Updated 02 November 2017

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Friends for Parents

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30 Years’ Celebration 3rd October 2017


The Friends for Parents’ team met in the Sanctuary at the BRI to celebrate 30 years of working as volunteers in the Bristol Children’s Hospital. Friends old and new joined us, some from many miles away. There were those who had been there at the beginning – notably Chaplain Charmion Mann whose idea it was in the first place.



Friends for Parents News  Bristol 10k Run 2017

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The celebration finished with tea, coffee and cake and a chance to mingle and exchange news with old friends and make new ones. We would have loved to invite all members of Bristol Diocese MU to say thank you for all your support but unfortunately there would not have been room for all to be there.


Also present Barbara Lawes (see left),

MU President in 1987 (who brought it into being as a Mothers’ Union project)and Ann Dent who gave our first training and to bring us up to date, a prospective new volunteer and our current president Aurea and other MU members, past members of the team, past Chaplains, hospital managers and volunteers.


Hospital Chaplain, Rev. Steve Oram, led the informal service which included members of the team talking about their memories of families they have met over the years, including in 1987 taking a Christmas Day lunch into hospital to a single mum, a MU member from another diocese and who still keeps in touch with us. We heard the story of a difficult search for a lost dummy and the relief from mum and toddler when Rhoda traced it to another department and returned it to them. One parent wrote, ‘Parents at a low ebb in their lives have someone to turn to with Friends for Parents and I can assure that the help extended means so much. Long may the good work continue.’

There were prayers of thanksgiving, of remembering those members of the team who have died, and of rededicating ourselves to the future, a Bible reading from 1 Corinthians 13, a reflection from Steve, and an opportunity for everyone there to write down their thoughts and pin them on to a board.

There was time for reflection as we placed pebbles in a bowl watching the ripples and thinking how they can spread from a small action.

Gill Wilding, (Left) Friends for Parents Coordinator was very touched to receive a certificate from Aurea at the end of the service marking 45 years of MU membership and 30 years of working with Friends for Parents.


Various members

took part in the service