After the death of a loved one, some people value having access to bereavement counselling, or simply to be able to meet with people who are also surviving the loss of a loved one.
Losing a loved one can mean that feelings of grief can often be overwhelming and difficult to cope with. But please be aware that you, or anyone else affected, don’t have to deal with this complex time alone. Alongside talking to a friend, family member or health professional there are lots of organisations that provide help for the bereaved. At Neville Funerals, we actively look to support such organisations, as well as local and national charities that have teams working locally. In recent years, we have worked in conjunction with local hospices and organisations to provide drop-in sessions for those who have been bereaved, to talk and share their feelings, and we also organise our own, informal groups that operate at a very local community level.
Talking Elephants is our growing network of free monthly bereavement support groups, open to anyone who has suffered loss, who would appreciate a friendly face, some support, and a chance to engage with people going through something similar, over a cup of coffee. Having worked with bereaved families for many years, we understand that meeting other people who understand how you feel can be hugely beneficial. We set up Talking Elephants to provide a relaxed, comfortable space for our communities to meet and talk as little or as much as they would like.
Our groups are held on the following dates and at these locations …
Dunstable. The Priory Church Hall, Church Street, Dunstable LU5 4RS.
Held every third Monday of the month.* 1:30pm-3:30pm.
Luton. The Parish Centre, Lucas Gardens, Luton, LU3 4AE.
Held every first Wednesday of each month.* 12pm-2pm.
Evening sessions held every third Tuesday of each month.* 6pm-8pm.
Stopsley. St Anne’s Church, Crawley Green Road, Luton, LU2 0QN.
Held every third Thursday of each month.* 10am-11:30am.
Evening sessions held every first Tuesday of each month.* 7pm-8.30pm.
Woburn Sands. St Mary’s Catholic Church Hall, Aspley Hill, Woburn Sands, MK17 8NN.
Held every fourth Tuesday of each month.* 1:30pm-3:30pm.
Ampthill Flitwick. The Chapter House, St Peter & St Paul’s Church, Church Road, Flitwick, MK45 1AE.
Held every second Friday of each month.* 10:30am-12:30pm.
Hitchin. Holy Saviour Church Hall, Holy Saviour Church. Radcliffe Road, Hitchin, SG5 1QG.
Held every fourth Thursday of each month.* 1pm-3pm.
Shefford. Shefford Methodist Church, Ampthill Road, Shefford, SG17 5BE.
Held every fourth Friday of each month.* 12:30pm-2:30pm.
Hemel Hempstead. Holy Trinity, Bedmond Road, Hemel Hempstead, HP3 8LJ.
Held every third Tuesday of each month.* 11am-1pm.
Bedford. St Andrews Church, Kimbolton Road, Bedford, MK40 2PF.
Held every first Thursday of each month.* 2pm-4pm.
*excluding Bank Holidays
If you, or anyone you know, would benefit from attending one of our groups or courses, please contact the team on 01582 499680 or at [email protected] and also check our Facebook page for regular updates.
Supporting a child through bereavement and beyond
In 2019, we published our ‘Supporting a Child Through Bereavement and Beyond’ booklet in response to common questions asked by parents and relatives who were struggling to offer the right support. The booklet covers a range of topics including how to break bad news, typical behaviours and what to look out for, how to explain a funeral, burial or cremation and looking to the future.
The booklet is available to view online here and if you have any questions, please contact our team who will be more than happy to help.
If you are a local school or community organisation interested in receiving a free copy of the book, please email [email protected].
Lea Bereavement Support Service is a free bereavement support course that we previously ran at regular intervals throughout the year to help with the practicalities of bereavement for those who have lost partners. Each course lasts for six weeks and whilst initially exploring the psychological effects of loss and grief, the following sessions then go on to look at subjects such as managing finances, food matters, advice on sleep problems and generally taking care of yourself.
During the pandemic, we were unable to host this service but are looking to relaunch the course programme soon. Please check back for updates or follow our social media channels for news.
Click the front cover to see the publication
Comments from those who attend our Talking Elephant groups
‘I’ve found it very helpful to be with people in the same situation and to know that the way I feel is normal.’
‘Good opportunity to meet people in the same situation and discuss various scenarios that confront us. Good to meet new people and receive bereavement counselling near me’.
‘This is my first time here and I have found everybody to be very welcoming and friendly. They have listened to me and I have had the opportunity to speak about my loss and hear about theirs. Hopefully next month will be a bit easier and maybe not so many tears.’
‘I have made friends. I enjoy the biscuits (cake would be nice occasionally though). I have been given good advice sometimes. It’s good to talk and have a sympathetic listener or two. It’s a helpful group and a good idea.’
‘I had to write to tell you about the bereavement counselling course run at Barton Village Hall back in February. A group of us attended this amazing course and at the end of the course 5 of us decided to carry on meeting. We arranged this on the first Thursday of every month for lunch. We then changed to accommodate one of the attendees and are meeting Monday evenings. This is all due to the course you run, we have become good friends and are of all different ages but have the bond of bereavement. We all helped each other on good and bad times and with sorting out financial issues connected with the loss, we now meet as friends.’
‘Gave me hope for moving forward.’
‘I thought it was well thought out and well presented. I decided to attend as I felt I would benefit from help in a practical sense and support from people in the same position as me.’
‘This has been a great opportunity at a time when all seemed a bit bleak. I decided to come along because of the kind invitation, the topics that were being discussed and the chance to be with others who have gone through a similar experience.’
‘All sessions were useful and helpful. I needed help and the 6 weeks has done just that.’
”I was feeling very low and unsure. I decided to come at the last minute and was very pleased that I did.’
‘Every session was very helpful, especially talking to people in the same boat as you are.’
‘I wanted to thank you and Neville’s for putting on the above course. Unfortunately I was only able to attend some of the events but found them very helpful and well presented. Previously I had no idea such a programme was in force. It is a good idea and it was a pleasant surprise to receive the information leaflet. Thank you again for your time and expense presenting it. It is much appreciated.’
‘As usual very friendly, good tea, and the atmosphere is calming.’