More Butterflies are taking wing
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Sarah Rosen with husband Michael and children Ethan and Talia
When the mother of north Londoner Sarah Rosen died of lung cancer, the loss felt particularly acute as it was five weeks before the birth of Mrs Rosen's first child. The experience prompted Mrs Rosen to set up Butterflies as a support group for women in a similar plight.
In the three years since, demand for the Hendon-based service convinced her of the need for more of the same, but the birth of a second child limited the time at her disposal to organise another group.
Now with the backing of Jewish Care and the Jewish Bereavement Counselling Service, a new Butterflies group will hold its inaugural meeting at the Golders Green premises of another supporter, the London Jewish Family Centre.
As with its predecessor, the group will start out with daytime get-togethers offering professionally-led guidance and support while babies and toddlers are cared for by nursery staff in a well-equipped play area. Mrs Rosen hopes that Butterflies 2 will also evolve into a more permanent network for mums and their children.
"Becoming a mum and losing a mum at the same time can be a horrific experience," Mrs Rosen explained. "I wanted Butterflies not only to be my mother's legacy, but also to allow me to fulfil my promise to her that I would do all I could to help other people in the same situation".
Although there have already been a large number of inquiries, the new group will be kept intentionally small "so that members can get the most out of it", she added. "But now that Jewish Care has become involved, I am hoping that more groups can be set up fairly quickly. We are already making plans to launch a third around Rosh Hashanah."