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Meet Shelly Skinner - Westfield Local Heroes 2021

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Meet Shelly Skinner - Westfield Local Heroes 2021

Supporting grieving children

Lionheart Camp for Kids
Dedicated. Passionate. Caring

Perth Children’s Hospital social worker Shelly Skinner is making a difference in young lives as the founder of Lionheart Camp for Kids, a bereavement program for children and teens following the death of a family member.

Her two-day camps provide a safe, fun-filled space for children and their surviving relatives or guardians to explore and understand their grief.

As a palliative care social worker, Shelly recognised a lack of support for WA children who lose a relative.

Lionheart runs three or four camps a year with a vision to ensure no one grieves alone and everyone has healthy skills and coping strategies to use whenever they face life's challenges.

“I remember wondering what would have happened to me if my mum had died when I was six instead of 26. My life would've been so different financially, emotionally, socially – in every way. I want to ensure that every bereaved child gets the support they need,” Shelly says.

She is incredibly grateful to be nominated as a Westfield Local Hero. “It strengthens my resolve to continue to strengthen our community. I believe that by teaching our children and families about big feelings, healthy grieving, overcoming adversity and integrating grief into your life, we can build a stronger, more resilient, more connected community.

Westfield Local Heroes are nominated and voted for by their communities, with the three top finalists per Westfield centre each awarded a $10,000 grant for their affiliated organisation. Lionheart Camp for Kids will use its funds to increase community awareness of childhood grief and build up its program.

For further information on the Westfield Local Heroes program, click here