Delapré Abbey has teamed up with arts organisation, Fevered Sleep, to introduce group conversations about grief to Northampton as part of their wellbeing programme.
These sessions - called ‘Grief Gatherings’ - will take place on Monday, May 9 at Delapré Abbey in their drawing room and Wednesday, May 18 at Hattbox Hairdressing in Kettering Road.
Saints Coffee, on St Giles Street, hosted a Grief Gathering on Wednesday, May 4.
Founder of Saints Coffee, Ben Francoise, said: “We’re really pleased to be part of this initiative that will help people in Northampton talk about something that is often considered a taboo.
“Hopefully holding these Grief Gatherings in familiar and informal settings like Saints Coffee and Hattbox Hairdressing will help people feel more comfortable to reflect on and maybe open up about their grief.”
The Grief Gatherings are small, free group conversations about grief and they are open to all. They last for around 90 minutes and there is no obligation to talk; attendees are welcome to just sit and listen in.
Fevered Sleep started Grief Gatherings as part of their wider project ‘This Grief Thing’ in 2018 holding gatherings in various shops, galleries and cafes around the UK. These gatherings were then moved online in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Co-founder and co-artistic director of Fevered Sleep, David Harradine, said: “We have such a problem with grief. It seems that people are reluctant to express it, afraid to acknowledge it, unsure how to live with it, and lost when it comes to it.
“A few months after my sister died, people stopped asking how I was, how my grief was, and I wanted to make a T-shirt that said, “I’m Still Grieving: Talk To Me About It”. This Grief Thing is what that imagined T-shirt led to. A way for conversations to start.”
The Delapré Wellbeing Hub, funded by the Thriving Communities programme, was formed to create workshops, activities and more designed to improve the local community’s wellbeing.
These sessions follow on from Luke Jerram’s art installation ‘In Memoriam’ which recently featured on Delapré Abbey’s South Lawn. This installation was created as a memorial to those who we have lost during the coronavirus pandemic and to thank NHS and key workers who worked tirelessly to keep the country going.
Chief executive of Delapré Abbey Preservation Trust, Richard Clinton, said: “We’re glad to be working with Fevered Sleep to bring their Grief Gatherings to Northampton.
“Since the Covid-19 pandemic began, many of those in the local community have lost loved ones and hopefully these Grief Gatherings will provide a space for people to comfortably talk, learn and listen about grief.
“We’re also thankful to Saints Coffee and Hattbox Hairdressing for being host venues for these gatherings.”
Upcoming Grief Gatherings will take place on Monday, May 9 at Delapré Abbey in their Drawing Room (2pm and 6pm) and Wednesday, May 18 at Hattbox Hairdressing on Kettering Road (5pm).
Tickets for these Grief Gatherings can be booked on the Delapré Abbey website at: https://delapre-abbey-preservation-trust.arttickets.org.uk/delapre-abbey/2022-05-04-grief-gatherings-1.