The Incredible Memories Fund raises funds for Sue Ryder, while also allowing bereaved families to build an online tribute page for their lost loved ones. Photos and memories can be shared and saved in a space that allows people to come together in the aftermath of tragedy.
Leanne Patterson, from Baston in Lincolnshire, lost her friend, Bev Burdock, in 2017. In her final few days, Bev was cared for at Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall hospice.
Speaking about her friend and the choice to set up the online tribute page, Leanne said: "I set up the Incredible Memories tribute page in memory of my dear friend Bev, who we sadly lost to cancer in 2017 - she was aged just 49. I live in a close-knit village and we all knew and loved Bev. The page has enabled us to create events and fundraise for Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice in her memory.
"Our main fundraiser is our Christmas messages event on social media. It’s a private group set up for our village and friends of Bev. We write our Christmas messages and post our pictures instead of sending Christmas cards (which Bev didn’t like writing!), and give the money to the tribute page. We have done it every year since she died, and this year we raised a fantastic £1,715.
"The page, and this event, allows us to give back to Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice and thank them for the wonderful care they provide. Bev’s last Christmas was spent at the hospice and this was made very special for her and her family."
In total, the support of Bev's family and friends has raised £5,883 for Sue Ryder.
Bianca Neumann-May, head of bereavement at Sue Ryder said: "As a society, the grief those around us are experiencing right now is unlike anything we have ever witnessed before.
"Funerals are an incredibly important part of the grieving process. It is a way to recognise your loss, celebrate the life that has been lived and can offer closure and support. Without this ritual, it may be hard for some people to fully process their loss and it’s upsetting for many that they can’t give their loved one the send-off they deserved.
"The Incredible Memories Fund is an important tool for people to process their grief in these unprecedented times. Not only does it allow people to celebrate a life that has been lived in the absence of big funerals, but it keeps their memory alive for years to come."
To find out more about setting up an Incredible Memories Fund, click here
Sue Ryder also provides a range of online bereavement support, including free video counselling delivered through trained bereavement counsellors; an online community forum offering 24 hour peer to peer support and a wide range of advice and resources for people who are grieving or supporting someone through bereavement. Read more at www.sueryder.org/online-bereavement-support