How receiving grief counselling inspired me to become a counsellor

“When I suffered the loss of my parents, I felt an immense sense of loneliness and loss.”


This was the experience of Terry Farricker who turned his grief into a passion for helping others and tells his story to mark National Grief Awareness Week.

The week is a national campaign designed to raise awareness of the support available to bereaved people and their families.

Blackpool Teaching Hospitals works closely with Fylde Coast-based Trinity Hospice which offers a range of services including Brian House Children’s Hospice and the Linden Centre which offers counselling for adults and children.

Terry has shared his story, hoping it will encourage others to come forward for bereavement counselling. Terry is a volunteer for Trinity Hospice and a trainee counsellor.

When he was supported by the Swan bereavement team at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals, it inspired him to help others.

Terry explained: “The wonderful people at Swan reached out to me, and I was able to just talk through my feelings.  This in turn led to me being referred to the Linden Centre.

“I remember the trepidation I felt, standing outside the Linden Centre, but as soon as I stepped inside, I was made to feel cared for and I felt like my grief had found a home, where it would be accepted and recognised.

“The Counsellors were so kind and welcoming, and at the end of my time there, I was inspired to begin my own counselling journey.


“If it was not for the support and care given to me at the Linden Centre, I would not be where I am now, training to hopefully one day offer that same support to someone else in need of help.”

Janine Hill is the Hospice’s counsellor coordinator and also acts as a mentor to Terry.

She said “Terry is a good example of how local services in this area work together. We meet with families who may be feeling overwhelmed in their grief and Terry’s story offers a good insight into how it is possible to emerge from their grief with a new perspective.

“We often witness someone moving through this traumatic time, uncovering a resilience they were unaware of and from their initial weakness grows a new strength. Counselling is only a small fraction of the process; the greater part being the uncovering of self-belief and new purpose.

“Indeed, the satisfaction of something that began so painful being shaped into a positive experience, of which counselling was certainly a key part, has been the greatest achievement of his journey so far.”

Any adult with a life-limiting illness can be referred to the Living Well Service at Trinity. Patients must be referred by a health care professional; this could be their Consultant, GP, District Nurse or social worker.

Living Well brings together many of Trinity’s services and specialist clinicians in palliative care, counselling, physiotherapy, complementary therapy, occupational therapy and clinical psychology to support people from the point of diagnosis to get them physically and mentally to a place they want to be.

For more information about Trinity’s services, click here: Trinity Hospice & Palliative Care Services | Hospice Care on the Fylde Coast

Click here to find out more about the Swan team and Blackpool Teaching Hospital’s end of life and bereavement support. End of Life Care | Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (

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