How it all began



Hazel Furze and Helen Pepler who both worked in the Maternity Department of the Great Western Hospital were involved with a Siblings group run by a team of professionals for young patients at the hospital.

Hazel and Helen were also meeting families struggling to cope with a death in their family and they decided they needed to start up a dedicated social group for the bereaved children.


They set up the Rainbow Club, and were soon fortunate to have a group of enthusiastic volunteer helpers, and the use of Blunsdon Village Hall as their base, by kind permission of the Parish Council.  The group has been running ever since, with continuous support by their employers at the Great Western Hospitals NHS Trust. However, this group was originally set up to help families of patients, and all the time they were getting calls asking for help from other people.  


Hazel and Helen approached Child Bereavement Charity (CBC, now CBUK) to discuss the way forward for the Rainbow Club, as there was an obvious need to provide bereavement support for the whole family as well as the children. 


Becky King joined the team following Hazel’s retirement from the Trust.  


Training from Child Bereavement Charity for volunteers involved with a new venture – the Butterflies families groups now called CHYPS. CBUK also supported the development of these groups and worked together with the volunteers to run the first family group series.  


An anonymous donor gave them £35,000 in order to get an independent Bereavement charity started, serving Swindon and Wiltshire.  So they began meeting with local groups and individuals already doing work in this area, such as the Rainbow Club, The Prospect Hospice, Youth engagement and Social Workers, Teachers and representatives from many other charities. They all said the same thing. We can’t meet the demand.  We need more specialist support. 

From this group of interested people grew a board of Trustees, and some incredibly gifted volunteers came forward to offer their skills to the charity in a variety of ways.

Spring 2014

Becky and Helen spent helpful and informative times with staff from the See Saw Bereavement service in Oxford to get more of an idea of what the new charity could look like, and what needed to be done first.

Autumn 2014

The Saltway Family Centre offered the charity facilities to use as base from which to work and see families.

Spring 2015

Child Bereavement UK agreed to work alongside the new charity to provide support, guidance and training. Trustees appointed Becky as a part-time administrator and fundraiser.

Summer 2015 

First four day training of new volunteers run by Child Bereavement UK.  

October 1st 2015

Website launched.

October 5th 2015

Launch event celebrating the start of Treehouse Wiltshire.

Copyright Treehouse Wiltshire © 2020. All rights reserved.
Registered charity No. 1159719

Registered charity number in England and Wales:
1040419 and Scotland SCO42910