1347. Sally Stanley
Sally Stanley, from Hampshire, created the charity 'Simon Says' which is offering dedicated bereavement support to over 300 young people in the county.
Sally established the charity in memory of her husband Simon who died from cancer in 2000, leaving behind two young children. Finding there was no bereavement support locally for them, she set up a service that could offer young people, as well as teachers, information and advice. The charity also runs a telephone support line, hosts monthly support groups and an annual residential weekend.
In a personal letter to Sally, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“I am lost in admiration for how you have taken your own personal grief and used your experience to offer care and support to children who are suffering their own loss. No child should feel alone at such a difficult time in their life and services like yours ensure that they have someone to talk to when they need it most. It is a wonderful and fitting tribute to your late husband, Simon.”
“I am truly humbled to have been presented with the Prime Minister’s Points of Light award. Never did I ever think that my own personal story of being a widowed mother of 2 young children would be the foundation for what ‘Simon Says’ now provides for thousands of children and young people through one of the most challenging times of their life.
“Current statistics show that a parent of a child under the age of 18 dies every 22 minutes in the UK; that’s around 23,600 a year. It’s imperative to myself and everyone involved with ‘Simon Says’ that these bereaved children and young people are not forgotten.
“We couldn’t provide this support without the commitment of our wonderful network of volunteers – words cannot express my gratitude for all that they do.”