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Eileen’s story


“I found out that David had progressive lung cancer and six weeks later he passed away. It was a really traumatic time for our family, as one of my sons was starting a new job in Germany and couldn’t get back in time to say goodbye. It was devastating for everyone.”

David died only 18 months after he and Eileen had enjoyed a lovely trip to Eastbourne together, organised and funded by the MCF.

The MCF organised lovely day trips whilst myself and David were away, like visits to Brighton which were really enjoyable. We went with others who were from all over the country, which was something we both liked. Evenings were very sociable, and we enjoyed nights in the hotel with music. We had a lovely evening before the holiday ended, sharing a meal with everyone on the trip.

After David’s loss, Eileen felt very lonely and socially isolated and she looked back on the holiday spent together with her husband as a beautiful memory. Then the Master of David’s lodge asked Eileen if she wanted to go on another trip organised by the MCF. The time spent in the company of other widows helped Eileen to recover from the traumatic experience of her husband’s loss.

“My husband and I used to go everywhere together, so after he passed away I thought I would have no life and no friends. I asked my children and they just said, ‘Mum, go for it… Dad would want you to’. The holiday coincided with the year anniversary of David’s death, but the people I was with were brilliant; I had such a good time and we really enjoyed ourselves.”


I never thought I’d fly again after David died, but I had company and that really takes your mind off things. I made some great friends including other widows, and they helped me to talk about what I was going through as they understood my situation. Since the holiday, I’ve started to go to the widows’ Christmas meals each year where I catch up with one of the ladies who was on my trip, and we exchange Christmas cards with each other. The holiday gave me the confidence to do things on my own — I flew out to Germany not long ago to meet my new grandson!


Our Impact

Hospice of the Good Shepherd

Bereavement Help Points in Cheshire This grant is helping the Hospice of the Good Shepherd to establish informal drop-in sessions in communities across Cheshire. These Bereavement Help Points offer a wide range of assistance; including emotional peer support, advice from trained volunteers, and printed resources to take away. They began work on the project in…

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St Elizabeth Hospice

This grant helped St Elizabeth Hospice in Ipswich to work with primary and secondary schools to improve support for pupils following bereavement. By giving teachers the skills to respond to their pupils’ grief early on, the project aims to prevent long-term difficulties in emotional well-being. Bereavement training for schools In September 2019 the Emotional Wellbeing…

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Bolton Hospice

Specialist training for local teachers The grant allowed the Bolton Hospice education team to develop specialist training for local teachers to support teenagers going through a bereavement. The training will help to improve the experience of teenagers dealing with loss, grief and bereavement, providing school staff with the knowledge and skills they need to support…

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Dogs for Good

Studies show that dogs have a profoundly positive effect on children with autism and can help the child to develop skills that increase independence and quality of life. The PAWS (Parents Autism Workshops and Support) project help parents of children with autism find (if they don’t already have a dog) and train a dog to…

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