Blackpool urged to support bereavement campaign inspired by After Life starring Ricky Gervais
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The Netflix show saw Ricky’s character, a local newspaper journalist, coming to terms with the loss of his wife by chatting to someone on a park bench who had also suffered bereavement.
It has inspired the ‘Sit With Hope Campaign’ whose aim is to improve awareness and signposting to bereavement services across the UK by placing plaques on benches in public places across the country.
The first plaque in the resort is on a bench at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, and now Norbreck councillor Julie Sloman is urging her fellow councillors to support provision of further plaques across the town.
Coun Sloman, who is a bereavement officers for the NHS and a former Marie Curie nurse, urged councillors to join the campaign at a meeting of the full council.
Afterwards she said: “Whilst many of us have the wherewithal, resilience and support of families to support us at our most vulnerable through that grief journey, there are those for who have nobody to turn to or simply don’t know how or who to ask for support.”
The plaques, which cost £15 from the Good Grief Trust, have a QR code that takes people directly to the Trust website where they can find advice and support.
Coun Sloman is urging fellow councillors to support the campaign by putting plaques on benches in their wards.
Squires Gate councillor Gerard Walsh said it was hoped to put plaques on benches in two parks in his ward – Louie Horrocks Park and at the Solaris Centre where there is already a dementia garden.
He said: “We have a lot of elderly people living in our ward who are often sadly impacted by bereavement, so I feel this will be a great help to them.”
The Good Grief Campaign says on its website: “We want to make it very public that this support is available across the UK – and to let those grieving know where to turn for help when they need it most.”
Plaques can be ordered online from the Trust website https://thegoodgrieftrust.org