A charity which offers support to families affected by the sudden and unexpected death of a child or young person has opened a new bereavement room at the Grange University Hospital, near Cwmbran.

The charity, 2wish, worked with Tonypandy-based EBM Group, Space Group in Gloucester and Hertfordshire Altro, to refurbish the room and and fit it out with new furniture, allowing them to be a safe haven for families who have suffered a bereavement at the hospital.

EBM Group has committed to help refurbish and furnish multiple rooms in hospitals around Wales as a way to thank 2wish. EBM Group owner Gethin Edwards is himself a bereaved uncle and his family was supported by 2wish at their time of need.

He said: "I initially came across 2wish at a business event a few years ago.

"Fast forward to June of last year in the hospital with my brother and his wife, witnessing the moment they were told the most heart-wrenching news any parent could ever hear about their beloved 13-year-old son. I saw firsthand how these small items brought great comfort to them notwithstanding the counselling they have received since.

“In business, it is easy to write a cheque or make a donation to charity. By making a commitment to help the charity deliver bereavement rooms, this is my way of giving back.”

Kathryn Oliver, senior nurse at The Grange University Hospital, said: “Having a loved one in critical care can be a very difficult time, often leaving families and close ones afraid, anxious and uncertain.

"So much thought went into the planning of the room to ensure it is as comfortable and friendly as possible, taking away the hospital surroundings and offering a calm, peaceful space for families to spend time.”

Kimberly Connick, whose father-in-law passed away at The Grange’s ICU recently and used the bereavement room, said: "The Family Room provided a little sanctuary for my family during our final days with my father-in-law. It felt almost like a home from home.”

Rhian Mannings, founder of 2wish, said: “Having a quiet place for families to sit while waiting for news of a loved one is so important. When the news is difficult to hear, both families and supporting staff need a place like the room that 2wish has provided at the Grange Hospital. It is homely, despite being in a clinical setting, the colours are calming, and the room will provide much comfort to families.

“We couldn’t have done it without the generous support of Gethin and Simon from EBM Group of Companies, Ian Bidmead from Space Group and Cheryl Clarke from Altro, as well as Friends of Hope. It’s by working together with companies, hospital staff and families, we have created a place that we know will help so many.”

Ian Bidmead said: “As a father and stepfather of six, losing a child is my, and probably every parent’s greatest fear in life.

"When I heard about 2wish and the amazing service it provided to families in that situation, it was an easy decision for Space to support it."

Cheryl Clarke, of Altro, said: “Altro donated wood adhesive free loose lay vinyl flooring, chosen to minimise disruption to the surrounding areas, with the end goal to provide a warm, homely non-clinical feel, with safety and comfort in mind. A project close to all involved, that we are very proud to be a part of.”

Friends of Hope, a community group which picks local charities to fundraise for each year, chose 2wish and the bereavement room at the Grange.

Tina Donovan, Friends of Hope member, said: “We raised nearly £3,000 which funded the development of the room plus memory boxes.”

The charity 2wish, which offers support to families affected by the sudden and unexpected death of a child or young person aged 25 and under, has so far supported more than 1,379 families during their time of need.

Working hand in hand with organisations such as the Police, NHS Wales and Organ Donation Wales, this all-Wales charity provides support to make sure that no family is missed.

It was founded in 2012 by Rhian after she and her husband Paul experienced the heartache of losing their baby son, George.

They left the hospital heartbroken, confused and bewildered with no support. Five days later, consumed with grief, Paul took his own life.

There was no support available, and Rhian and her children felt completely alone and so she set up 2wish to ensure that there is help available for any families going through a similar experience.

This is the third bereavement room that 2wish has opened in Gwent, as it has already opened rooms at Nevil Hall Hospital, Abergavenny, and the Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport. It has plans to create more at hospitals in Merthyr, West Wales and Swansea.

To find out more about 2wish go to www.2wish.org.uk.