A BEREAVEMENT support group has just celebrated its fifth birthday.
Following the loss of family members within a few weeks of each other, Jackie Edwards of Kingsteignton was left bereft.
Three years later, she started up her own support group, where people who have lost a spouse or child could meet others facing the same challenges.
The Forget Me Nots, as the club is known, meet 10.30am-12pm on the first Friday in the month at the Old Rydon Inn in Kingsteignton.
Jackie, who is also the town crier for Kingsteignton, said: ‘The door is always open to anyone who considers joining, and a warm welcome is always assured.
‘People just come in, there are no agendas. After introductions we just mingle and talk, and if anyone wants to say something we always listen.’
She added: ‘We don’t force anyone to speak. What we do is create a lovely, cosy feeling and if people want to talk about their feelings we let them open up.’
Since starting the group, numbers have increased to 26 members, six of whom are men.
‘Men are normally not as sociable as women, so I’m pleased that we have so many men in the group,’ she explained.
The group meets in the Inn’s barn building where cakes and hot drinks are available.
Some of those attending choose to stay on for a meal afterwards.
Jackie was full of praise for the support given by the Inn’s Amy and Charlie Tinnynut for hosting the group.
As well as the monthly meetings, the Forget Me Nots have days out and have special lunches to mark Christmas and the founding anniversary of the club.
Jackie said: ‘We trust we are creating through our fellowship together time to talk, listen, share the odd tear and bring some happiness to each other out of our sadnesses.’