Team on hand over Christmas for families

Sue and Rob
Sue and Rob
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While Christmas is a time of celebration for most, some residents will find the festive season tough after losing a loved one earlier in the year.

The Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Family Support team will be helping many people get through Christmas after they suffered a bereavement.

Rob Oliver, from Bretton, will be one of the people being helped by the team, after his wife, Sue died just days before his 70th birthday.

It will be the first Christmas Rob has not spent with Sue for almost 50 years.

He said: “Sue was a real Christmas person.

“She was in the U3A and every year enjoyed playing in concerts of Christmas music with The Rhythmaires music group.

“She had a flashing holly brooch which she always wore and she spent hours throughout the year searching in gift shops for stocking fillers for the grandchildren.”

When Rob picked up the medical certificate of death from Thorpe Hall staff from the family support team were there to meet him.

They explained they would be in touch in six weeks to see how he and the family were coping – and to talk about the bereavement support available to them all. Six weeks later he received the promised phone call.

Rob went to a support group, which he said helped him deal with Sue’s death.

Head of family support Jo Ruff explained: “Christmas can be a very difficult time for people who have suffered a bereavement – particularly the first Christmas.

“They may feel very isolated, festive routines may change dramatically as a result of the bereavement and, alongside this, people can feel guilty about celebrating the occasion without their special person there.”

To find out more about Thorpe Hall Hospice’s bereavement support please email thorpehall@sueryder.org or call 01733 225900.