A charity has received funding from the National Lottery to run a series of bereavement counselling sessions for people in the South Hams.

The Bereavement Counselling Service’s specialist bereavement support group is a new 12-week programme to encourage and help participants share their bereavement experience in a safe and confidential space. The groups will generate discussion about coping strategies and focus on aspects of grief and the healing process.

Led by experienced bereavement counsellors trained in traumatic loss and complex grief the groups, which will be held at the charity’s offices in Langage, are funded by the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund. They are offered free of charge to people who have experienced a traumatic bereavement, and will support people struggling with complex grief issues who feel unable to get on with their life as a result.

The Bereavement Counselling Service said: "When someone you love dies suddenly, catastrophically or in unusual circumstances, the loss can be very difficult to cope with, for those who are left behind.

"We know that relationships can be complicated, so even when we expect someone to die such as an elderly parent or someone who has suffered a long-term illness, it’s still not always a given that we’ll be able to pick up the pieces after they’ve gone."

The charity’s clinical director Mary Fensom said: “These groups are for people who have been bereaved for more than three months.

"They may feel that life will never be normal again. They may feel that a meaningful future is beyond them. We want to enable people to find their ‘New Normal’ and help them to realise there is ’life after loss’."

The groups will be starting in November. The Bereavement Counselling Service was established more than 25 years ago and offers bereavement counselling and psychotherapy. Many of the people it has helped have been affected by the death of a child, a suicide, a violent death or a tragic accident.

As a registered charity, it receives only partial funding for the service and relies heavily on donations and support from the community.

Clients describe the help they receive from the service as “a lifeline when I could see no future” and “a truly amazing support that brought me back from the brink”.

More information is available by calling the charity on 01752 349769, visiting www.bcsplymouth.co.uk or emailing [email protected] .