LAUGHTER AND TEARS AS WE SHARE OUR STORIES, TIPS AND EXPERIENCES – COMMUNITY MATTERS

By Nina Cooper, Community Builder for Kings Ash & Collaton St. Mary

 

The community in Foxhole, Paignton, has its very own bereavement group after several community members approached me in the new year and expressed their feelings regarding the need for such a group.

Many people of various ages in our communities have lost someone close to them and the pandemic made the process even more painful especially when unable to visit loved ones; we couldn’t always say our goodbyes and experienced strict restrictions for funerals too.

Since the pandemic, some groups have not restarted. Anyone anywhere in the Bay is welcome to join us no matter when you lost a loved one.

There is a very good bus service from Paignton town centre, the Fox Bus, exit the bus at the Co-op store, it is a very short walk to the café. There is also free parking nearby.

Bereavement is very varied and does not include just human loved ones but pets too. The loss of a dog or cat is massive and even more painful when they are your only companion. We respect and value every bereavement.

The group has been running since May this year and is a very friendly group. We started off meeting every month but have now increased it to twice a month.

Some individuals are very open and others sit and listen, and the most powerful and reassuring part is you know they all understand how you feel.

I attended both my parents’ funerals last year, and it was very tough. I’m facilitating the group and have found it comforting to talk to others about my own loss.

We always light a candle and have beautiful fresh flowers on the table. One of us often brings along a homemade cake too!

There is no pressure to talk, you may feel like simply listening to others and that is all. On another week, you may feel like talking about your own journey.

The group is not strictly structured. I have been pleasantly surprised at how relaxed and friendly the atmosphere is, there is laughter and tears, sharing stories and experiences and listening to each other, sharing tips on coping strategies.

There is no agenda and it is free to attend and best of all it is very supportive. People leave feeling uplifted. The Crafty Fox is a friendly space in the heart of Foxhole, it is conveniently situated at the parade of shops on Foxhole Road.

One of the group members said: “This group has been a life-saver, my bereavement journey has been very long and I have felt very isolated but now I have been able to share it with like-minded people who understand where I’m coming from.”

The group is free to attend, tea and coffee are available at very reasonable prices and it meets fortnightly between 1pm and 3pm.

If you would like to know more about the group, please call me, Nina, on 07929 335 915 or email [email protected]. If you would like to check the next meeting date, you can also call 01803 669005

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