“Becoming a Bereavement Listener brought me closer to my mum”

Alison and Mum

Today is Time to Talk Day, a national campaign which aims to encourage people to talk to improve their mental health and wellbeing. We are pleased to be able to offer a Bereavement Listening service where our specially trained volunteers listen to those dealing with loss in confidence and without judgement.

Ann Kenny, Bereavement Lead said “Everybody’s grief or upset is different, but there is something very supportive about talking to people who understand distress and know it cannot be fixed. It is a safe, caring space to share feelings and feel less alone.”

We recently spoke to Alison who has been volunteering as a Bereavement Listener with us for three years and found out a little more about why she wanted to do this role. Alison told us that her Mum, Barbara was instrumental in becoming one of our first Listeners when the service started around 20 years ago.

“Mum loved listening, she used to drive to clients houses to hold their sessions, as she got older, she became a Listening Supervisor and she used to enjoy this too, she was a volunteer for 15 years. She was so pleased that I became a Listener and talking about our experiences brought us closer together in her final weeks before she passed away.”

Asked about her experiences of being a Listener, Alison told us “I find it so interesting to listen to people, to hear about their walks of life, their decisions, and relationships. Grief is so different for everyone and how they deal with it is unique to them. I think it would be great for everyone going through grief to experience a listening service, even for just one or two sessions. It really is just time for you, and space without judgement to talk in a safe environment.

To find out more about our free Listening Service call 01296 332600 or email bht.fnh.bereavement@nhs.net

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