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Cafe that creates a ‘safe space’ to talk about bereavement reaches 1st anniversary

PUBLISHED: 12:36 12 October 2018 | UPDATED: 12:36 12 October 2018

St Nicholas Hospice Cares Bury Bereavement Café reaches its one-year milestone  Picture: ST NICHOLAS HOSPICE CARE

St Nicholas Hospice Cares Bury Bereavement Café reaches its one-year milestone Picture: ST NICHOLAS HOSPICE CARE

A cafe in Bury St Edmunds that encourages people to talk openly about losing loved ones has reached its first anniversary.

The Bereavement Cafe, which is facilitated by St Nicholas Hospice Care, takes place every Wednesday from 10am until midday and has continued to grow over the past year.

The sessions, which take place in the Apex, are open to everyone coping with bereavement. They create a space where people can talk about the pain of loss and find courage and strength in knowing they are not alone.

The group decided they wanted to mark the milestone, with a small celebration on October 3.

St Nicholas Hospice Care family support practitioner Bianca Neumann-May, who leads the project, said: “The Bereavement Café has been running for a year now and more and more people are coming every week and we are welcoming new faces.

“There have also been people who have been coming since the very beginning and it has been really lovely to see everyone week after week.

“I’d like to thank all of the volunteers for helping to make this happen and I’d like to thank everyone for all the tears they have felt safe enough to share while being here, for the laughter, for the stories, the advice and the strength that has been shown while people are feeling vulnerable.”

Following the success of the charity’s Bury session, a second café has been set up in Mildenhall.

The weekly drop-in session, which started in the Bell Hotel, High Street, on October 12 will continue to run each every Friday from 10am to midday.

Ms Neumann-May said: “It has been exciting to start another café in Mildenhall.

“The response we had to the Bury café has been great and it has been a success because of the response we have had from the community.

“Losing a loved one can turn your world upside down and make you feel lost. Talking about how you feel can help. Everyone experiences grief in a unique way.

“Our Bereavement Cafés are places where people who have had similar experiences can meet and share their stories.”

The cafés are not designed to be counselling sessions; they are a supportive environment for reflection and conversation and a place where people will be able to find mutual support and encouragement.

Hospice staff and volunteers oversee all sessions and are there to offer further advice and guidance. There will also be information and sign-posting to other hospice support and services.

For more information on the Bereavement Cafés see here.

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