Want to find out more about our Bereavement Service?

20th March 2024 12:00

20th March 2024

Over the last year, our bereavement support service has developed immensely, providing supportive conversations, and group services for individuals bereaved through cancer across Glasgow and beyond. We’re lucky to have a bereavement support team coming from eclectic backgrounds, from administrative staff, to facilitators, to our psychologist. Each individual has unique professional and personal experiences, working in areas ranging from homeless youth, the justice system, palliative care, pathology and social work, and of course bereavement support.

We are a passionate wee team, and although the service is young, and we have much to learn, we are continuously looking to develop our knowledge of bereavement support and be representative of the West of Scotland as a population. With backgrounds in Health Psychology, our facilitator and Health psychologist know of the many barriers that still exist to adequate healthcare and support, and we are committed to taking action to support those most affected by these barriers in our community. Over the past year, we have been focusing on new, innovative ways of delivering content to our groups whilst tackling issues such as digital exclusion, and accessibility, to make our groups a space where everyone feels welcome and equal. Participant feedback has been key to this, and we are continually evaluating the service based on their reflections, advice and experiences.

Alongside our groups, our supportive one-to-one conversations, aim to give the individuals using our service the autonomy over their support. With emphasis on accessing services when they are ready to engage, not when society is telling them they should be ready. We are big advocates of autonomy in healthcare, and as we know, autonomy is harder to achieve for individuals from certain backgrounds, when barriers have been placed in front of them.

 We aim to remain open and curious to new ways of thinking, being informed by clinical practice, but also by individuals experiences attending our groups, with everyone attending being shown respect and given the same opportunities to learn, engage and share. This is important not only for our group members, but also our practitioners, as we aim to give that person-centred support that we value highly at Beatson Cancer Charity, alongside the psychoeducation materials that we deliver to help people understand the impact of bereavement on the body and mind.

               We are very encouraged by the steps the service has taken to engage with diverse populations of people, from different communities across Glasgow, however, we are aware there is still work to be done. We have focused a great deal in making our support and venues as accessible as possible, with adequate public transport links to venues, with venues used across the South, East, and West of the city thus far.

               We know those engaging with our service are mostly aged between 25 and 64 and the majority identify as female. We are subsequently committed as a service to continue to further understand the barriers experienced by other younger and older age groups and genders to continue to enable more individuals to access our support over the next year. As part of this we will seek the continual expansion of our networks to make individuals from all backgrounds across the West of Scotland that have been bereaved through cancer, aware of our bereavement services.

Finally, our service exists to combat the loneliness and isolation that can come with and complicate the grief process, seeking to empower individuals to manage their grief either through 1:1 supportive conversations or through our group programme. If you or anyone you know may benefit from what our bereavement service has to offer please don’t hesitate to get in touch to find out more.