A young St Oswald’s supporter is taking part in the Mini Great North Run on September 9th after he receved specialist support at the Hospice following the death of his dad.
Alfie Matfin, aged 8 from Houghton Le Spring has received support from the Hospice’s bereavement team since his dad Richard 33 from Blyth died in June 2017 after a year long battle with a rare form of cancer called Sarcoma. His mum, Beth Iveson, explains more about why Alfie is supporting the charity and how he is enjoying having an extra focus:
When I found out that Alfie’s dad Richard was nearing the end of his battle with Sarcoma Cancer I knew I needed to get Alfie some help and support to get him through this awful time because I don’t know anyone else who has had to tell their young child that they are going to lose a parent.
“After trawling through the internet for advice I still felt very unequipped to talk to Alfie about his dad’s death and that’s when we found St Oswald's. I spoke to Brenda their Bereavement Coordinator in absolute despair, and now Alfie comes to St Oswald’s for a ‘safe place’ to talk about his feelings.
“Alfie goes to St Oswald’s every week and he loves it. He takes part in arts and crafts and makes things that remind him of his dad, tells the Bereavement Support Team how he's feeling and asks questions that he feels he'd upset people should he ask, as well as meeting other children in a similar situation.
“St Oswald’s help and support has been priceless and I am forever in their debt because when there was nowhere else to go they welcomed us with open arms and should I need any support in supporting Alfie there is always someone on the other end of the phone.
I go to St Oswald’s every week and do crafts with the Brenda and Beth from the Bereavement Team. When I am there I can talk about my feelings while I do fun things like painting, drawing and making salt jars.
“I shaved my hair with my Dad before and raised money for other charities so I really want to do it this time for St Oswald’s. I am running with my Grandma.”
Alfie is raising money to thank St Oswald’s for their support. To make a donation, and find out more, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/minimatfin.