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A unique approach to supporting bereaved families

At Helen & Douglas House, we help bereaved families engage in their grief, in happy remembering and in the formation of continuing a bond with their child who has died. We recognise that the arts have a vital part to play in this and we are so glad to be working with The Keepsake Circle Bespoke Song writing Project.

The Keepsake Circle

In early 2023, we started working in partnership with The Keepsake Circle. The Keepsake Circle work with bereaved parents and families within palliative care organisations to memorialise their children in a song. Initially, we offered ten bereaved parents a unique opportunity to remember their child through the creation of an original song.  

Families were invited to take part, and then in June 2023 they met with Kiki and Gus, from The Keepsake Circle, at the hospice. They met to talk about their child who had died and about their memories together. Some of them brought special items to remember their child and were supported throughout by a member of the bereavement team at Helen & Douglas House.  

In the months that followed, the pair from The Keepsake Circle communicated regularly with the family whilst they created a unique song for each child.

The Keepsake Circle Concert

On Monday 20th May the families came together with members of staff at Kingston Bagpuize House for a concert of their songs. 

It was an incredible day, but also very emotional for those who came. All the families had briefly heard their songs a short time before the concert, but this was the first time they heard them in a live setting. It was a special occasion and the culmination of the hard work of The Keepsake Circle, our fundraising, marketing and the community & family support teams over the past year.

We are also very grateful for funding from donors to run the project, to Kingston Bagpuize House for their hospitality and for support from Notcutts Garden Centre with flowers to help make the venue look special.

Listen and download the songs

You can find them on the links below, or can search for the Keepsake Circle: Helen & Douglas – Part 1.

What’s next?

We will be inviting more families to take part in ‘Part 2’ of The Keepsake Circle. More details to follow in due course.

Helen & Douglas House Bereavement Support

Bereavement support is available to any family, bereaved of a child, within our catchment area. It can be provided through individual support, as a couple and via support groups. If the level of mental health support required is more than we can offer, we will work with you and your GP to refer you to appropriate services. Visit our bereavement support page for more information.

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