Hope Bereavement Cafe
The Revd Suzanne Johnson, Curate in the Parish of Taplow, has rallied around her local community to start a new bereavement cafe for families and individuals who have lost loved ones in recent years.
Inspired by the widows in her congregation at St Nicolas’ Church meeting for a coffee and chat, Suzanne identified that there was a need for a regular, safe and local space where people can access support if they have experienced or are still experiencing bereavement.
The cafe project is launching on 1 December and will be running on a monthly basis to begin with. It aims to be a safe space for people to relax, have a coffee, and appreciate the company of others who have also experienced loss in their lives.
Suzanne has even managed to get local businesses and charities involved with the project. Furniture has been donated by local cafes, funeral directors have offered to serve refreshments and a car dealership has donated a TV all to help create a relaxing environment in the church. People will also be able to receive information about signposting to help and advice services including counselling and specialist support.
Suzanne shares her hopes for the cafe ahead of its launch:
“During the pandemic, so many families were unable to grieve properly or spend time together to comfort one another. This has really impacted the mental health and overall wellbeing of people in our communities. We want the cafe to be a place where people can meet with others who have lost loved ones, share with one another, and where we can offer people the Christian hope.
“Grief affects each of us in the community, from the youngest to the oldest. The cafe is open to people of all faiths and none, and we welcome people at any stage of their grief journey.
“In the future, we hope that we can offer other monthly meetings and reach more people in need in our community. Our local hospice has told us they are thrilled by the prospect of the cafe and have already identified their patients and families to send to us so it shows there is a real need for this in our community.”