A new chair has been appointed to lead the Suicide Bereavement Support charity in Cumbria.
Emily Griffiths, of Barrow, takes over from John Brown, who had been in the role since 2019 and led the charity’s predecessor SOBS Cumbria for nine years.
John said: “Bereavement by suicide is a very specific form of loss. I have always believed that a locally-based self-help organisation run by and for local people has the potential to provide effective support to those dealing with the utter tragedy that is loss of a loved one, friend or colleague to suicide.
“I’ve worked in the third sector with various charitable organisations for over 50 years but this is one that has been particularly close to my heart. I will still be an active trustee and facilitator but the time is right for me to stand down and pass the leadership baton to someone else from within the team of trustees.
“Emily will, I know, bring renewed energy and vision to the development of Cumbria’s self-help response to the needs of those whose lives are devastated by suicide. We know the horrific consequences because we have been there and live day to day ourselves with the consequences of such bereavement.”
Emily became a member of the group after she was bereaved by suicide herself in 2008. She has been the SBS facilitator in South Cumbria since January 2020, leading the Barrow group’s monthly meetings since then and reinstating the monthly evening meetings in Kendal earlier this year, post-pandemic.
She said: “I’m very passionate regarding my involvement in SBS. Myself, the other trustees, facilitators and group members all come together to support each other, having suffered the most difficult personal loss of a loved one.
“We do this through monthly meetings across the county and online. We are also working with a network of statutory and non-statutory organisations across Cumbria, taking opportunities to improve awareness of the support available to those bereaved by suicide in the county and surrounding areas.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those individuals and groups who help us to do this and I’m looking forward to leading and encouraging the development of this vital work in future.”
If someone close to you has taken their life and you would like to make contact with SBS members, email [email protected] and SBS Cumbria will get back to you. To find out more about the organisation, visit www.sbs.org.uk