A hospice has announced the expansion one of their community support campaigns following a successful reception with residents.

St Clare Hospice Bereavement Café initiative first launched in February 2019, to help those who have or facing the loss of a loved one.

Following overwhelming support and feedback, the charity will open new cafés in Abridge, Theydon Bois and Harlow this October, making 10 branches available.

Staff also confirmed that as of Friday, September 6, the frequency of the monthly Café meet-ups will occur every Friday afternoon at the Hospice in Hastingwood, from 1.30pm to 3.30pm.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the public’s engagement with our Bereavement Café events,” says Sally Muylders, community engagement manager at St Clare Hospice.

“It’s an honour and privilege to be able to host this service for local people who are looking to meet others who have also experienced the death of a loved one.

So we’re delighted to announce that our Café at St Clare will now be weekly, so that we can keep up with local demand for this kind of support.”

The Hospice has estimated around 100 attend events held at the Bereavement Cafes established in Nazing, Ongar and Dunmow.

Michele Tavarone, a social worker within St Clare Hospice added: “It’s becoming ever-clearer to healthcare professionals – including Hospices – that this kind of social support is what the public are asking for,” says Michele Tavarone, a social worker within St Clare’s Patient & Family Support team.

“Too often are people left in isolation after a bereavement, but support services like our Bereavement Cafés are helping to change that reality for people so that they don’t have to face their journey alone.”

“You do not need to be an ‘expert’ in bereavement to facilitate at a Bereavement Café,” says St Clare’s voluntary services manager, Rob Wallace. “However, you will need to have a range of ‘soft skills’ to assist you in easing the ‘flow’ of the Café and ensuring that nobody is sitting alone, for example.

“This is an extremely rewarding role at St Clare that is directly helping to make a difference to local people who have experienced the loss of a loved one.

“We would welcome anyone who is 18+ years, with a passion for supporting others and getting involved in their local community, to get in touch and find out more about the role.”

More details about St Clare’s Bereavement Café Facilitator role can be found at: