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Volunteers needed to help launch bereavement cafe in Stratford

A WOMAN whose own experience with grief inspired her to launch bereavement cafés is appealing for volunteers to set up a group in Stratford.

Tracey McAtamney, founder of the Surviving Bereavement Foundation, currently runs two-hour sessions in Kenilworth, Leamington, Balsall Common, Berkswell, Coventry and Solihull, and says there is demand for a café in Stratford.

Tracey, from Balsall Common, established Surviving Bereavement in 2019 in memory of her late husband Tony. She was left widowed with two sons at 38 when Tony suddenly collapsed and died in his hotel room while on a golfing holiday in Spain.

Tracey and late husband Tony
Tracey and late husband Tony

She said: “Our aim is to raise awareness of not just the emotional aspect of grief, but also the practical and the mental wellbeing required to survive bereavement.

“After someone dies you find yourself surrounded by paperwork. I realised quickly that people needed help.

“The café role is perfect for anyone with time to spare, is compassionate and can offer a listening ear. They would just need to set up the banner, welcome people and make introductions. People generally will then talk to each other. There will be signposting information for people to take away if required.”

The foundation offers legal and financial advice as well as practical help as well as bespoke Memory Boxes for grieving children and young adults.

She added: “The Bereavement Cafés help to support anyone feeling sad or isolated following the loss of a loved one and bring a little happiness to the day.”

To find out how to get involved, email tracey@survivingbereavement.com.

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