Friends of Philip’s Park Cemetery: Stronger Communities Fund
Philip’s Park Cemetery in Miles Platting is a much-loved community asset to the people of East Manchester, with up to 1,000 visitors each week from all over Manchester and the surrounding areas. It is lovingly maintained and looked after by the Friends Of Philip’s Park Cemetery (FPPC) not-for-profit group, who formed in 2008 to reverse the trend of vandalism and crime that had plagued the site for a number of years.
Since their formation, FPPC have tirelessly worked to bring it to its fantastic current state by holding fundraising events and liaising with local churches, schools, politicians and national organisations. Throughout the year they hold regular events like history walks, nature activities and clean-up days to keep the area a vital part of the community and a respectful place to visit loved ones who have passed away.
Why are we funding them?
Last year, during the height of the Coronavirus pandemic, FPPC launched a ground-breaking project called “Children Grieve Too” which aims to provide our young ones with the tools to understand and process bereavement in a supportive way, and help adults understand the effects of grief on children. Many children would have experienced grief for the first time over the past year, and this project gave the youngest visitors to the Cemetery a chance to make sense of what is happening, with information given in words appropriate for their age and reducing the feelings of isolation and exclusion from the rest of the family unit.
FPPC applied to our Stronger Communities Fund for £1,146 of grant funding that purchased 1,500 information leaflets from Bereavement UK, specially tailored around a range of topics on a child’s experience of bereavement, and 3 permanently installed wall mounts to host them.
How is the project going?
The leaflets started being distributed in April 2021, and FPPC tell us that they have been greatly appreciated by visitors to the Cemetery and they hope they will last them for the next two years.
Gail Spelman, Chair of FPPC, said on receipt of the award:
“We are so pleased to have been awarded these funds from the We Love MCR Charity. During Covid many children will have experienced the death of a family member for the first time. The leaflets explain in more detail about death, what children may ask, what to say to them when parents may also be grieving themselves. Covid has affected many families. We see hundreds of grieving people every day. For children’s counselling there is a waiting list of up to 18 months at some organisations. A leaflet would give some immediate advice in the interim."
We’re really happy to be able to support FPPC with this grant, fitting perfectly with the ‘Help in the Early Years’ key theme from our Stronger Communities Fund. Bereavement can cause disadvantage to children in so many ways, and we’re glad knowing that families and younger visitors to Philips Park Cemetery will be better equipped to deal with the emotional impacts thanks to this first-of-its-kind initiative.
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