'A beacon of hope through the dark times' - Celebrating five years of Harrogate charity Reflect
A Harrogate charity which offers hope and support through the pain and turmoil of miscarriage, stillbirth and difficult pregnancy choices, is celebrating its fifth anniversary - and the remarkable milestone of helping more than 100 families.
Reflect Harrogate has also delivered a staggering 538 free support sessions, which have been nothing short of a total lifeline to those who have benefited from them.
One of the stand-out comments about the charity reads: “You are helping so many people to see light in the darkness. I think the service is so incredible, and all the volunteers are so generous with their time and compassion.”
Reflect offers two courses: walking through loss, which is a structured support programme for post-abortion healing, and a support programme for pregnancy and baby loss.
Pregnancy choice support is also available to give time and space for someone to think through their options if they have an unplanned pregnancy, or if they have received the devastating news of a foetal abnormality following a pregnancy scan.
Reflect’s general manager, Tanya Allen, said: “Our pregnancy loss clients very often begin our support programme in a very dark place of grief, pain, anger, or regret. Initially they may feel numb - a sense of unreality and disbelief at their situation. Often they go into a fight or flight response and are not thinking straight.
“They can feel withdrawn and confused, and often feel more pain as the numbness wears off - feeling despair, disappointed, detached, tired or depressed.
“Later comes a period of adjustment - coming out from their lowest point, their levels of emotion and inner strength begin to rise, and hope comes back. We help the person to rebuild hope.
There is the potential for growth and for the person to be stronger than before the shock or crisis.” Reflect, which also offers services in York and Selby, has come a long way since it started up five years ago. Its volunteers and staff only hope that more people will become aware of the support on offer.
Tanya said: “I have seen Reflect grow from a dream into reality, actively helping women, men and couples every week in Harrogate. We want people to know that there is no time limit to the support that we offer - we see people who have experienced a recent loss, or the loss may have been many years ago. They may have experienced one loss or several, our support is open to all.
“All of our clients have one thing in common - the courage to know that they need support, and the willingness to reach out for it. And that is how we have the privilege to help them.
“We are caring and reassuring, and show genuine empathy and compassion to all of our clients. We offer a safe space where people are often comfortable enough to cry and share details that they may never have told anyone else.”
Reflect is only one of a few organisations that will see couples together, and men on their own to offer support.
A fifth anniversary celebration event with a fundraising quiz and fish and chip supper will be held at Harrogate’s Westcliffe Hall on Harlow Terrace this Saturday, starting at 7.45pm. To find out more about Reflect Harrogate’s support, visit their website: https://reflectsupport.co.uk