Somerset families dealing with the sudden and unexpected death of a young person under 25 will now have access to support.

Bereavement charity 2wish, known for guiding families through the aftermath of child loss, officially expanded its operations to Somerset on February 27 at Queen's College, Taunton.

Originally founded by Rhian Mannings MBE in Wales in 2012, 2wish was born out of personal experience.

She and her husband, Paul, received no support after their baby son, George, passed away.

Consumed by grief, Paul ended his life five days later.

Since its establishment, 2wish has assisted more than 1,400 families.

In collaboration with various organisations, including Police, NHS Wales, and Organ Donation Wales, support pathways have been set up in every Emergency and Critical Care Unit in Wales, where the charity will now be known as 2wish Cymru.

The charity's Somerset launch had a touching meaning for Rhian as it took place on the 12th anniversary of Paul's death.

Beyond Somerset, the charity is also supporting people in Bristol, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Shropshire, and Cheshire.

Rhian said: "We’ve seen the significant difference that we’re making to families who lose a child or young adult under certain circumstances and are proud to be able to extend our support to local communities in England.

"We have been spending time building relationships in the hospitals and police forces of bordering counties, which has been a key step."

To cope with the increased demand for the charity’s services, a larger support team has been established.

This new team will provide services in the communities that require the charity’s support.

Rhian assured that the support services that have been operational in Wales since 2012 will be mirrored in English communities.

Rhian continued: "Our jobs are as incredibly hard as they are rewarding.

"We meet devastated families at the lowest ebb of their lives.

"It is a hugely traumatic time and sudden loss can have a profound effect on the mental health of parents, siblings and other family members."

Rhian added: "I’m immensely proud of what the charity has achieved in Wales and am determined to continue to help those who find themselves in the heart-breaking position of losing a loved one under 25."

With this expansion, Kirstie Edwards joins 2wish as the bereavement services manager for England, and Robin Hogg will take on the role of immediate support coordinator for the Somerset region.