Previous Conferences

36th Annual Conference – Wednesday 1st November 2017

 “RE-VISITING”

“Everyone wants a miracle.” Those were the words of our guest speaker at the 36th Annual Bereavement Care Conference held at Mosaic Reform Synagogue on November 1st.

Jim Kuykendall, a Gestalt therapist, clinical supervisor and lecturer, said: “If you think you have to provide a miracle, that’s a heavy burden. They want us to bring the person back, or make the pain go away, but we are not miracle workers.”

Speaking to a variety of religious and specialist groups and individuals, Jim said it was our role to support clients going through the pain of bereavement and guide them through the process.

He said: ”Our role is to accept where they really are, rather than where they, or society would like them to be. Unlike Brexit, bereavement means bereavement. It is a long-term process like a roller-coaster. Be present with them; just be.”

He said compassion was the key, towards ourselves, as well as our clients, and patience, “many people feel guilty for not feeling resilient enough.”

He spoke of the importance of normalising bereavement: “you can be angry twice. We must not try to compress a client’s grief to fulfil an organisation’s remit. If bereavement is not processed it never goes away. It is repressed.”

He added unprocessed bereavement could lead to aggression and mental health issues.

In response to feedback from last year’s conference, this year’s theme was Re-Visiting, a fresh look at bereavement support.

A series of workshops, led by experts, were held throughout the day, including boundaries, is listening enough, opening doors to children and young people, beginnings and endings.

Judy Silverton, chair of the conference planning committee, welcomed everyone and thanked them and various sponsors for their support. A superb lunch was made and served by a group of volunteers.

Jane Harrison

35th Annual Conference – Wednesday 2nd November 2016

To see a report of the 35th Annual Conference please click here

_MG_7119a“Ages of Grief” 

34th Annual Conference : Wednesday 14th October 2015  at Mosaic Reform Synagogue (Middlesex New Synagogue) Harrow

 

The 34th Annual Conference was, once again, a great success with a focus on grief and how it affects a bereaved person whatever their age and the age of those who are lost or are missing. Our five speakers: Dr Ruth Caleb (Head of Counselling, Brunel University); Carol Courtney (Dementia Specialist Matron for London North West Healthcare Trust); Dr Anthony Kaiser MD (Consultant Neonatologist, St Thomas’ Hospital); Sophie Lapham (Director of Services, Missing People) and Lesley Lopez (Children and Young People’s Lead, Cruse Bereavement Care Hertfordshire) each gave an insight into their particular area of work and the impact that one loss can have on a whole community of people “like ripples that are created when just one stone is dropped in a pond”.

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The morning session ended with a Question & Answer session for the panel of experts and was followed by lunch and the opportunity to network and catch up with old friends.

In the afternoon, each of the presenters led a workshop on their given subject and gave delegates the opportunity to explore the subject in greater depth.

Huge thanks to our speakers and to our sponsors: Sobell Rhodes LLP, James Funeral Service, OGR Stock Denton, QFatima and the Leila Charitable Trust.

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Our 33rd Annual Conference, “Lost and Found” with John McCarthy

Finding your way through bereavement, took place on Wednesday 22nd October 2014.

We were pleased to welcome journalist, writer and broadcaster John McCarthy C.B.E. as our keynote speaker. His address not only covered his terrifying kidnap by terrorists and subsequent captivity in the Lebanon for 1,943 days; but he also spoke with great emotion about the personal bereavement he had experienced through the loss of his close family. A DVD of John McCarthy’s address is available from the Bereavement Care office (£5 + p & p).

Some comments from participants:

  • “My first conference. Will definitely book again.”
  • “Excellent and very interesting speaker. The fact that his personal losses were so like anyone else’s was the best part for actually helping us as bereavement visitors.”
  • “Inspiring day and well organised. Very thought provoking.”

Rabbi Kathleen de Magtige-Middleton talks to John McCarthy between his keynote address and the Question & Answer Session.

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The keynote speaker at our 32nd Annual Conference was Trevor Hicks. Trevor Hicks was a founder member and first Chairman of the Hillsborough Family Support Group (HFSG) where he remains as President. You may like to download here Trevor Hicks’ talk.