A BEREAVED Kidderminster teenager has battled through “very low points of grief” to become an active fundraiser for the charity which helped her during the toughest of times.
Holly Andrews, 16, who lost her father in October - just three weeks after he was diagnosed with bowel, liver and lung cancer - received months of free counselling from the Kemp for Kids service at Kemp Hospice.
The personal support was “life-saving” and in return the King Charles I School student has organised a fete to raise money for the care organisation.
Holly, who completed her GCSEs this summer, said: “It was a very, very sad time for me when my dad passed away.
“I went from a normal childhood to the worst childhood imaginable almost overnight.
“It was a nightmare and really hard to come to terms with the fact that I would never see him again.
“However, the team at Kemp provided me with emotional and mental support.
“They helped me regain my self-confidence and enabled me to strive to achieve what my dad would have wanted.
“I am so grateful. Without Kemp Hospice I wouldn’t be here today because I have had some terrible down days and really low drops in mood.”
The teenager initially attended sessions with the charity’s counsellors every two weeks, before slowly reducing their frequency as her ability to cope independently grew. She also took part in a two-day residential course for bereaved children.
“It was a real reassurance to know that other young people were going through the same things and feeling the same way as me”, she added.
“Kemp has become a cause close to my heart and I am really passionate and dedicated about giving something back.
“When I am older I hope to work for the charity as a grief and bereavement counsellor myself but, for the time being, I wanted to organise the fete to help financially.”
Holly planned the fundraiser, which took place at the Secret Garden and Bar in Kidderminster on Wednesday, August 27, with support from 14 other teenagers as part of the National Citizen Service scheme.
The event included live music, a bouncy castle, cake stalls and refreshments.
Some of the funds raised at the fete will also be used to put on a fun day for young people at the cancer ward of Birmingham Children’s Hospital.