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Jessie Douglas, churchgoer and future project development worker, used the experience of losing her son in
a motorcycle accident to help David come to terms with his brother’s death.
The church then acquired the services of several health and childcare offi cers to support the children.
‘Some of these children had seen terrible sights, which even an adult would fi nd hard to cope with. Some
had found their parent dead and been the only person in the house,’ explained Liz. ‘We gave them an
opportunity to express their hurt and deal with feelings of guilt that often follow the death of a family
member or someone close to them.’
After Liz and other church members received training in bereavement counselling and play therapy, they set
up Richmond’s Hope in June, 2003. Through specialised workbooks, fun play areas, dedicated one-to-one
sessions and many other creative techniques, staff have seen real change in the lives and behaviour of
children struggling to cope with their loss.
Staff see spiritual questions as very important in the child’s understanding of death. ‘Amidst the hurt and
suffering of a deprived community, this church has combined inspirational faith with practical help and
produced remarkable results,’ said staff member Donna.
Ground-breaking Richmond’s Hope won the £10,000 Spring Harvest Faithworks Award in 2003 for
excellence in community development. The dedicated work of Richmond’s Hope has produced more than
just good results; it has produced changed lives.
Contact information: Richmond’s Hope, Richmond Craigmillar Church, 227 Niddrie Mains Road,
Edinburgh EH16 4PA. Telephone 0131 661 6818.
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