say now we offer support that is accessible to any child or young person – it’s what we’re all passionate about.”
She added: “The team has been overwhelmed by the backing we’ve received and I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who’s helped us secure this amazing prize.
“The publicity has done so much to raise our profile – we’ve gone from 450 Facebook friends to more than 1,200 in a week.”
CHUMS bereavement, trauma and emotional wellbeing service supports young people and their families following the death of someone close.
It offers one-to-one support, group work, residential weekends and family days, as well as a highly specialised trauma service for severely distressed children.
> For more information visit www.chums.uk.com