A Word from the Chairman.

John Bryden is the Chair of The Kirsty Bryden Memorial Trust.

12 January 2014:

Wishing everyone a belated very happy New Year and looking forward to the fun times ahead for Kirsty's kids. Two weeks in already.
I have been thinking about the children who need us most and really wish to include the parent’s brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles in-fact friends and relatives are the basis for a stable family union.
I once watched as a grandfather suddenly stumbled nearly falling over his dog, he began to rant and rave, even using the most foul of language in front of what I took to probably be his own  grandchildren and others around him.


My first impression was of a disgusting, foul mouthed, grumpy old man who could not care less about his grandchildren or anyone around him.
This could leave those around him shunning the old man as a despicable, overbearing, miserable old sod to be distanced.  I found out the real truth of the matter was that this elderly gentleman was a kind, considerate, fellah who loved his friends and family, in-fact everyone around him. He was seriously frightened of falling over and lashed out verbally screaming insults at his dog, which was actually his faithful companion for over 15 years. The elderly gentleman was frightened, really scared terrified of falling with two artificial hips. So he verbally lashed out in fear: verbally and aggressively.


Sometimes when families go through serious trauma or have to deal with alcohol abuse, drug abuse, violent crime, stress disorders, the list is endless. It can result in one of the family reacting in ways which are inappropriate in normal circumstances.  A parent, such as a military person, having witnessed the horrors of conflict, a doctor, nurse even a school teacher or a clergy can at times over react. The children involved need help and support to understand. They need to know that the seeming inappropriate behaviour could actually be due to severe stress or a reaction to trauma.


There are so many soldiers and uniformed personnel in prison this year in the UK. They have been in hostile, violent, conflict situations and have lashed out, sometimes through fear, when they return home. Those who suffer are the family. Everyone suffers, but not more so than the victims, those suffering from brain injuries or stress disorders. Invisible brain injuries can and are often the most debilitating injuries imaginable. In many cases not only do casualties lose the support of their family they lose their freedom, their dignity let alone their self- respect. Often identifying the signs early and reacting differently, could sometimes be enough to prevent the sufferer going on to commit violent crime or fall victim to alcohol or substance abuse.  Even prevent them taking their own lives. Often the coping mechanism for sufferers is alcohol or drug abuse.


In the end regardless of anything it’s the kids who suffer, families are often torn apart and the children are left suffering from emotional conflict / turmoil and left without the benefit of those relatives they love being around them. The children are often taught to dislike, loath or despise the casualty through the reactions of others towards them.
It is vital that the children are taught and learn some critical values.  If a child lives with criticism they learn to condemn. If they live with hostility, learned from others, they learn to fight.


If a child learns acceptance and friendship, from those guardians around them, they will find love in the world.


This year we wish to encourage referrals from other organisations such as army benevolent hospitals, from police benevolent organisations and those who care for adults with children who have suffered. We would encourage organisations to contact Kirstyskids.org to talk to us about referral.  In some circumstances we can facilitate and offer care breaks for the families who have been touched by stress disorders; perhaps a parent is currently in prison and as a result leaving a single parent family who could benefit from a care break.


The person who shouts the loudest can in many cases be the most vulnerable.  We need to help those in need sometimes reassurance and the hand of friendship can stop things escalating and families being torn apart.  


We would like to help parents and children to learn about the difficulties and help them work together for the benefit of those children whose lives are often deeply affected as a result. To help parties understand the signs and find ways to deal with them.
We continue to receive children through our work with Ginger Bread the charity which helps single parents in the UK. We are so pleased to be able to help impoverished families, realise care breaks in times of need around the UK.


Thank you for your continued support in 2014.
Where sin abounds in these circumstances it is so much more important that grace should abound even more.

Maybe that would make all the difference, but it can be no easy task trying to hug an angry bear. Especially when the bear is just as vulnerable as the old man who nearly stumbled over his dog

kids in war conflict

John C Bryden.

Chairman Kirstyskids.org