For tomorrow’s match against Bradford City, AFC Wimbledon will be supporting The Good Grief Trust by promoting their valuable work and inviting fans to donate to a collection on the day.
Each season, the club invites charities to hold collections on a match day with fans invited to vote, and we are delighted to highlight what The Good Grief Trust does to help people after family bereavements.
Below is a video all about the charity and Founder Linda Magistris also tells us her reasons for setting up the Trust.
Why I set up The Good Grief Trust by Linda Magistris (Founder)
I lost my partner Graham to a rare cancer, a soft tissue sarcoma, on September 2 2014. We met again when we bumped into each other purely by chance in Wimbledon Village, 30 years after we first met when we worked together in Grange Hill back in the late 70's/80's. I played Susi in the original cast and Graham was our Director. Strangely we had been living 20 mins away from each other in Wimbledon for 25 years and never knew. We went for lunch and that was that, we were together for 8 years. Graham was my best friend, the man who made me laugh more than anyone else, the man who drove me to complete despair at times, the man I loved being with, and who made my heart flutter when I saw him, even after all those years, and I miss him like crazy every day. Losing Graham has changed my whole world, the pain has been unbearable at times, I've felt lost and alone and often completely disconnected with day to day life.
Grief can be utterly debilitating and early on it literally made me feel as if I was going mad! I used to walk across Wimbledon Common where we spent so much time together, shouting up to the sky, 'where are you?' I just couldn't understand where the man I loved, the man who was so important to me had gone! I desperately needed help to deal with my grief, but no-body seemed to be able to help me. The reality of death has been very hard to accept and has affected me deeply, I am a different person now, but that's not a bad thing. I want to ensure that no-one has to suffer unnecessarily because they cannot access the support that is right for them, at a time they need it most.
The Good Grief Trust exists to help all those suffering grief in the UK. With over half a million deaths in the UK every year, at some time in our lives ALL of us will be affected by grief and none of us know how we will react to the death of someone close until it happens. I had a really difficult time trying to find bereavement support that was right for me, when Graham died, no-one seemed to be able to point me in the right direction for support and just didn't seem to understand what I was going through. I wasn't given the choice of support I now know was available to me. I eventually found a charity online that was my lifeline, but it shouldn't have been left to chance. After 2 years of research, I realised that we needed to bring all UK bereavement services together under one umbrella, so that anyone who loses someone they love can find the targeted support they need quickly and those working with the bereaved would be able to access a new national central database of support.
I founded The Good Grief Trust charity just over one year ago. We have recently launched the UK’s leading fully comprehensive online bereavement support website, www.thegoodgrieftrust.org , to provide help and hope in one place for both the bereaved, whether you have lost a partner, child, parent, grandparent, sibling or friend and for the health professionals who work with them. We have a growing database of over 530 local, regional and national support organisations and it is a place where you will find advice, information and stories from others who have lost someone they love, so that those grieving will know they are not alone. In tandem we have developed a new innovative way of reaching every person in the country who is bereaved, with our Good Grief 'gift card', to be provided by every front line organisation in the UK, to immediately signpost those in need of support to our website. We have also instigated the new All Party Parliamentary Group on Bereavement Support, working with Government and all key bereavement charities across the country, to influence change and improvements to UK bereavement support. It's been a busy year!
We are run by the bereaved, for the bereaved and aim to offer a fresh new insight into the way grief is managed in our country. We have ambitious plans for 2018, and are passionate about reaching communities and bringing people together across the country, to support each other, encourage talking about grief in a more honest, straightforward way and to help to make the pain a little more bearable, both for those at the early stages of loss and to bring inspiration and hope to those who are further along their grief ‘journey’. #StrongerTogether #GriefMatters