Community groups

Being with others and sharing the experiences of people who are also grieving can be hugely helpful.

So, we offer community groups and interest-based groups that are open to anyone who has been bereaved. The variety of our groups means that individual needs are met and the flexibility of their frequency means that you can find one that will work for you.

In this section you’ll find a brief summary of each adult bereavement group that we offer. There are details about what you can expect, how often the group meets and when they meet.

To find out more about any of the groups or to get an update on the current status, get in touch with the team 0345 0130 555

The Bereavement Help Point

We recognise that grief is something we will all encounter at some point in our lives but when someone close to us dies we can be left feeling lost and alone, in a strange world. Having a place to go, where we feel able to share our thoughts and fears, can help us to see that what we are feeling is a natural and normal part of grieving.

The Bereavement Help Point is a community-based drop in service that’s open for anyone in the community who has been touched by grief. In an informal, but supportive, setting that’s facilitated by trained Dorothy House volunteers, it’s a place where you can be with others who are bereaved.

All sessions are free and there’s no need to book, just come along. Here is a list of the groups that current meet across our region:

Location: The Angel, 8 Market Place, SN15 3HD
Date & time: Second and fourth Wednesday of the month from 10am-12noon

Location: The Three Brewers, 51 Priory Street, Corsham, SN13 0NS
Date & time: Second and fourth Thursday of the month from 1:30–3:30pm

Location: The Bear Hotel, 2-3 The Market Place, Devizes, Wiltshire, SN10 1HS
Date & time: First Tuesday of the month from 10:30am—12:30pm

Location: The Kings Arms, 29 High Street, SN16 9AA
Date & time: Every Monday from 2–4pm

Shepton Mallet
Location: Shepton Brasserie, 64 High Street, BA4 5AX
Date & time: Second Wednesday of the month from 10–11:45am

Mindfulness meditation - an introduction

Mindfulness meditation is a mental training practice that teaches you to slow down racing thoughts, let go of negativity and calm both your mind and body. Techniques can vary, but in general, mindfulness meditation involves deep breathing and awareness of body and mind.

We are delighted to offer a 4-week introductory course that will introduce mindfulness meditation in theory and in practice. Each session will last 45-60 minutes and will take place on Zoom, Wednesdays from 10-11am. Each session will include various mindfulness exercises and end with a 15-minute practice.

The course is free, open and accessible to anyone. Although, please note that meditation does involve focussing our attention on the breath so if you have breathing issues, it may not be for you.

The practice of mindfulness meditation has been proven to help with many physical conditions and evidence suggests it can also help to reduce anxiety and depression. It is a simple, yet powerful, and transformative practice which promotes mental and emotional health.

If you’d like more information or would like to register for this course, please call 0345 0130 555

Workshop One: 24 Nov, 1 Dec, 8 Dec, 15 Dec
Workshop Two: 5 Jan, 12 Jan ,19 Jan, 26 Jan
Workshop Three: 9 Feb, 16 Feb, 23 Feb, 2 Mar

Also, check out the mindfulness meditation Facebook page here for weekly live mindfulness meditation sessions that last around 15 minutes. No previous experience is necessary; the time is spent on focusing the breath.

Friday’s Writing Hour

We invite you to discover this new online writing space. It’s a place where you can drop in with paper and pen, your thoughts and a cuppa. Whether you’ve always kept a journal and writing is a part of your life or if writing for wellbeing is entirely new for you and you’re a little hesitant, This space is for you.

The group meets on Friday mornings at 10.30am on Zoom.

After the success of the Writing Through Grief workshops, the Family Support Team is offering this group to everyone in our community to bring their differing and varied experiences of the last year and lockdown.

A writing theme will be offered each week in a relaxed group setting, with time to chat and reflect. This group focuses on the process of writing, not creating a polished end product. You can use your own words to freely explore each theme as you feel comfortable. There will be opportunities — but no obligation — to share your writing with the group.

This group encourages you to:

  • Witness your own thoughts and feelings through a variety of writing activities
  • Uncover surprises and memories, give clarity to thoughts and bring reassurance
  • Step back from the present, then return to it after writing
  • Hear other people’s stories of finding peace through writing.

In a time where many of us are feeling a sense of isolation and distance from others, we encourage you to join us in writing together.

Walking Through Grief

Walking Through Grief is another group we offer that’s open for anyone in the community who has been bereaved.  Each walk is supported by two experienced volunteer walk leaders from our Bereavement Team. We meet fortnightly in Bradford on Avon, and offer a variety of gentle guided walks through the Wilshire countryside.

Alongside the therapeutic benefits of walking, there is the opportunity for conversation and sharing with others who are also bereaved. Walks are suitable for all levels of fitness and there’s always time to share a hot drink at the end.

Bereavement Online Peer Support (BOPS) On Hold

We recognise that during these restricted times, without the presence of family and friends for support, the process of healing can feel delayed as the isolation and loneliness inherent in grief feels all the more acute and intense.  Connection with others who understand, through similar experience, can feel valuable and reassuring.

Our BOPS groups provide an opportunity for connecting with others by being both supported by and supportive of, others in the group. BOPS groups meet weekly for six sessions and are facilitated by members of the Bereavement Team.

Our BOPS meetings are currently on hold. For more information or to register your interest, please contact our team using the information above.