Meet Amanda, Bluebell Wood’s Bereavement Support Worker.

She works with families who have gone through the heartbreak of losing a child.

Amanda, who has worked for Bluebell Wood for 12 years, supports families to undertake memory work if they choose to, such as making plaster hand and footprints or engraving a pebble with their child’s name.

Families are always given a choice of memory work to take part in – even making fingerprint jewellery – and Amanda is trained in delivering the work that means so much to families.

Bluebell Wood now offer heartbeat memory work for babies diagnosed before birth, which involves turning their heartbeat into music.

Amanda explained how much making these memories means to parents and carers: “One mum said that creating memories with Bluebell Wood means so much because we knew her family and that she still holds the plaster cast of her son’s hand when she’s having a bad day,” she said.

“I feel honoured to be able to work with families to make memories they can treasure after their child is gone."

"It makes me proud to be able to offer families their final memories and that they trust me with their child’s memory.

“You get to know families really well because you become part of their life and journey.”

Amanda also runs the hospice’s Dragonfly groups and workshops, where families going through similar experiences can meet and take part in activities together.  

She said that one mum described the group as her “two hours of normality.” Amanda added: “She doesn’t have to paint on a smile if she doesn’t want to. She can cry or smile, and no one will judge her.”

In her time at Bluebell Wood, Amanda has moved onwards and upwards.

She joined the team initially as a Support Worker, but when she began to spend her spare time working in bereavement and workshops, it became clear that was where her passion lied.

Amanda has been key in organising Bluebell Wood’s Remembering Day, which is a special service and event for those families who have gone through a bereavement.

“Standing up in front of more than 250 people and speaking their child’s name was a huge area of development,” she said.

“I came to Bluebell Wood with knowledge, but I’ve developed end-of-life care skills and now that is one of my strongest areas and my confidence has grown.

“When I first started, I wouldn’t have picked up the phone to speak to someone I didn’t know and now I’m the first point of contact for a family who have just lost a child.”

Amanda is always working to the best version of herself at work and is even progressing through the qualifications needed to become a counsellor. We’re thrilled to have her on the hospice’s team.