Despite the uncertainties surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic, the founder of Market Weighton based support group, Talking about Loss has reason to be optimistic as the group approaches its first anniversary and celebrates achieving charitable status.
Following the death of her father, Christopher Munby, Jacqui Gunn was inspired to use the legacy that he left her to set up a support group for people to talk freely about loss and hosted Talking about Loss's first meeting in June last year at Bishop Wilton Village Hall.
In the last twelve months, the group has branched out with regular wellbeing social events in Driffield and Selby where people who are experiencing loss get together with trained counsellors for emotional support and company. Mrs. Gunn has also taken on the lease of a property in Market Weighton for a community hub and wellbeing barn that will launch as soon as it is safe to do so.
Mrs. Gunn was delighted to learn during lockdown that the group's application for charitable status had been successful: "We're so grateful to Tony Barker for guiding us through the application process and helping us to get to a position where we can start to apply for funding.
"Thanks also to our fabulous counsellors and members who have embraced technology to enjoy virtual wellbeing socials on zoom whilst we've been on lockdown. It's been great ‘seeing' everybody and people have benefitted from being able to connect with others, albeit via technology instead of in person.
"Over the last year, I have learnt that loss comes in many forms other than bereavement - loneliness, depression, dementia, anxiety, degenerative illness, stress and so the list goes on.
"The Talking about Loss Community Hub will be a friendly, sociable, comfortable space for people of all ages to come and be with like-minded people. It will focus on the needs of the community and our team of trained counsellors will be able to guide people who need help."
Plans for the building include a social area, a dementia friendly area with a 1950s theme, a children's play corner and a treatment/therapy room. Activities on offer will include crafts, mindfulness, skills sessions, guest speakers and workshops. The Wellbeing barn will host a variety of exercise programmes for all ages, including yoga, Pilates and boot camps.
The zoom virtual wellbeing sessions take place every Saturday at 4pm.