Back in June, we were proud to launch our recently bereaved drop-in sessions – open to anyone in the local community who has experienced a bereavement in the last three months. 

Many of our services are only available to patients of the Hospice and their families, because our resources are so stretched. But we saw these sessions as an opportunity to throw our doors open a little wider and help more local people. Already an overwhelming success, they’ll be continuing into 2024.  Each session is a mix of new members and some who attend regularly, men and women, and a range of ages, from people in their twenties to their eighties. Everyone has experienced a recent bereavement and is looking for some extra support over a cup of tea or coffee. 

“It’s an open forum,” said our Senior Counsellor, Charlotte Armson.

People are invited to share their stories if they would like to, but some people prefer simply to listen. The conversation and the group direction very much comes from the participants. It’s an opportunity for friendly chat about people’s grief journeys, what they’re noticing and any similarities.  “We have a loose theme for each session, but sometimes the conversation takes us in a different direction. Recent themes have been around how to navigate significant dates, such as Christmas or an anniversary, how to handle difficult conversations or situations, and what to do if you’re feeling lonely. Loneliness, and how to adjust to spending more time on your own, is a common theme in the group. 

 As a counsellor I’m present to help facilitate the conversations, but these sessions aren’t group counselling. They’re a chance for people who have experienced a bereavement in the last few months to drop by and talk with others who understand, because they may be going through a similar experience. 

Our recently bereaved drop-in sessions take place on the first and third Monday of each month from 12noon until 1.30pm. They take place in our Wellbeing Centre, next to the main Hospice reception. There’s no need to book, but if you have any questions about the sessions, please email  The last session in 2023 will be on Monday 4 December, with mince pies, and the first session of 2024 will be on Monday 15 January