The Good Grief Trust
Coping with life after a loss is something that everyone will have to experience at least once in their life. Whether it be the loss of a parent, grandparent, partner or even a child, the pain of any loss can feel overwhelming.
This is where The Good Grief Trust come in. They are a registered charity set up by Linda Magistris, who lost her partner Graham in 2014 to a very short 5 month battle with cancer. Linda went to counselling but after 4 sessions she realised it wasn’t working for her. After getting nowhere with her GP, Linda explored other options, and found that there was a distinct lack of bereavement services in the UK. So she took action and launched The Good Grief Trust in 2017.
The trust is ran by the bereaved and has branches all across the UK, one being in Cornwall. Charmaine is involved in the Cornwall branch, which run a series of ‘pop up grief cafés’ where anyone who feels they need to talk can go and talk to other people going through the same things. Coming up is a men’s grief pop up, taking place on the 14th March. Men’s grief is something this charity feels is especially important, with the stigma attached to men talking about their feelings. They hope to tackle this with their grief cafés.
“Grief has no expiry date.”Charmaine, a volunteer from the Trust, told me. The Good Grief Trust was set up “to ensure everyone that was grieving had access to all services available to them”. The pop up cafés they run are “to give grievers a safe space to get support, we offer help and hope in one place.” The cafes are held fortnightly, and are for “anyone grieving, whether they lost someone recently or years ago.”
The pandemic has hit everyone hard, but charities especially with the lack of fundraising events able to go ahead. Now more than ever places like The Good Grief Trust are needed. Over 118,000 people have lost their lives to Covid-19 in the UK since the pandemic began, that’s over 118,000 people who are grieving a loved one. Charmaine stresses the importance of the services this trust offers. She says, “People are lonely and feel they need support; it’s been very difficult. Some people that attended the groups prior to lockdown are self-isolating due to medical issues, but we have a private group chat, so they don’t feel so alone”.
Currently the pop up cafés are virtual, taking place on zoom while actual cafés remain closed. For many people the face to face interaction is so vital for them to heal emotionally.
The Good Grief Trust are always looking for volunteers to start more cafes, their aim is to have a café in every town eventually. To get involved or to find out more about the pop up cafés, you can visit: www.thegoodgrieftrust.org