Sunflowers Suicide Support

By Kieron James

04 Mar 19

Our son and brother Pete Morris was 29 when he took his own life in September 2016. He had no history of mental illness and although he was feeling low from a recent relationship breakdown, he never indicated that he was struggling.

Pete was a popular and charismatic artist with a wonderful sense of humour. Everybody loved to spend time with him; with his infectious laugh and huge smile, he was sure to brighten your day. He was extremely close to his family and had a very strong network of friends that all loved him dearly. Never in our wildest dreams would we have imagined Pete could contemplate doing this.

We sadly learnt very quickly that suicide loss is a lonely and confusing journey. In our confusion, we didn’t know where to turn and where support would come from. We were catapulted into having to cope with the pain, trauma and confusion of the situation. We may forever ask ourselves why? and battle with the “I should haves”. 

This charity was set up to be the small ray of light in the darkness offering others comfort and support. In all we do we hope to offer others a glimmer of hope.  We were registered by the Charity Commission in February 2018. It has been a very busy year but we are expanding and developing what we offer. At present we are working within Gloucestershire.

We endeavour to provide families with practical guidance and signposting to further professional support through our SOS packs. We try and ensure a range of services to meet the individual needs of those bereaved. This includes individual support - a listening ear, various group support meetings and an eight-week grief recovery programme. Last year we did other events including planting the Sunflower garden, decorating stones as a memorial, butterfly release and picnic. We have a group who run the ‘storms walk’ open to all, to get together and be out in fresh air almost every Sunday afternoon.

We also want to help prevent other families having to go through this terrible experience. We aim to raise awareness around mental health and suicide both on social media and by networking locally. We will deliver accredited Applied Suicide Intervention Skill Training to the wider community. Have a look at our I am listening campaign on our website.

One life lost to suicide is too many – we need to work towards a suicide safer community.

We put some questions to Sunflowers:

How did you discover Wonderful?

Being a young charity, we attended some training on the art of charity coordination. The person leading the training and one of the other participants advocated Wonderful.

Did you have any initial reservations about the platform? If so, what are they and have they since been overcome?

Initially we were a little unsure as to whether Wonderful would be as was advertised, and that there may be hidden fees. But Wonderful truly conducts itself as it says, there are no hidden fees.

What made you decide to become a Wonderful charity?

It is important to us a small charity that we carefully and wisely manage the money that has been so kindly donated and raised for us. It therefore makes sense to work with a platform that shares this philosophy. Wonderful has so far offered us an easy and efficient service.

How has Wonderful helped your charity in particular?

We are a new charity, and we were a little naive in understanding the fee structure of other platforms. It was a bit of a shock to realise how much was being taken in fees it is therefore heart warming to realise that there are platforms out there with the same ethical principles to giving as ourselves.

Tell us about a particular appeal or fundraising page that is worthy of mention.

We have an event planned for this year which we have incorporated fundraising alongside promoting the importance of getting outdoors in nature, exercising, and the benefits this has on our mental health. Over the period of a week we ask people to run 10k at their own pace. This will be called Chase the Sun. Please email through our website or watch out for further details on this in next couple of months.

If we limited you to just three words to describe Wonderful, what would they be?

As it says WONDERFUL

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