Bereaved St Leoards woman sets up support group

Wendy and Aideen
Wendy and Aideen
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A BEREAVED woman, who suffered the sudden loss of her partner, has set up a support group to help others in her position.

Wendy Hannay, 51, who lives in St Leonards, works as a volunteer for the bereavement service at St Michael’s Hospice and saw that something to help those suufering from grief was needed.

So she, together with the hospice’s counselling services manager, Aideen O’Hagan, launched an informal monthly social evening where people experiencing feelings of loss can get together amd share thoughts and feelings.

Wendy said: “Throughout my life there’s always been a side of me that wants to help others so I decided to put my own experiences to use to show others that they too can get through the loss of someone.”

The social evenings, called GRoWS (Grief Recovery with Support), offer an open session, without schedules, where people working through bereavement, no matter how recent, can meet others and talk about their experiences.

Wendy said: “Bringing up two teenage children along with facing the challenges of a job, housing and financial security made getting on with life one of the hardest things I have ever done. If anyone said to me that in years to come I would be happy again I would have laughed at them but that is what has happened. Time, family and friendship have healed the physical and emotional pain and I have recovered a happy life built from a very sad time. I hope that I can help others to see that they can not only get through this but make some long-lasting friendships along the way.”

The social evenings are held every third Thursday from 6pm to 8pm at the hospice in Upper Maze Hill, St Leonards. For more information, call Marion Sargent on 01424 456361 or email