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New Support Group for People Bereaved by Suicide in West Cumbria

Karan Smith
Karan Smith

Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SOBS) Cumbria is pleased to announce that a new group has been set up in West Cumbria. Karan Smith has taken the initiative to facilitate the group, which is the third in Cumbria alongside groups in Carlisle and Kendal. She lost her son in 2010, when he was 21 years old, and first attended SOBS meetings over two years ago when they were held in Keswick. Since the Keswick group was relocated to Carlisle, there has been no specific support in West Cumbria for people bereaved by suicide.

SOBS has grown to become the only national charity providing dedicated support to adults who have been bereaved by suicide. There are currently around 150 volunteers across the UK who help to run SOBS services. SOBS Cumbria is one of 60+ self-help groups, where you can meet with other people who have been bereaved by suicide. The meetings provide an opportunity to listen, share and connect with others who can empathise and relate with your situation and experiences.

Karan, who works at Sellafield, is keen to run an effective group, “We feel so passionate about supporting people bereaved in this way and the importance of talking and sharing our experiences around suicide, particularly in West Cumbria. Volunteering within the local counselling community and working with the Howgill Family Centre supporting bereaved children and their families has given me valuable skills for supporting the group and its members.”

Together with her sister, bank manager Joanne Redmond, who fundraises tirelessly for the local community, and her daughter, Hayley Holliday, who works at West Cumberland A&E, Karan’s family have now provided a SOBS presence in West Cumbria.

The West Cumbria SOBS group will be meeting in Whitehaven on the second Tuesday of every month from 7pm until 9pm. If you wish to attend the group, please contact Karan on 07896 703 757.  The first group meeting will be taking place on 13 September 2016.  See www.sobs-cumbria.org.uk for full details.

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