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Sunflowers charity appoints Lady Bathurst as patron

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Stonehouse-based Sunflowers Suicide Support, a suicide bereavement charity, has announced The Right Honourable Countess Bathurst as a patron.

Lady Bathurst was born in Marlborough but has lived in Gloucestershire for more than 25 years. During this time, she has championed many local, national, and international causes – from the plight of dairy farmers, to saving Cirencester landmarks from demolition. Lady Bathurst was also inaugurated as High Sheriff of Gloucestershire in April 2016. Her time in the role enabled her to build upon her previous projects including work in prisons and alongside Gloucestershire Constabulary.

“Sunflowers offers help, guidance and comfort at a time when families have been torn apart by suicide. When all is complete turmoil, confusion and shattering grief, Sunflowers gives a lifeline to those who are facing the worst days of their lives.

“I am very privileged to have been invited to be patron of Sunflowers, having been personally touched by suicide I know how vital their work is,” said Lady Bathurst.

Sunflowers volunteer Ian Taylor introduced founder Abbie Warren to Lady Bathurst after they had previously connected over their love of spaniels: “I knew, having met and spoken to Lady Bathurst previously, that she would be an ideal patron for Sunflowers and I’m delighted that she has agreed to take on such a crucial role for our amazing charity,” he explained.

Sunflowers Suicide Support continues to grow and offers a variety of support to people bereaved by suicide, as well as highly sought-after suicide intervention training to the wider community.

The past two years have been a challenging time for Sunflowers Suicide Support. As the pandemic unfolded and restrictions were enforced the need for suicide bereavement support also increased. The demand for suicide bereavement support from Sunflowers in 2021 increased to such a level that the number of referrals has been more than the two previous years combined.

The charity sees on average two new bereaved families per week. The complexities of an already traumatic and devastating bereavement have also been more intense due to the additional impact of losing a loved one during a pandemic. Sunflowers provides families with one-to-one bereavement liaison support tailored to their individual needs, alongside their support groups, walking group and bereavement events.

“It is a time of growth for the charity both in delivery of services and within the Sunflowers team. We have some fantastic volunteers, and our infrastructure and staff have also increased. As part of this growth, it feels fitting to appoint our new patron. We feel honoured that Lady Bathurst has agreed to support the charity and we look forward to the relationship with her as our Patron,” said founder Abbie Warren.

For more information on Sunflowers visit:  www.SunflowersSuicideSupport.org.uk

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