Mary Ann Evans Hospice in Nuneaton
Posted: 4th July 2018

Mary Ann Evans Hospice in Nuneaton has been awarded a grant of £12,723 which will launch a drop-in service for newly bereaved people.

Hospice UK partnership

In October 2017, the MCF launched its new partnership with Hospice UK. Through this partnership, hospices were invited to apply for funding to expand the support they offer for bereaved families and individuals.

Mary Ann Evans Hospice is one of eight hospices to have been awarded a grant.

Stepping Stones

The grant has been awarded for a new strand of bereavement support called Stepping Stones; a regular drop-in session for people who are newly bereaved.  The service offers light refreshments and an opportunity to meet with a few other people who are experiencing grief in its early stages.

In the last six months of 2017 the Hospice’s bereavement service facilitated approximately 1,800 visits to its bespoke building, the Warren.  Over 200 people of all ages regularly access the different kinds of bereavement support being offered.

It is vitally important that children and young people know they can come to a place where their grief is going to be acknowledged and supported in a confidential setting.  A parent of children under 18 dies every 22 minutes in the UK; around 23,600 a year. That means 111 children are being bereaved every day. One in every 29 schoolchildren has been bereaved of a parent or sibling – that’s a child in every class.  If children and young people are not offered the right levels of bereavement support the grief will come out some years later, often in disruptive behaviour.

Partnership with Nuneaton Crematorium

Many people do not know they can access the hospice’s bereavement support network, especially if they have not previously been connected with it. Funeral directors often offer support to their customers around the time of death but are very aware of the limitations of their role.

The hospice is now working in partnership with Nuneaton Crematorium and three local funeral directors with this project to encourage more people to access bereavement support where needed.

Pauline’s story

Pauline, who lost her son in 2014, received support from the Mary Ann Evans Hospice bereavement support service.

“I contacted the bereavement support service four years ago. My son, Neil had been going through a particularly difficult time with his life-limiting illness.  I have really valued having the space to talk with someone over this period time and especially since his death.”

A group of local Freemasons visited to find out more about the work they are doing in the community

Gill Hancock, Director of Family Support Services from Mary Ann Evans Hospice said: “We’re very grateful to Warwickshire Freemasons for their generous grant, which will allow us to help many more newly bereaved people, so that they are not suffering in silence.”

Warwickshire Freemasons, Geoff Walker said: “We’re very pleased to be able to help the Mary Ann Evans Hospice with their Stepping Stones project for newly bereaved people. The pain of losing a loved one is very difficult to bear at any time, but it’s especially difficult for young people. If they don’t get the right support when they need it, the long term effects can damage their lives for years into the future.”