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antonia April 25, 2024

Bereavement support group in Rushcliffe

In Rushcliffe, where there was a significant need for bereavement support, people were finding that traditional avenues were difficult to access and mainstream services lack the specialised bereavement support.

In light of these challenges, the Rushcliffe Social Prescribers set up bereavement support groups, providing an invaluable resource for the community. By drawing upon their own lived experiences, the team has developed peer support groups that provide solace, understanding, and companionship to those navigating the complexities of grief. Through these peer support groups, people find strength in their vulnerability and solidarity in their shared experiences.

We spoke to Mel Watson, 76 from East Leake who has been attending the groups now for over 18 months, after sadly losing his wife two years ago.

Before he started attending the groups he was feeling suicidal, depressed and just didn’t want to be here. He stopped doing the things he loved such as going to all the home and away games for his football club.

Mel said: “The group has been a life saver for me, it gave me confidence and something to look forward to. The support has been absolutely wonderful and I have made genuine friends.

“I don’t know what I would have done without it. My family are really pleased that I enjoy going and get so much from it.”

Mel uses the group as an opportunity to meet up with like-minded people and an opportunity to talk, as he found he couldn’t talk to his children about how he was feeling about life, but felt able to at the group, which really helped.

The groups are ran by social prescibers, who have themselves experienced loss, so they can truly relate to how participants may be feeling.

Mel said “The ladies that run the groups are all absolutely lovely, they really are fantastic. The fact that they have themselves experienced loss means that that they totally understand how you are feeling. They don’t force anything, or try and coach you to say anything you don’t want to, you are left to say what you want. They’ve been through it themselves and they know what they are talking about.”

“I class them as friends now that I can talk to and confide in. Even now if I’ve had a bad day, I know I can talk to them. A year ago, it was the year anniversary of my wife’s death and I was stood looking up at sky talking to her and feeling really low. Jackie came over and gave me a big hug and I felt so much better, she knew that was what I needed.

“I would definitely recommend this group to anyone who has experienced loss, it is fantastic. For me, it’s a complete transformation from the way I felt before to how I feel now. The support is so genuine and I am loving my life, which I know is what my wife would have wanted.”

There are two bereavement support groups, one in Keyworth on the 1st Wednesday of every month and one in West Bridgford, on the 3rd Thursday of month. Posters are up in GP surgeries and libraries so take a look if this is something which may help you or someone you know. For more details, please email: