Grief Encounter, one of the UK’s leading bereavement charities, supporting children, young people and their families, hosted their fourth Gala Dinner at The Roundhouse London on 7th November 2022. With over 800 guests, and hosted by Grief Encounter Patron Jeff Brazier and Zoe Hardman, the event raised an incredible £1.1 million, which will all go directly to helping children and young people who have experienced the death of someone close.
During the evening, guests heard from Grief Encounter beneficiaries including Natalie Wayne and Suzanne Gibbard who both spoke about their very emotional grief journey so far. Having both experienced the death of their husbands, in sudden and unexpected circumstances, they illustrated just how important Grief Encounter, and the professional support their children have been given, is to their life, after death.
“2 years ago, I was in such a hole – the darkest hole in the deepest pit, but we now have the tools and strength to go on. I am learning everyday what genuine and consistent support can do for a bereaved child. Through utter devastation and sadness, there can be inspiration. With the support of Grief Encounter I can honestly say that we are not just surviving, we are living, we are loving again, and we are making him proud.” Natalie, Mum of 2, Grief Encounter Beneficiary.
Premiered at the event is the charity’s latest film, ‘Out of Darkness’, directed by Daniel Mendelle. Featuring just four of the children Grief Encounter help, the film explores their stories, and how professional support has helped them bring light back into the their darkest times.
“Grief Encounter is really kind, they understand you. I miss my mum but I feel in a much more comfortable place now thanks to Grief Encounter’s amazing work. If it wasn’t for Grief Encounter, and the support they have given me, I’d be in a much different place to where I am now.” Ethan, Age 12, Grief Encounter Beneficiary.
Guests were also able to bid on amazing, money-can’t-buy prizes in the evening’s silent auction, including watching an intimate rehearsal with Grief Encounter Patron, Katherine Jenkins, and holidays in exotic destinations. With thanks to all those who donated prizes to ensure Grief Encounter was able to raise as much money as possible on the night.
We are so grateful to our sponsors and anonymous donors that have allowed us to ensure 100% of all money raised can directly benefit the children, young people and families we support. Also thanks to our guests and donors for helping us reach our target for the event, which means we can plan confidently into the next year, making sure we can reach as many children and young people who need us, when they need us most.