Bereavement groups launched A bereavement support group is to launch at Mountbatten’s charity shop in Ventnor. The initiative is part of a plan to improve access to Mountbatten’s psychology and bereavement service, particularly for Islanders who may not be able to travel to Mountbatten Hospice in Newport or who may prefer to seek support closer to home. Similar sessions are already underway at Jill’s Kitchen in Freshwater. Nigel Hartley, Mountbatten CEO, said: “We know through our experience that bereavement can have devastating consequences for the mental health of those experiencing grief. We also know that we have a large population of frail and older residents who are grieving the loss of a loved one but are unable to get to our group sessions at the hospice in Newport. “Loneliness and isolation is an everyday occurrence for many and, although we offer support for people living in their own homes, coming together as a group can be far less isolating and offers much-needed peer support and friendship,” he added. The sessions have been made possible thanks to grant funding from Hospice UK and are in addition to a range of other bereavement services already available to local residents. This includes regular memorial services, monthly group and individual support at the main hospice site, as well as sessions for individuals at home. Mountbatten’s Community Choir also provides a regular social occasion for up to 100 members, many of whom have been bereaved, and groups such as Knit and Natter offer friendship and connection. Anyone who has been bereaved can be supported through Mountbatten’s services; they do not need to be known to or have any connection to the hospice. Bereavement services are available to all ages and support extends to any member of the family. Support can be provided to anyone who has experienced a sudden death, or who has been bereaved by suicide. It is hoped that eventually more of Mountbatten’s shops will be able to offer the bereavement support groups. The new groups are as follows: 4:30pm – 6pm, every second Tuesday of the month at Jill's Kitchen, Avenue Road, Freshwater PO40 9UU 5pm to 6pm, every fourth Tuesday of the month at Mountbatten Ventnor, 16 Pier Street Additionally, there is an opportunity to join Mountbatten's monthly Death Chat at 6pm on Monday 2 December in the John Cheverton Centre, when anyone is invited to attend for refreshments, nibbles and origami. For more information about Mountbatten’s bereavement service, phone (01983) 529511.