Wednesday, 23 May 2018 00:00

Georgie’s walk to remember her dad

Written by  Louise Flynn
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Georgie and sister Serena at last year’s Walk of Smiles Georgie and sister Serena at last year’s Walk of Smiles

This June, 17-year-old Georgie Boast from Great Plumstead is embarking on a walk to remember her beloved father. Along with dozens of others, she and her family will be doing the Sponsored Walk of Smiles for Nelson’s Journey, Norfolk’s child bereavement charity, to remember her dad, Mark, who died in 2010 after a collision with a van whilst riding his motorbike, when Georgie was just 9.

Along with her mum, Louise, and siblings Ashleigh, 15, and Serena, 12, Georgie will join other families who have also been bereaved, to remember Mark’s life and walk in his memory. They are encouraging others who have also been bereaved to join them, and raising money to support the charity which helped them through some of their most difficult times

The Boast family were referred to Nelson’s Journey after a family friend had used their service after the death of their son, and recommended their expert bereavement support.

Georgie tells us ‘Our friend told Mum about Nelson’s Journey, so we contacted them for help and they were brilliant and very understanding. Mum found it really hard to deal with the loss of her husband as well as looking after us three vulnerable grieving children and I thought I should help and give my mum a hand and help out with my two sisters, who were seven and four at the time.

When I came to Nelson’s Journey, I was so anxious because I didn’t like talking to anyone, as I didn’t want to upset them, even if they were strangers. I just wanted to focus on helping my sisters to deal with it, but Nelson’s Journey helped me open up, without me even realising I was doing so.

The Bereavement Support Worker came round to our house and said I didn’t need to talk, but said we could draw some pictures instead. I drew a motorbike and we spoke about how they made me angry and then I found it easier to talk and let my feelings out. I went on the residential trip to Hilltop Outdoor Centre and it was really nice as I got to remember the good stuff about my dad and reflect on it with people in similar situations. I also made two true life long friends!’

This will be the sixth Sponsored Walk of Smiles that Georgie and her family will have taken part in, and she is encouraging others to come along and walk in memory of a special person. The event, sponsored by Westcotec, takes place from 10am – 2pm on Saturday 23rd June in the grounds of the Octagon Business Park in Little Plumstead. There are two routes; a 2.5 mile and 2 mile accessible route up to the village of Little Plumstead and back. It will allow families who have experienced the death of a loved one to come together and walk in their memory.

‘I love the Walk of Smiles, we always do it with our family friends who are there to remember their son, Liam. It’s great to spend time with those that are still here for me and doing the walk is really rejuvenating. It’s so nice to be out with all that space and fresh air. There is a real sense of belonging, being among other families who share similar experiences, along with celebrating the lives of those who are no longer with us, like my dad and Liam. If you are thinking about coming along, you should give it a go, it’s a special day for everyone who take part.’

Louise Flynn, organiser of the Walk of Smiles said ‘Our memorial walks are always respectful and poignant, a chance to remember those whose lives we are celebrating and enjoy being together. This event is very important for us to keep in touch with families we have supported in the past, like the Boasts, to see how they are getting on.

After the walk, we have a lovely afternoon filled with fun games, face painting and activities for all ages, along with a chance to make some items to remember the person or people who died. There is a lovely atmosphere of togetherness at the event and we look forward the Boasts being a part of it again this year to remember Mark.’

Georgie tells us about the impact Nelson’s Journey has had on her ‘Before I got help from Nelson’s Journey I felt so vulnerable and weak and I was so scared that my mum or someone else was going to die too, as Daddy’s death had been such a shock and no one was expecting it. After Nelson’s Journey’s support I felt really confident about the future and they taught me to think positively instead of negatively, and now I am really happy with where I am at and Nelson’s Journey helped me get here.

Without Nelson’s Journey I wouldn't be here today; they are an amazing charity who really do bring smiles back to bereaved children!’

To register to take part in the Walk of Smiles, on Saturday 23rd June, which is open to everyone, not just those supported by Nelson’s Journey, please visit the website: http://www.nelsonsjourney.org.uk/wos. Registration is £2 per person, with under 5s going free. Any funds raised from the walk will contribute towards Nelson’s Journey’s work supporting bereaved children and young people living in Norfolk.

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                                     Georgie Boast with her family at last year’s Walk of Smiles

Last modified on Wednesday, 02 January 2019 18:28

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