Grief Awareness Week
Our Communities team organised a special session during Grief Awareness Week to give our staff, friends and people we support a safe space to talk about grief and loss and find out how to get support if they need it.
The session was organised because the team had noticed that some of the people who attend our drop-in groups for people with learning disabilities and autistic people were struggling with unresolved issues relating to the passing of someone they loved and that they were finding the Christmas period particularly difficult. Lindsay Henderson, Head of Communities at Your Voice Counts, said:
“The team responded amazingly and found out about National Grief Awareness Week. They organised a beautiful session that gave people the chance to talk about their memories over tea and cake, celebrate the people they missed and make some lovely memorial hearts and flowers, taking them home to remind them of how important they were in their lives. This was followed up a week later in a floral workshop where some people chose to dedicate the arrangements they made to those loved ones. They continued to talk about their feelings which was huge and quite life-changing for some people.
"It is safe to say that most of the people we spoke with never had the opportunity to talk about how grief had affected their lives before and they were dealing with all the strong feelings that grief brings without understanding them. These brilliant events led by our skilled team provided a very welcome opportunity to start dealing with these feelings, to understand that it's normal to feel this way and through peer support, know that other people go through this too which, in my opinion, is a wonderful way to start healing hearts. “
The sessions made a huge difference to the people who joined us and we were delighted to hear about the impact they had:
“Thank you so much for listening to me, it’s been a year since my Mam died and I think about her all day every day. Having the chance to talk about my feelings have really helped. Thank you for your kind words, I didn’t really think people cared.”
“I was really nervous coming to your event as I thought I may have had to talk openly about my grief. Quite the opposite, it was a lovely, friendly session where I had the chance to speak with others who have and are suffering with the loss of a loved one. Together we can share experiences and support each other."
"It’s really helped me to remember my carer who died not so long ago. I’ve wrote her a letter and made a floral teacup in her memory.”
For more information about Grief Awareness Week and how to get support, visit Home – The Good Grief Trust.