Members of creative writing workshop sat round a table.

The Good Grief Project

Rachel’s getting creative to help the bereaved

Our colleagues have done an amazing job setting up bereavement groups – places where anyone who’s lost a loved one can go and talk to others going through the same thing. Wanting to help her bereaved clients, but by doing something a bit different, Rachel Maughan, Estate Planning Lead for Northumberland, Tyne & Wear, and her team have set up the “Good Grief” project, a calendar of events and activities to help people remain physically and mentally active – starting with creative writing workshops. This is what Rachel had to say about it:

“We’re currently in the process of setting up bereavement groups/friendship cafes in each of our Funeral Family areas – but I wanted our team to be able to offer something more to our clients than just tea and sympathy (although that’s a great place to start and a very valuable service!).”

“I just started looking into what might help people dealing with bereavement and something that came up was the need to remain physically and mentally active, so we have an on-going long term project which we’ve nicknamed locally as our Good Grief project. The idea is that we think outside the box and try to offer a calendar of events and activities to our clients to help them be more active – which works alongside our goal of being more involved in our local communities.

“The Creative Writing Workshops we’ve set up are just the first example of the sessions we want to provide and came about when I got talking to a local bereavement counsellor, who works in the South Tyneside area, where my branches are located. He’s a former English lecturer and we came up with the idea together of putting on the workshops as something a bit different that will help people to express emotion. I attended the first session myself and I have to say it was great fun, there was a lot of laughter but it also provoked some deeper thought.

Creative writing workshop

“We’re running these workshops on the first Saturday of every month until the end of the year, but hopefully, if we get enough interest, we’ll be able to extend this. We’ve got lots of other ideas in the early stages, so watch this space!”

If you would like to join a bereavement group, get in touch with your local Funeral Director to find out what's available in your area.

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