Our work at Foundation is about supporting vulnerable people and it’s a sad reality that occasionally our teams experience the death of a customer, sometimes in very tragic circumstances. Because we are working to bring our customers together, for them to form new relationships and gain a sense of inclusion, when a customer dies it’s not just our staff that are impacted. Other customers that the individual may have met and worked with, also need supporting through a grieving process.

The Durham team sent in this detail about how they spent time remembering a customer they had lost. It’s a testament to the relationships that they have built with customers, that they were able to do this in such a sensitive and sincere way. Here one of the Durham Team reflects:

Durham recently had a customer death. We held a group session the following week with a small group of customers who knew the deceased. We gathered together items he had made at group sessions like cards, pictures and crafts and made a poster in remembrance of him. Each person was able to talk about him and his likes and dislikes and we also added this to poster.  During the session we laughed about his like of jellied eels and his sense of humour! He has left a legacy at Foundation Durham in the form of a mirror (see picture) which he painted himself and now welcomes customers at our reception. Part of the session looked at stress, self-esteem and confidence building and how we can all benefit from lending a hand to others with no gain to ourselves. The customers were quiet and reflective at the session but left with a smile on their face as they walked past the mirror in reception!

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Our thoughts are with this individual’s family and with the Durham team and their customers.