Causeway Chronicle

Coleraine’s ‘Helping You Grieve’ initiative supports recently bereaved in the Borough

Up to 40 people are now a part of the bereavement support group ‘Hug’ which meets regularly.
Picture credit: BBC News NI

Council is highlighting the work of Coleraine’s HUG Initiative (Helping You Grieve), in partnership with the NHSCT and the GP Federation.

The service, set up in 2021 by Cathy Watson (Multi-Disciplinary Team, Social Work Assistant Mountsandel Practice Coleraine) provides support to the recently bereaved. The group offers friendship, understanding and support to men and women who have lost their partners through bereavement.

This Northern Health Trust-led initiative recognises that the loss of a life partner, at any age, can have a severe impact on an individual’s emotional and physical wellbeing.

Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens, Councillor Steven Callaghan, welcomed the community support, saying: “Bereavement, especially that of a partner, is something that unfortunately touches every one of us during our lifetime.

“Community initiatives such as HUG cannot be underestimated for their importance to those who are struggling amid grief during the most difficult of times.

“The work that Cathy Watson, the NHSCT and her team has been involved in since 2021 is both invaluable for our residents and a positive and inspiring way to help with bereavement. I would encourage anyone who is struggling with the loss of a partner to reach out for help.”

Elizabeth Craig MDT Social Worker Lead, NHSCT echoed the Mayor’s praise saying “This is an invaluable group that has brought people together supporting each other through very difficult life changes.  

“Friendships have developed that would never have occurred without the group.  The MDT leaders Terry White, Social Worker  and Cathy Watson, Social Work Assistant are providing an exceptional service within their community.”

The warm and caring support offered by the group has received praise from across Northern Ireland and as a result, the Multi-Disciplinary Team Social Work team have been inundated with requests from other Trusts and communities with a view to commencing their own loss and bereavement groups using the HUG model.

The work of Coleraine’s Helping You Grieve is just one of many community initiatives across

The Borough that Council is promoting through a series of good news articles. To read more on this and other organisations that are helping our residents visit

Picture credit: BBC News NI

Causeway Chronicle

Causeway Chronicle