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Our inaugural Writing Grief course came to a resounding end this week, with tears, laughter and copious consumption of donuts …

The course was devised and developed by writer Lucie Brownlee and counsellor Nicki Walker, both of whom found themselves widowed at a young age and sought solace in writing.

Funded by the generous support of the Linden Family Trust and Tyneside and Northumberland Mind, Writing Grief began in March and ran for six weeks, during which time intimate stories of grief and loss were shared among what ultimately became a tightly-knit, mutually-supportive group of people.

Sitting in a room for two hours with eleven ‘bereaveds’ may not sound like the most fun in the world, but as one participant put it, being together gave us all ‘permission to drop the mask’ without fear of being judged.
Tears spilled liberally, of course, but so did laughter, (so much so that at one point we all felt like frauds, sitting there with our biscuits and our belly-laughs, wondering what on earth the people upstairs would be thinking).
And words spilled liberally too, into our notebooks, onto flipcharts, from the pages of our favourite poetry books. Sometimes the words made us cry, sometimes they made us giggle, but often they surprised us and made us wonder at the deeply buried places whence they came.

Sharing our words and our experiences made us all feel less alone, and we left the Centre on the final day with a vow that we would stay in touch and, best of all, that we would try to keep writing.

The next course starts on Tuesday 26th April, at the Wellbeing Centre in Bensham and there are limited FULLY FUNDED places still available. Contact Tyneside and Northumberland Mind or email writinggrief@gmail.com to book yours.
Notebooks and tissues provided. Donut consumption optional…

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Tyneside and Northumberland Mind, Wellbeing Centre, Dunsmuir Grove, Bensham, Gateshead NE8 4QL. Telephone: 0191 477 4545  Email: admin@tynesidemind.org.uk 
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Registered office: Tyneside Mind, Wellbeing Centre, Dunsmuir Grove, Bensham, Gatheshead NE8 4QL. Company Number: 7552434. Charity Number: 1140856.