St Nicholas Hospice Care hopes to be able to offer a safe virtual space for those coping with the loss of a loved one.
The hospice, which supports those facing dying, caring and grief across West Suffolk and Thetford, is set to launch its Virtual Bereavement Café next month.
The charity, which pre-covid had run physical bereavement cafés in Bury St Edmunds, Mildenhall, Stowlangtoft and a drop-in group in Haverhill, hopes the virtual session will encourage those coping with bereavement, loss and grief to share their experiences with others in similar positions facilitated by trained staff and volunteers.
Starting on Wednesday, April 14, the virtual café will be a space where attendees can speak freely and share stories with others coping with losing a loved one.
It will be a place to talk about the pain of loss and find courage and strength in knowing you are not alone.
David Ahlbrecht, St. Nicholas Hospice adult bereavement co-ordinator and psychotherapist (MBACP), said: “Every loss is unique, but we hope our Virtual Bereavement Café will be a safe, confidential space where people will hopefully find support from others who may be going through similar things to them.
“During our virtual café, it will be okay to laugh, cry, talk and listen.
“The coronavirus has changed the way we have been able to grieve, for those who have lost people during the pandemic funerals and celebrations of lives have been very different, family and friend groups haven’t been able to come together offer support.
“For those trying to find their way through a loss that may have happened some time ago, the support networks and social interactions that previously offered comfort may have stopped. Our virtual sessions may be different from our traditional bereavement cafés, but what hasn’t changed is that they are a place people can go for support, understanding and compassion.”
The virtual café, which will run from 11am to 12.30pm through Zoom, is designed to be 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 who will be able to offer further advice and guidance will oversee all sessions. There will also be information and signposting to other support and services.
Following the first session, further cafés will take place at the same time every week.
To find out more about the virtual café, please visit https://stnicholashospice.org.uk/support-and-information/support-groups-and-activities/virtual-bereavement-cafe