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Friendly faces smile again at Saint Francis Hospice’s new social group

PUBLISHED: 15:00 03 February 2017

A group of men enjoying a chat and tea at Friendly Faces, Saint Francis Hospice's new social group.

A group of men enjoying a chat and tea at Friendly Faces, Saint Francis Hospice's new social group.

Saint Francis Hospice

New friendships were forged and hearts were lighted at a new social group aimed at helping bereaved people rebuild their confidence.

A group of women playing cards at Friendly Faces, Saint Francis Hospice's new social group.A group of women playing cards at Friendly Faces, Saint Francis Hospice's new social group.

The chatter and laughter that filled the day therapy unit at Saint Francis Hospice, Broxhill Road Havering-atte-Bower, belied the sadness that people had experienced.

Following a focus group, held in December, the charity decided to create a friendship group – called Friendly Faces – after people said they would benefit from it.

Tony and Susan from Hornchurch said: “We both thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon and the time flew by.

“There was a really relaxed atmosphere and everyone was joining in the games and the lively atmosphere.

“Many suggestions were also raised for future outings and events with positive enthusiasm.”

Susan added: “I was a little dubious when I arrived, two dozen or so people I did not know.

“It was a bit like the first day of school, but after some delicious cakes with coffee or tea to help it down, we soon found various talking points and by the end of the first meeting of Friendly Faces I had written down the next meeting date.”

The group was organised by the charity’s Family Support, In Memoriam Giving and OrangeLine teams.

Orangline project manager Karen Freeman added: “We identified that there was a potential gap in our services for people who had lost someone cared for by the hospice and who may or may not have requested our counselling service.

“The aim of Friendly Faces is to give these people a safe place to come and meet other people in a similar situation and to help re-engage them back into society.

“For those who came along it was a massive step forward, as some people had been recently bereaved, and we have had some really good feedback.”

Friendly Faces will next meet on Saturday February 25 and then meet on the last Saturday of each month.

For more information contact the OrangeLine Team on 01708758649.


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