‘Fallen Angels’ hope to inspire bereaved families
A group of women who set up a support group after suffering bereavements are hoping to inspire others in a bid to combat loneliness.
The eight women who make up the ‘Fallen Angels’ have spoken out to try and help other people in the same situation, following the launch of ‘The Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness’.
The commission, set up in memory of the Batley and Spen MP who was killed last year, will look at helping people from all walks of life who suffer from loneliness.
The ladies, who are all from Burnley and Pendle originally met through Pendleside Hospice’s weekly walk and talk bereavement group. They then decided to also meet every Sunday as they found the weekends one of the worst times to be alone.
They are now encouraging other people who are experiencing loneliness due to bereavement to join support groups, and not suffer in silence.
Christine Hadfield and Margaret Simpson, founder members of the group, say that the friendships formed have proved to be a ‘lifeline’.
Christine said: “We met through the weekly walk that starts Towneley Garden Centre each Monday. We all really hit it off and it was mentioned that for most people on their own, weekends are one of the worst times. So we decided to meet up as a smaller group and have a walk on a Sunday afternoon then go for a meal together, in addition to our Monday get-togethers.
“Having the trip out on a Sunday gives us all something to look forward to, especially for a few in the group who are less able to get out.”
Since forming in August they have had a trip away to St Annes and have recently returned from a four-day break in York, and have more trips planned for this year.
“The group has been an absolute lifeline to us all. We have supportive families but we have all gone through the same thing, and really understand exactly how we are feeling,” said Margaret.
“We know we can pick up the phone to each other at any time of the day and there will be someone who will be there with a listening ear.”
Christine added: “I first heard about the walk and talk bereavement group through a counselling session at the hospice.
“The hospice has a number of services that people can access if they are struggling with the loss of a loved one, including reflexology sessions which I found very beneficial.
“Rather than suffering in silence we would urge people to contact the hospice or just come along to the Monday walking group.”
The Pendleside Hospice walk and talk bereavement group meets every Monday at 10am at Towneley Garden Centre in Burnley. Those who are able to, take part in an hour long walk around the woods, before meeting back with the other members of the group for a drink and chat.