Express & Star

Sue Ryder launches space in Smethwick to tackle grief loneliness

National healthcare and bereavement charity, Sue Ryder is offering Smethwick’s bereaved residents the opportunity to access informal, peer-to-peer bereavement support, with the launch of the town’s first Grief Kind Space, providing an opportunity for people who have experienced the death of a loved one, to share their feelings and experiences with each other.

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Jodie Griffiths, Centre Manager, Dorothy Parkes Centre, Jayne Purshall, Sue Ryder Grief Kind Spaces Area Coordinator and Lizzie Palmer, Operations & Engagement Officer, Bearwood Community Hub CIC

Following the successful launch of Sue Ryder Grief Kind Spaces in other parts of the country, the charity has teamed up with the Dorothy Parkes Centre, Church Road, to offer the free weekly drop-in sessions, which will help alleviate the isolation and loneliness felt by many people in the area, when a loved one has died.

Commenting on the launch of the Smethwick Grief Kind Space, Sue Ryder’s Area Coordinator, Jayne Purshall said: “Almost every home in the UK has, or will experience the death of someone. Yet, our research tells us two out of three people who are grieving are still not getting the support they need.

“We spoke to 8,500 people who have been bereaved and many of them told us the support they really wanted was to meet and talk to others who had also been bereaved. That’s why we’re launching our Grief Kind Spaces, giving people who are grieving access to informal, in person support. I hope through our Grief Kind Space here in Smethwick, along with more services opening across the country this year, we can meet this unfulfilled need.

“You don’t need to have received any support or care from Sue Ryder previously, just pop in to receive a warm welcome from our team of trained volunteers, who are there to listen if you have experienced any kind of loss at any time.”

The spaces are volunteer-led, with volunteers receiving training and support to lead the sharing of experiences in a group setting, guide supportive and compassionate conversations and provide sign-posting to relevant support.

The Grief Kind Space will take place every Monday from 10am to 12 noon at Dorothy Parkes Centre, Church Road, Smethwick, B67 6EH. There is no need to register or book and the service is open to anyone over 18 who has experienced a bereavement.

For details and locations of existing Sue Ryder Grief Kind Spaces visit or for anyone who is grieving, Sue Ryder offers free online support at

By Aine O'Sullivan - Contributor

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