This weekend sees the start of National Grief Awareness Week – seven days packed with activities across the Fylde coast to promote the support available to people living with grief.
The campaign, organised by The Good Grief Trust, runs from 2nd– 8th December, and Blackpool’s efforts have already been praised by the charity’s ambassador and lead singer of BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, Tommy Blaize. Tommy recently made this video message about the campaign.
Led by Fylde Coast Compassionate Communities, the activities include ‘Better Together’ cafes encouraging people to talk about their grief and learn about the local services which can support them.
Also taking place during week are remembrance events such as the annual Baby Loss Remembrance Service at the Winter Gardens and Blackpool Teaching Hospitals’ Tree of Lights, with Trinity’s Light up a Life taking place just after the ween on Sunday 10th December.
And local care providers will attend a National Grief Week Conference to share learnings and develop services at Trinity Hospice.
At the end of the week, local landmarks including Blackpool Tower, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals, Lytham Windmill, the Marine Hall and the big wheel on Central Pier, will be lit up in orange to raise awareness of support for those who are grieving.
Speaking as Strictly Come Dancing visited the iconic Blackpool Tower Ballroom, Tommy said: “I’m in Blackpool to promote the Good Grief Trust, and we’re asking all communities if possible to light up something in their city to show that we are here to help people going through grief who may not know who to turn to.”
The national light-up event takes place on Friday 8th December at 6 pm.
Jackie Brunton, Lead Nurse for End-of-Life and Bereavement Care at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals, said: “The theme of this year’s National Grief Awareness Week is ‘better together’; it’s about connecting our communities to share their grief experiences in a safe environment with local support.
“We really hope as many people as possible across the Fylde coasts takes the time to visit their local Better Together café, where they’ll have the chance to share their experiences and speak to local providers about the support available.
“The purpose of this week and of Fylde Coast Compassionate Communities is to help people where we live to feel less alone, whether its around their end of life care plans or in grief or bereavement.”
Local events during National Grief Awareness Week include:
- Baby Loss Remembrance Service – Sunday 3rd December, Winter Gardens
- Better Together at Blackpool Football Club – Monday 4th December
- Tree of Lights – Monday 4th December, Blackpool Victoria Hospital
- Better Together at Fleetwood Hospital Hub – Tuesday 5th December
- Better Together at Trinity Hospice – Thursday 7th December
Trinity Hospice’s annual Light up a Life service of remembrance and celebration takes place at the hospice on Low Moor Road on Sunday 10th December at 4pm.
Trinity’s Clinical Educator Kim Lilley said: “National Grief Awareness week is an important event in our calendar to highlight the work of local services to support people who have lost a loved one.
“Here at Trinity, our Linden Centre supports the loved ones of patients we have cared for, but there is also a lot of great work across the Fylde coast to help everyone living with grief. This week is all about celebrating that work and the difference we all make together to those who need us.”