In Australia a shocking 1 in 20 children will lose a parent before the age of 17, that means there is at least one child in every classroom facing that challenge every day.
One organisation that is out there helping those kids and families have chosen Armidale as their first ever venture out of Sydney since it was founded four years ago, and they are looking for locals to chip in.
Feel The Magic is an organisation that specialises in teaching bereaved children how best to approach their “grief journey”, as well as the most effective ways to deal with their emotions in a positive way.
The foundation was founded by James and Kristy Thomas, who, unfortunately, both know first-hand how hard it is to deal with the loss of a loved one.
“Basically we take the kids through a three day therapeutic program about what it is to go through the grief journey,” Kristy said.
“We teach them how to identify their feelings and what to do, as well as teach them to be less dependent on their remaining parent, who is also grieving as well.
“It empowers them to take control of their own journey and self soothe.”
Feel the Magic hold four camps a year at Vision Valley in Arcadia, and have chosen Armidale as their first foray out of the city because of the need in regional areas, as well as already having connection in the region through people like former New England Police Inspector Matt Lynch.
“It all really fell into place in Armidale – we wanted to cover a three to four hour radius so Armidale let’s us take in the coast, as well as have a good reach inland as well,” Kristy said.
“The camps also include things like arts and craft, meditation, movement activities, team building exercises, and activities like rock climbing and flying foxes.”
One critical aspect of the camp is that every child is paired with a mentor for the duration of the camp, and that is where the organisation is hoping locals can come into play.
“We have a lot of volunteers, and many of them are bereaved themselves, but they don’t have to be,” Kristy said.
“We will be advertising for volunteers as well as campers, and also offer a training program one month prior for those volunteers.”
The camp is being held at St Alberts College at the UNE from November 2 to 4.
Anyone interested in attending or volunteering are directed to the Feel The Magic Website.
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