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Let’s Talk About Loss: How Nottingham students are helping face grief

Amy Wilcockson speaks to support organisation Let's Talk About Loss leaders Will and Lizzie about the amazing work they've been doing

Let’s Talk About Loss is a support organisation for young people who have experienced grief and loss, to try and overcome the barriers of talking about losing someone we love. Facing down these taboos sometimes requires a safe space, which is what Let’s Talk About Loss provides, and is a place to talk about loss with other people who understand. After chatting to Beth, Let’s Talk About Loss’s founder, Impact‘s Amy Wilcockson also spoke to the leaders of the Nottingham group, Will and Lizzie, about the support their meet up group provides. 

How and why did you get involved with Let’s Talk About Loss? 

Will: I got involved in Let’s Talk About Loss through my sister Beth, who set up the charity. She first approached me with ideas about creating a safe space for young people to discuss their loss back in 2015, a few months after our mum passed away from cancer. Since then I have been involved in whatever way I can. I moved to Nottingham for university in 2017, and have been hosting and organising the meet ups with Lizzie since June 2018.

Lizzie: In December 2015 my mum passed away from a brain haemorrhage. At this time, I was a student at the University of Nottingham completing a Psychology Doctorate whilst also coordinating the student support service, Nottingham Nightline. I published a blog post for the Let’s Talk About Loss website in 2016 to describe my experiences. Each person experiences bereavement in their own way and every bereavement will have its own unique process. I found it incredibly helpful to know I wasn’t alone in how I was feeling. I host the Nottingham meet ups and feel privileged to be able to support other young people through their loss.

Tell us a little about the Nottingham group and its meetings

The Nottingham group had the first meet up in March 2018, and since then we have meet monthly at a wide range of locations across the city. We have walked around Wollaton Park, attempted pub quizzes, and in December we went ice skating at the Christmas market. The meet ups are very casual. A safe space is created, and everyone takes comfort knowing that we each understand the feelings we have had or are currently having. Our next meet up is mini golf in town; one that lots of our group are looking forward to!!

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What’s been your proudest moment as Nottingham group leaders? 

We both would say our proudest moment as hosts is watching people who come along to the group come out of their shell. We recognise how it can be challenging to attend a group on your own, and our role is to support people as best as possible with this. When some members of the group first came along they were nervous to share their experiences and thoughts with others, but after just a few meet ups, they become so much more confident and are now integral members of the group. As a host it is very rewarding to know that people have benefited from the meet ups and are becoming very comfortable around each other.

How do Nottingham students join the group? 

For Nottingham students to join the group, the best way to contact us is by email at nottingham@letstalkloss.org or via social media.  We are always happy to meet with you beforehand for a coffee or to walk to the meet up together. If you feel that this would be helpful, just send us an email and we can arrange this. We are here to help you.

To contact Let’s Talk About Loss, take a look at the website here, check out their Facebook page here, or their Twitter here.

There are meet up groups in London, Bristol and Nottingham. To get involved in the Nottingham group, email nottingham@letstalkloss.org. To contact Let’s Talk About Loss’s founder Beth or for any queries, email hello@letstalkaboutloss.org 

Questions by Amy Wilcockson

Check out Amy’s interview with Let’s Talk About Loss’s founder Beth in Impact’s newest print edition which is out now!

Images courtesy of Beth Rowland and Lizzie Paddock.

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