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A letter from our Director, John Bell:


Dear Friends,


Losing a child is said to be the worst trauma any parent will be subjected to.


After I lost my 15 year son, Jake Bell, on the 17th July 2020, all I wanted to do was to find a way to be with him again. This meant visiting the darkest place in my mind; a place where no one should have to go. It affected my mental well-being, resulting in negative repercussions for myself and my family. I am deeply grateful for how they have helped to support me, as we have all struggled to cope with this life changing event.


As I suffered this level of grief and trauma, finding solace in the mountains and in nature reserves through the first year of my grief, I finally came to terms with the fact that there were two ways in which I could be with Jake again:


1. To join him in whatever or wherever heaven may be.


2. To carry on living every day with joy and compassion in my heart, from the love that I still have for my boy.


To join Jake in the afterlife is no longer an urgent option for me; rather the rest of my life is about seeing alternatives; showing other people that we can come through our trauma and that there is hope for us all to find joy again.


I have chosen to dedicate my life to sharing my love for Jake and use the strength from that love to help others.


Being ex-Army, I spent the first year after Jake's passing pushing myself through physical challenges to counter balance my mental struggles. This has enabled me to find a place of solitude in the great outdoors and build my resilience through nature.


My story shows what a father is capable of, with an aim to achieve something truly beautiful as a legacy to my boy. Through the love I have for my son, I want to make sure that no one else has to suffer the way I am suffering. I know that Jake is with me all the way, in my heart and in my memories, guiding me to help others.


Everyone has the right to feel happy, peaceful, safe and loved. Why would we want to have a negative impact on others when we can have a positive one, showing care, kindness, respect and compassion in order to lift each other up.


When I wake up in the morning, and cannot feel hope, I have learned how to make hope, both for myself and for those around me. I want to help you to discover this for yourself.


Remember, if you can’t see the sunshine, be the sunshine!


With love from Jake and me,


John 💚 💚

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