Empathy bereavement group to offer support to those affected by suicide in Cromer
- Credit: Archant
A bereavement group founded by two women who lost loved ones to suicide is to offer support sessions in a north Norfolk town affected by a spate of tragic deaths.
Kathryn Sault and Joy Cresswell founded Empathy in 2017, after Mrs Cresswell's son and Mrs Sault's sister took their own lives.
The pair founded Empathy to support those coping with the aftermath of loss in the north Norfolk and Broadland areas.
And the service, which is now established as an official community group, has been given £500 by the Norfolk Community Foundation, and plans to begin offering fortnightly sessions in Cromer at the beginning of May.
Mrs Sault described the recent deaths in Cromer as 'tragic' and said: 'There's been such a spate last year, especially in north Norfolk.'
She added: 'I lost my sister to suicide two and a half years ago.
'I first went to a charity, Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide. There was one in Norfolk and I got support for years.'
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Mrs Sault said after losing her sister in August 2016, she met Mrs Cresswell, whose son took his own life 12 years ago, and became involved in running Empathy.
'We've been supporting people for about 18 months,' she added.
The group, who are not a registered charity but are entirely self-funded and have their own constitution and safeguarding policies, offer fortnightly meetings in Sprowston amd Wroxham, and also visit people at their homes, in Felmingham, Northrepps, North Walsham and Aylsham.
Mrs Sault said: 'Some people are too distressed to meet with a group full of strangers
We offer an initial meeting, and they can come as often as they like - once a month, or once a week.
'The actual means of how people did take their life is part of it and if it's not going to upset anyone else then we do talk about it, as it can be a bit shocking for family and friends.'
She described Cromer as 'a very peaceful spot' and said she had been approached to offer the sessions by one of the founders of the new charity Share As One, based at Cromer Football Club.
There is no referral process to attend the groups and anyone interested in finding out more can email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 07876 496711, or visit: www.empathynorfolk.co.uk/
The free Samaritans helpline can be accessed by calling 116 123 from anywhere in the UK.