Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice is sharing its insight into grief and loss as part of a national campaign that aims to get people talking about this typically uncomfortable subject. The Hospice is a partner in National Grief Awareness week, a campaign involving all bereavement services in the UK that aims to bravely bust the taboo around grief. Birmingham City Council are lending their support to the campaign by lighting up the Library of Birmingham yellow, the campaign colour, at the close of the week on Tuesday 8th December.

Throughout the week, the Hospice’s team of bereavement counsellors are sharing their practical advice for people coping with loss as well as for people wanting to support others who’ve been bereaved. They address questions such as: what to say or not say to a grieving person, how long grief lasts and advice on how to find a way through grief and its complex emotions. The counsellors also share their own experiences of grief to help people understand the emotional impact of losing a loved one.

Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice provides bereavement support to individuals of all ages. The service is free of charge and can be accessed by anybody who has been bereaved – whether or not the person was cared for by the Hospice, no matter how the person died or whether the death was recent or a long time ago. During the pandemic, appointments are run as one-to-one telephone calls.

Victoria Ross, Head of the Family and Carer Support service said:

“I’m really proud that Birmingham St Mary’s is a partner in this national campaign shining a light on this hugely important topic that affects hundreds of thousands of people every day. Grief can be a very isolating experience and it’s particularly hard during these isolated times of the pandemic.

My hope is that collectively the week helps bereaved people feel seen and heard and that people gain some understanding about how to help others cope with their loss.”

Cllr Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “Grief affects us all, at different times and in different ways. The Covid-19 pandemic has made supporting those who are grieving even harder, being unable to hug or even be with friends and family which has made their experience more distressing.

 “We will be lighting the Library of Birmingham yellow on Tuesday (8 December) to show our support for National Grief Awareness Week – and I hope you will show your support too.”

To play a part in National Grief Awareness Week, you can read the counsellors’ blogs by visiting the website here and by following the Hospice’s social media accounts - Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice on Facebook or @brumshopice on Twitter. Referrals to the service can be made by individuals themselves.