Better Together with National Grief Awareness Week 2023

The Good Grief Trust, a charity run by the bereaved for the bereaved, launches National Grief Awareness Week, which takes place between the 2nd-8th December 2023.


The Good Grief Trust, a charity run by the bereaved for the bereaved, launches National Grief Awareness Week, which takes place between the 2nd-8th December 2023. 

The theme this year is #BetterTogether; a campaign designed to reconnect our communities and link those who are bereaved with the right level of support. This could be through professional counselling, support groups or it could simply serve as a reminder to friends, families, employers and colleagues that we may need to check-in on someone who has lost someone close to them.

The aim of National Grief Awareness Week is to raise awareness that grief needs immediate acknow­led­gement. Grief needs to be normalised and not seen as a taboo amongst our society. However, it’s understandable that people need guidance on what to say and what to do when trying to help someone who is bereaved.

The Good Grief Trust offers lots of resources to support those who need bereavement support, as well as guidance for their friends and family members.

At Pendleside Hospice, we are advocates for National Grief Awareness Week and we know only too well how important it is to provide immediate support to those who are grieving. We offer a range of bereavement support services to those living within Burnley & Pendle, all of which is completely free of charge, and we want to help spread the word that we are here to help.

What bereavement support does Pendleside Hospice offer?

Family Support Services

Our Family Support Service provides support and counselling to adults, children and families who are caring for a loved one or who have been affected by a bereavement (or expected bereavement) and who live within the Burnley and Pendle community.

Support and counselling sessions can be provided in a variety of manners to meet the needs of the individual. These include:

  • Individual face to face sessions
  • Family sessions
  • Group sessions
  • Individual telephone sessions
  • Individual video sessions

People are able to refer themselves or we can accept referrals from friends, relatives, carers, healthcare professionals, schools and employers, by emailing [email protected] or calling 01282 440 102.

For more information, please visit Family Support & Bereavement.

Walking & Coffee Morning Bereavement Support Group

The walking group meets on the first Monday every month, and it’s a great opportunity to connect with others who have lost a loved one or are looking to share company with like-minded people.

For more information, please visit Walking & Coffee Morning Bereavement Support Group.

Bereaved by Suicide Support Group

Our Bereaved by Suicide Group takes place on the third Monday of every month, and is facilitated by four volunteers, Sharon, Vicky, Sally and Sandra, who themselves, have been impacted by suicide loss. 

We do ask that you get in touch with our Family Support Team first on 01282 440 102, to ensure you’re getting the right level of support.

For more information, please visit Bereaved by Suicide Support Group.

Sharon Chapman has also set up a Facebook page called Support After Suicide for those who with to follow. The aim of the group is to raise awareness and funds, to support friends and families who are affected by the loss of someone to suicide.

Bereavement Support Group

The bereavement support group meets on the first Monday every month, from 6-7.30pm. The aim of this group is to provide support for the bereaved. It is run as informally as possible and no appointments are necessary.

For more information, please visit Bereavement Support Group.

Christmas Support Sessions

Pendleside Hospice will be holding support sessions, for those who are struggling with grief over the Christmas period. You can arrange a friendly chat with a member of our Family Support Team between 9am-5pm on Thursday 21st and Friday 22nd December.

For more information, please visit Christmas Support Sessions.

Remember Your Loved Ones by Dedicating a Light

Christmas can be a particularly difficult time for those who are grieving. It can be a time of fond memories, but also loss, isolation and sadness. Talking about it and surrounding yourself with others may help ease the issues you’re facing. 

Each year, Pendleside Hospice hosts Light Up a Life, a special event to remember our loved ones by dedicating a light.

Sarah Jarjue and her family are very kindly launching this year’s Light Up a Life event, in memory of Sarah’s father, Anthony, who passed away in April this year. 

Sarah, with her dad, Anthony, and husband, Fadel

Sarah said: “When I was asked to launch and support the Light Up a Life campaign, I had no hesitation, due to the care our family received at Pendleside Hospice. After my dad died, my eldest daughter, Elizabeth (13) and I, also received bereavement support from Pendleside’s Family Support Team. I found I was being incredibly hard on myself and the sessions helped me understand that everyone deals with grief differently. It will be an honour to shine a light this year on the wonderful man that was my dad.”

Simon and Ken from our Family Support Team will also be around in the afternoon and will be on hand to chat through bereavement worries or concerns you may be facing. 

The event will take place on Sunday, 17th December from 2.30pm at Pendleside Hospice. There will be a choir, food & refreshments and you’ll have the opportunity to place a personalised message to your loved one onto our Hospice Christmas tree. 

If you wish to donate a light to your loved one, please register here.

Channelling Your Grief into Fundraising

If a particular charity or organisation has supported you and your family, either with palliative care, counselling or bereavement support, it can often feel rewarding to be able to give something back.

Fundraising can be a meaningful way to cope with loss for several reasons:

  • It enables you to honour your loved one
  • It can bring family, friends and the community together
  • It brings a sense of pride and achievement
  • It generates awareness for a good cause
  • It can be a positive, emotional outlet

Pendleside Hospice hosts many local events for our community to get involved in. Joining one of our events and / or raising sponsorship helps support the care for people with life-limiting illnesses, as well as their families and carers.

You may wish to set up your own fundraising event, either as an individual or group. If so, and you require support with an upcoming fundraiser, be it picking up branded t-shirts and balloons, or publicising your event on social media, please get in touch with our dedicated Fundraising Team.

This year, Tropic Ambassador, Lisa Emmett from Burnley, raised a fantastic £1,072 for Pendleside Hospice with a Christmas Shopping Fundraising event.

Lisa Pearson Cheque Presentation

Lisa is a huge supporter of Pendleside Hospice and is always looking for new and innovative ways to raise money for our cause. Lisa’s father, Frank, sadly passed away in May this year and her mother has since been referred to our Family Support Team Leader, Simon Frauts for bereavement counselling.

Lisa said, “Not many people know about Pendleside’s counselling service and I want to help generate as much awareness and funds as I can, to ensure others can get the level of support they need. We also raised over £800 in memory of my father at his funeral, which we donated to Pendleside Hospice - the work they do there is amazing - and I want to continue helping in any way I can.”

If you’re feeling inspired, you can also give the Fundraising Team a call on 01282 440 120.

Channelling Your Grief into Volunteering

Pendleside Hospice would not be where it is today without the support of our volunteers - from working on the inpatient unit to supporting the fundraising team, and from delivering meals on wheels to the public to maintaining our beautiful gardens, there is something for everyone at Pendleside.

There are many different reasons why our volunteers choose to support Pendleside, and one of those reasons is because they wish to give something back to a cause that has supported them and their family. Being here and being a part of the Pendleside team gives them a sense of pride. It also tackles loneliness and we have witnessed many of our volunteers make life-long friends.

No time is too little - if you have a couple of hours to spare or a full day each week - we'd love to hear from you. Learn more about Volunteering or get get in touch with our Volunteer Coordinator, Lisa Clarke, today at [email protected]

Getting the Right Level of Support

If you’re struggling to come to terms with the loss of a loved one, but you’re still not sure what support you need, contact our Family Support Team.

The team are available Monday – Friday between 9am and 5pm by telephoning 01282 440 102, or email Pendleside Hospice’s HWR & Family Support Manager, Julia O’Neill: [email protected]

Goodbye Letter

Writing down what you wish to say to someone you have lost, may help you come to terms and make sense of your emotions. You can express freely and it can sometimes bring a sense of relief.

Our Family Support Team has found that the Goodbye Letter Template has proven to have positive results on peoples’ wellbeing. Please feel free to download this template and share with others who you feel may benefit from it too.