IN order to keep pace with demand for lighter-touch support for local people facing the loss of a loved one, St Clare Hospice has now developed four new ‘Bereavement Cafés’.
Run in partnership with Harlow’s Rainbow Services and Epping District Council, these four new Bereavement Café events will run throughout Nazeing, Harlow, Chigwell and Ongar, in addition to the two events already running in Dunmow and at the Hospice in Hastingwood.
The project falls in line with St. Clare’s strategy for the next few years – to reach more local people facing death, dying and loss and to connect local communities together so they can support each other. These community-led, social support events aim to connect local people who have experienced the death of someone close to them.
“Social isolation is fast becoming one of the nation’s most critical concerns in the UK, with bereavement at the top of the list for key risk factors. And with ‘social prescribing’ finally on the rise throughout Europe and in the NHS, it’s clear that community support and social wellbeing go hand in hand – and, here at St Clare, we know that is especially true when it comes to bereavement.” says Sally Muylders, Community Engagement Manager at St Clare Hospice.
Michele Tavarone, a Social Worker within St Clare’s Patient & Family Support team, explained: “Our Bereavement Café events are very relaxed and informal – with tea, coffee and cake, just like a real café! Sometimes, talking or listening to other people who have shared experiences similar to our own can offer us comfort – even if just a little. The Bereavement Café offers people an opportunity and a safe place to meet others who understand what they may be going through. There is no right or wrong way to experience grief, but sometimes, it can be good to simply chat and hear other people’s stories.”
The events are completely free and open to anyone who has experienced the loss of someone close to them, no matter how long ago.
Harlow Playhouse holds a Bereavement Café event on the last Friday of every month, from 10:30am – 12:30pm. Visitors are welcome to drop in at any time throughout the duration of the event.
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