A young woman who lost her dad to cancer has created special ‘blether boxes’ to help children cope with grief.
Gabrielle Williamson, 20, came up with the idea to help her little sister following the death of their father, Kevin, in June 2020.
The student, from Ayr, told STV News: “It was incredibly difficult and even now, you know, we’re still grieving every single day.
“And I just know that whatever we do, our dad’s up there and he’s guiding us. And he’s giving us the strength to do these things.
“And these kind of things help us a lot as a family with our grief because it keeps us busy and it keeps us doing something good.”
The boxes – which contain toys, books and worksheets designed to help children understand their emotions – are now being delivered to schools in South Ayrshire as part of a pilot scheme.
Little sister Poppy, nine, helped to pick the items that are now in the box, including an octopus which helped her to tell her teacher how she was feeling in the virtual classroom.
The schoolgirl said: “It helped me express my emotions to the teacher because if I was upset or something in the Google Meet, I could just flip over my octopus and she would see.”
Ms Williamson, who runs a blog called Let’s Blether to encourage people to talk about difficult subjects like grief and mental health, hopes the ‘blether boxes’ will be adopted across the country.
She said: “It’s not just needed in South Ayrshire, it’s needed everywhere.
“I’d love for it to be picked up across all councils, obviously.
“This is just the beginning and I think, hopefully, as it grows we’ll get more ideas, more things in the boxes.”