We are delighted to announce the launch of a new Compassionate Café, run in partnership with Harpenden Trust, at its Well Bean Café, Harpenden Trust Halls (above the Co-op), 130 Southdown Road, Harpenden, AL5 1PU.
The Compassionate Cafés will take place on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month, starting on Tuesday 7 November 2023, from 2-3.30pm.
The Compassionate Cafés, which will be open to people from the AL5 area, will provide a space for local people who have been affected by bereavement or any kind of loss to meet others by coming together for a cuppa and a chat. Each session will be run by volunteers who are on hand to welcome and speak to attendees. Each session will be informal in structure, guided by the needs of the people attending.
We have been running a number of successful Compassionate Cafés in Watford, Three Rivers and Hertsmere areas since December 2021 and are delighted to be bringing the model to Harpenden. We are working in partnership with Harpenden Trust and its volunteers have been trained by our Compassionate Communities team to help provide a welcoming space.
Sara, one of the volunteers at the Rennie Grove Peace Hospice Care Compassionate Café says:
“The cafes are a friendly and safe environment for people to meet others and have a chat. They are a great way of making friends or being signposted to local events of interest. I find that the sessions give people an opportunity to talk about their loss or bereavement and how they are coping. People really benefit from the peer support of sharing with others who are going through something similar. Compassionate Cafés are open to everybody – you don’t need to be referred to them or book a space in advance – you can just come when you want, stay for as long as you need and go when you want”
Sarah Holmes, the Head of Wellbeing at the Harpenden Trust, is excited about the launching the Compassionate Café and said :
“The Harpenden Trust is delighted to partner with Rennie Grove Peace Hospice Care to open our Well Bean Café as a Compassionate Café twice per month. Anyone experiencing loss, bereavement or affected by life limiting illness themselves is welcome to chat over a cup of tea and cake. Our trained volunteers aren’t there to give official advice, but offer support, company and a friendly ear. The Trust works with Harpenden Health Primary Care Network and Mind in Mid Herts on a range of initiatives across Harpenden supporting the wellbeing of AL5 residents of all ages. Partnering with charities working in specific health sectors works well for the Harpenden Trust. It ensures our volunteers are equipped with the right skills and reassures anyone attending a partnership activity that it is a safe and understanding place for them to come”.
Alison May, Community Engagement Manager at Rennie Grove Peace Hospice Care, says:
“It has been wonderful to see the impact our Compassionate Cafés have had on both volunteers and attendees in our existing locations, so we’re really looking forward to bringing this to Harpenden.
“The cafes are very informal in structure – they’re not a support group or counselling session – but people who come along tell us that they get a huge amount out of the peer support, and the chance to meet other people who understand their loss. I’d encourage anybody in the area who has experienced any type of bereavement or loss to come along to the sessions and see what they can take away from them.”