At City Hospice, we hold bereavement coffee mornings to support those who’ve lost a loved one. It gives them the opportunity to come along and meet new people in the same situation. The safe space we offer means that people can talk openly about their loved ones and share memories they have. Around 30 people a month come to our bereavement coffee mornings for support.
Two ladies who came to our bereavement coffee mornings are Mo Welsher and Rita Williams. The pair met and started chatting over a cuppa. They became the best of friends and now volunteer at the mornings making tea and coffee for those who come along.
Mo says if it wasn’t for the coffee mornings and meeting Rita, she wouldn’t have made the major decision to move house and go on holiday by herself for the first time ever.
“We were in a very bad place when both our husbands died of cancer. We went for bereavement counselling on a Monday afternoon but after a while, Sarah (Head of Bereavement and Counselling) suggested a coffee morning atmosphere might suit us better. We didn’t really want to go but went along and really enjoyed it.
We ended up talking to the other people in the group who were bereaved like us and we were able to reassure them. From there, we were asked if we’d like to help with the coffee morning. Well, we were thrilled. We make tea and coffee but we also look out for people who might like someone to talk to and ask how they are. There’s nothing worse than someone saying ‘I know how you feel’ but they don’t. I wish I could do more. But I’m just grateful for the chance to do something. It’s such a wonderful place to be.”
Rita, who sadly lost her husband Clive to cancer, said that meeting Mo has been fantastic and giving back at the coffee mornings has changed her life. “People who come along get to know us and once they know we’re bereaved, they open up. That seems to help them. People don’t understand bereavement unless they’ve been there. Every month, you see new people but also the same people keep coming back which is a credit to the Hospice.”
It’s amazing sometimes what a cup of tea and a chat can do for someone. Our fantastic staff and inspirational volunteers make sure that everyone feels safe and secure to talk if they want to, or reflect if they want to do that instead. We’re so pleased that we can help and be there if they need a listening ear.
To find out more about our bereavement services, click here.