A YOUNG lad who received bereavement support from Primrose Hospice is backing its Big Summer Stroll at nearby Hanbury Hall.
Theo Giles, from Redditch, has urged people to get behind the event which takes place on Saturday, July 3 in the grounds of the National Trust property.
The nine-year-old has been supported by the hospice’s Children and Young People’s team following the death in April of his grandfather and great Redditch mental health champion, Mike Lewington.
Mike, with Theo’s family – mum and dad Sarah and Richard – and older brother Elliot, aged 16, enjoyed dog walks through Hanbury Woods together.
The family has also taken on Mike’s beloved nine-year-old whippet Joey, who joins their dog, Daisy.
Sarah and Richard said Theo became a bit more subdued following Mike’s death and struggled with lockdown before returning to the classroom, unable to share his feelings at school.
Having contacted Primrose, Theo began seeing the Children and Young People’s team for group support and one-to-one sessions with Primrose children and family worker Sharon Workman.
Theo said: “It’s helped having a different person to talk to other than mum or dad.
“Sharon was easy to speak to and it’s helped because I wanted to talk a lot about him.
“Sharon gave good tips about how to deal with it as well.
“I feel like I have definitely come a long way. I feel like my old self.”
The family, along with dogs Joey and Daisy, will be joining the Big Summer Stroll and hope to see other families also sign up to take part.
They are urging other families to sign up and take part in the 3.5km around the stunning gardens.
Hospice fundraising manager Sally Insley said: “It is clear how much granddad Mike meant to Theo and how the support from Primrose helped Theo grieve.
“Their story highlights how family walks are often some of the best times to make memories and bond with each other.”
Access to the Hanbury Hall grounds is available from 3.30pm with the walk starting at 4.30pm.
Tickets, costing adults £10, children £6 and families (two adults, four children) £22, and picnic packages are available from primrosehospice.org/events/summerstroll.