Mum and daughter set up grief play café for families in Worthing

A grief play café for children and their families is opening in Worthing next month.

Wednesday, 4th August 2021, 2:01 pm

The café at Hope Hive in St Dunstans Road will provide a safe space for families who are navigating their way through their grief journey after losing a loved one.

It will be run by Andy’s Angels – a charity set up by Kayla Shepherd and her daughter Millie, 11.

Kayla said: “Mllie lost her daddy suddenly when she was seven years old in September, 2017.

Kayla Shepherd with daughter Millie, Worthing Town Crier Bob Smytherman and charity trustees Sue Earl and Sue Jenkins

“Since then, Millie and I have found the support services for children grieving have been very sparse in the Worthing and local area.

“In February this year, Millie and I decided to set up a charity in Millie’s daddy’s name to provide a safe space for children and their families to come to where they can be around other children and families that are going through the similar grief pain.”

Visitors will be able to enjoy hot and soft drinks at the café and a small selection of nutritious snacks.

There will also be a play area for children, with all areas of learning and development.

A fundraiser was held on Saturday (July 31), and secured funds for the first grief play cafe session in Worthing

The café will be open on the last Sunday of every month, from 10am to 12.30pm, Kayla said.

And a fundraiser held on Saturday secured funds for the first session in September. It was supported by Co-op in South Street, which donated refreshments, and Worthing Town Crier Bob Smytherman, the charity’s ambassador.

Kayla said she is also working towards building relationships with local businesses to support families who are grieving, such as electricians, plumbers, solicitors, and keepsake makers, to help make their lives a little easier.

She added that the feedback so far had been amazing.

A fundraiser was held on Saturday (July 31), and secured funds for the first grief play cafe session in Worthing

“We feel there is a gap and need for it in Worthing,” said Kayla.

“Families have already started messaging me on Facebook.We have also received a grant from Worthing Community Chest and Community Works has helped us set it up.”

A fundraiser was held on Saturday (July 31), and secured funds for the first grief play cafe session in Worthing