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Charity 2 Wish Upon A Star invites people to join its inaugural Elephant Walk

Rhian Mannings MBE and her children Holly (left) and Isaac

The charity is inviting participants from all over Wales to march two by two – at a safe two metre distance of course – and walk either two or four miles in aid of the organisation.

Supporters of the charity will be walking in locations all around Wales, including Neyland, Menai Bridge, Brecon, Cardiff, Gower, Conwy and Cardigan.

Rhian Mannings MBE, founder of 2 Wish Upon a Star, said of the walk: “2020 is a really important year for us to be launching this walk and we’d love to encourage anyone who has lost someone in the past few difficult months during the pandemic to also take part.

Rhian explained that the mascot is also very special to 2 Wish: “The elephant has been the mascot of 2 Wish from the start and so it seemed very apt that we put this event on the same day as World Elephant Day. As the saying goes, elephants never forget and for many of us bereaved parents, we never want to forget our children, but we do want a way to cope with the grief and that is where 2 Wish steps in. Our mantra remains the same, if anyone has experienced the sudden loss of a child, they can contact us – we never put a time on grief.

“We also wanted to hold an event where we can thank all of those who have supported us as a charity during the pandemic. It has been the most challenging time in our history, and there were times when I didn’t think we’d survive it, but the continued support and donations from those we work with has been truly humbling. If it wasn’t for them, 2 Wish wouldn’t be here today.”

The charity, set up in 2012 by Rhian Mannings after she lost her one-year-old son George suddenly in an emergency unit in south Wales, supports anyone affected by the sudden and unexpected death of a child or young person aged 25 and under in Wales.

It is an all-Wales charity providing immediate bereavement support, as well as ongoing aftercare services including counselling, alternative therapies, play therapy, support groups, residential weekends and monthly events.

2 Wish Upon A Star works with every health board in Wales and is supported by every police force. There are now immediate support pathways in place in every Emergency Unit and Critical Care Unit. It also works with every coroner, mortuary, organ donation team and Wales Air Ambulance to make sure no family is missed.

This support includes memory boxes, counselling and an immediate support pathway working with health boards and police forces in Wales. The causes of death include accidents, sudden illnesses and young suicides. More than 760 families and over 3,506 individuals have received support since 2015.

The 2 Wish Elephant Walk is free to enter, but participants will be encouraged to wear elephant inspired outfits or elephant ears. For more information about the 2 Wish Upon a Star Elephant Walk, visit: https://www.2wishuponastar.org/event/elephantwalk or, alternatively www.2wishuponastar.org