DEVELOPMENT OF BRONWENS W;SH
Despite the pain and outrage, Bronwen’s family and friends found a spark ignite within them to strive for change within the mental health systems. The systems that are so terribly broken, are causing so much harm and further trauma to some of the most vulnerable members of our society. In the early months after Bronwen’s passing, a petition was started by the family to strive for shared decision making to be a legal requirement in mental health care and support plan reviews. Currently, this is an advisory by the NICE guidelines, however from our and many others' experience this is not happening for people within the system. They are having decisions made for them without being able to give input into their care, and their family are also denied the option to give input into their care. By not listening to the individuals and their family’s voices leads to a great amount of valuable knowledge and insight into the person and their needs being missed and overlooked. We thought enough is enough, let's do all we can to strive for this change.
Unfortunately, as it stands this petition has now been closed with the Welsh Senedd, who felt that the petition sat better within the consultation that the Senedd was completing in relation to the inequalities in mental health systems in Wales.
However, the Bronwen's W;sh team were disappointed with this decision as we felt that the specific details of the petition would be lost within the consultation - which has the potential to run across many years until we see any change. From this disappointment, the Bronwen's W;sh team are beginning a campaign in relation to striving for change to happen at the earliest opportunity.
Bronwen’s family and friends wanted a legacy for Bronwen, something to remember her by, that aligns with Bronwen as a person and her passion and strive for change. Bronwen’s W;sh was formed in the months after her passing. What started as a flicker of hope became a great idea… Bronwen was always passionate about people and helping people. Particularly young people. Even in her darkest days, if someone needed help, Bron would be there. We wanted to honour Bronwen with a Charity in her name that supports children and young people by giving them a place to feel calm, supported, and safe. We developed an idea of designing a “pod” or “bunker” that would sit within a school setting and be solely dedicated to the emotional wellbeing of the pupils in the given school. And so, the idea had to be made into a reality.
PURPOSE & PROGRESS
The Bronwen's W;sh charity's purpose is firstly to provide safe places within educational settings for children and young people. Additionally to the pods, the Bronwen's W;sh charity are passionately encouraging young people to talk openly about their feelings, emotions and general mental wellbeing. We want young people to understand their mental health at the earliest stage possible to hopefully prevent them experiencing further challenges in life.
The Bronwen’s Wish team continue to make progress on the development of this Charity week by week. We have built relationships with Cardiff School of Architecture and Swansea Trinity University, who set an assignment for their students to design the pods as a pilot for this charity and to be built within the first school of choice being Lakeside Primary School in Cardiff. Lakeside Primary School was Bronwen’s primary school, where she also came back to work for their wellbeing provision in her early 20s, supporting the children of the school with their emotional health.
We are now in the process of building the first pod in collaboration with local architects. The pilot project in Lakeside Primary is due to be completed in September 2022.
The Bronwen's W;sh charity has incorporated a team of trustees those being:
All trustees are close friends and family of Bronwen. Once the team of Trustees were in position, we worked on building our constitution to register the charity officially. In September 2021, just over a year after Bronwen’s passing. Bronwen’s Wish became a registered charity.
The values outlined below are what inspire Bronwen’s W;sh charity to keep fighting, keep motivated and keep the users of our pods and their needs at the forefront of all our minds.
Having courage as our Charity's value was extremely important. Firstly, to express the courage and bravery of Bronwen’s family and friends for stepping up in the darkness of their grief, to do all they can to make a change and create a positive memory in honour of Bronwen. Secondly, to show the individuals who will benefit from the Pods we provide, that there is great courage in taking time out to breathe and to talk about their emotions.
Acceptance is important as the members of Bronwen’s Wish endeavour for all individuals to feel accepted for who they are and their needs. The Pods will provide them with a space where they can feel truly accepted, supported, and cared for.
Remember that despite the darkness, there is always hope. Hope for a better future for the younger generation and hope for change within the mental health system – to provide a service that meets the needs of those who require it.