The Pear Tree Fund and Kinda Education have joined forces to run a year-long programme exploring memory, life and death following the success of a special woodland memorial event held earlier in the autumn.
The partnership will see monthly events take place which focus on remembering and honouring people and pets who have passed away, as well as how to plan ahead. They will include workshops at the Pear Tree Centre or Kaliwood in Holton once a month, along with a winter solstice event in Kaliwood on Saturday 18 December.
More than 40 people of all ages joined the launch of the programme at the Compassionate Communities Memorial Event at Kaliwood on 31 October. During the day, they were invited to remember those they have lost, share stories of what helped in grief and discuss ways to support each other, as well as taking part in activities such as creating a memory tree and willow lanterns, enjoying Mortal Yarns storytelling and trying Samhain weaving.
The opening and closing ceremonies – including a fire procession through the words – were led by Philip Carr-Gomm, a psychiatrist and former leader of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. He said: “I have attended – and indeed officiated at – thousands of Samhain events but this one was different, as it full embraced and involved the local community. The day gave us a chance to connect with our loved ones and showed that fostering community is so important.”
Kevin Vaughan, chief executive of the Pear Tree Fund, said: “We are delighted to be working with Kinda Education to build on the success of our fantastic Compassionate Communities Memorial Event. We want people to feel comfortable to start positive conversations around the subjects of death, loss and bereavement, and hope this partnership will help us to do just that.
“We would encourage anyone who is reaching the end of their lives, their families and carers, or those who have recently experienced loss, to get in touch with the Pear Tree Fund to see what support we can offer.”
Rachel Kellett, director at Kinda Education, said: ”We are very pleased to work with the Pear Tree Fund on this year long venture. We began working together with our elders weaving in the woods project, which has been enormously successful in so many ways, some unexpected. We fit together well, working with nature as a natural healer, cradle to grave.”
The winter solstice event takes place on Saturday 18 December from 1- 3pm at Kaliwood, Beccles Road, Holton, IP19 8NQ. People of all ages are invited to come along and remember those we have lost, support one another in grief and plan for the year ahead through ceremony, activity and music.
Activities will include a fire remembrance walk, aa well as the chance to decorate glass lanterns, take part in compassionate conversations and enjoy a tour of the solar system trail.