Hospice hosts new social group for bereaved people
A new social group is helping bereaved people to rebuild their confidence and make new friends.
And from the sound of the chatter and laughter in the Day Therapy Unit at Saint Francis Hospice on Saturday afternoon (January 28), new friendships were forged and hearts were lightened when its Friendly Faces group brought 23 bereaved people together for the first time.
The group was set up after the charity's Family Support, In Memoriam Giving and OrangeLine teams held a focus group in December to find out if bereaved people who had lost someone under its care would be interested in forming a social and friendship group. The response was a resounding yes!
Tony, from Hornchurch who went along to the group with his wife Susan, said, "We both thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon and the time flew by.
"There was a really relaxed atmosphere and everyone was joining in the games and the lively atmosphere.
"Many suggestions were also raised for future outings and events with positive enthusiasm."
Susan said, "I was a little dubious when I arrived, two dozen or so people I did not know.
"It was a bit like the first day of school, but after some delicious cakes with coffee or tea to help it down, we soon found various talking points and by the end of the first meeting of Friendly Faces I had written down the next meeting date."
OrangeLine Project Manager Karen Freeman, added, "We identified that there was a potential gap in our services for people who had lost someone cared for by the hospice and who may or may not have requested our counselling service.
"The aim of Friendly Faces is to give these people a safe place to come and meet other people in a similar situation and to help re-engage them back into society.
"For those who came along it was a massive step forward, as some people had been recently bereaved, and we have had some really good feedback."
This is a great start to Friendly Faces, which will meet on the last Saturday of every month, with the next meeting on Saturday, February 25.
There are more plans afoot so if you or someone you care about would like to know more about Friendly Faces please call the OrangeLine Team on 01708 758649.