Citizenship award 2015 winner

In February 2012 Rhian Burke, a PE teacher from Miskin, lost her baby son and her husband within the space of 5 days.

The tragedy of experiencing the sudden death of a child was compounded by the situation Rhian and her husband found themselves in at hospital, having nowhere to privately grieve and say goodbye to their son. Motivated by a desire to ensure others would not have the same devastating experience of losing a child suddenly in hospital, Rhian set up the bereavement charity ‘2 Wish Upon a Star’. To date she has raised almost £350,000 exclusively from small public donations and the charity opened its first bereavement suite at the University Hospital Wales A&E Department in 2014, with another one opening soon at Prince Charles Hospital.

The charity also provides memory boxes to 5 hospitals in South Wales. Rhian’s extraordinary vision has lead to not only practical initiatives but also emotional support, 2 Wish Upon a Star now provides bereavement counselling to grieving families and operates monthly support groups. Rhian regularly gives talks to groups across Wales including police forces and family liaison professionals.