Ashleigh Maynard – Hope Again

This week on WHITEBALLOON INSIGHTS we talk to Ashleigh about Hope Again, the youth website of Cruse Bereavement Support.

Q:  Hope Again is the youth website of Cruse Bereavement Support. It is wonderful to see an organisation specifically aimed at helping young people through grief and loss. Why was Hope Again created and when was it first formed?

Hope Again replaced the old young people’s website, ‘RD4U’. It was created by the Youth Advisory Group, also known as YAG and was launched on Mother’s Day 2015. The website was created by bereaved young people, for bereaved young people.

The site is run by young people, for young people aged between 12 and 25 experiencing bereavement.

Q:  Have you found that being supported by someone who is a similar age and has been through a similar experience helps the young person to open up and talk about what they are going through?

Definitely! Many of the young people that contact us want to know if what they are feeling is ‘normal’ and if anyone else has felt it too. By connecting with another young person, usually further along on their grief journey – it allows them to understand that they are not alone and that there is a community of other young people out there who ‘just get them’ and who are ready to welcome them in.

Q:  Does Hope Again work in conjunction with Cruse and how do the services that they offer young people differ?

Hope Again is entirely part of Cruse – we are the youth website of Cruse Bereavement Support. We offer support, advice and a type of signposting service solely online to bereaved children, young people, their parents/guardians and professionals. Hope Again offers an online community and a chance to learn from others wherever you are in the world. Our Cruse branches offer on-going, free bereavement support and advice online, via telephone or face-to-face.

Q:  Hope Again, like Cruse, is a national charity and relies on the generosity of local support, donations from the public and some statutory support. Tell us a little bit about your fundraising activities and the ways in which people can support and contribute to Hope Again.

There are many ways in which individuals can raise money for Cruse Bereavement Support. Firstly, anyone can donate online through the Cruse website here: Or, you can also take part in or create your own fundraising event such as Afternoon Tea, Skydiving, Running, a music gig: The list of possibilities is endless and all with the goal in mind to support as many bereaved children, young people and adults across the UK as possible.

Q:  How did you personally become involved with Hope Again?

I received support via Hope Again as a newly bereaved young person at the age of 18 years old. I found Hope Again when I was scrolling online late one night trying to make sense of my grief. I then went on to attend my local Cruse Branch for bereavement support sessions. I owe a lot to Cruse and Hope Again for the support and care I was given in the early days of my grief journey which has led me to where I am today.

Q:  Lastly, is there a favourite piece of music that you play which lifts your spirits and helps you to switch off?

Not a particular piece I can think of, but genre wise – I love classical music. I don’t necessarily need to recognise the music or composer to enjoy it. I just find classical music creates a sort of peace in the atmosphere its being played in.

Thank you Ashleigh for sharing these insights

Photo: Ashleigh (second from the right), Eleanor and Linda with Peter Flanagan, Chair of Cruse NI Hub Council, Cllr William McCaughey, Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, and Lara and Emma from Youth Advisory Group
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