Dorothy House encourages the bereaved to take part in therapeutic walking groups

By Nick Batten on 5 May, 2023

With May being National Walking Month, Dorothy House Hospice Care is taking the opportunity to raise awareness of its free ‘Walking Through Grief’ walking groups.

The groups offer a safe and supportive environment for anyone who has been bereaved to come together, enjoy a gentle walk in the Wiltshire countryside, and share their experiences with others whose lives have been touched by death. 

The Walking Through Grief groups are open to anyone in the community who has been bereaved, regardless of whether they have had previous contact with Dorothy House Hospice Care.

The free groups run regularly throughout the year, with walks taking place on weekdays and weekends. The walks are always followed by a chance to share a hot drink and some conversation with other members of the group. 

Each walk is supported by two experienced volunteer walk leaders from the Bereavement Team at Dorothy House. They are designed to be gentle and accessible to people of all levels of fitness, with the aim of promoting physical and emotional well-being.

Susan Saker lost her husband, Richard, to prostate cancer in May 2022. In the last days of his life, Dorothy House’s Hospice at Home team was there to support them both, allowing Richard the comfort of dying at home. Dorothy House provided all the equipment needed for Sue to support Richard until the end and their bereavement counselling team has been there to support Sue in the days following his death. 

Sue Saker and her husband, Richard

As a keen walker, Sue joined the charity’s walking groups and is currently undertaking a 320-mile journey along the Southwest Coastal Path to walk through her grief. 

Sue explained, “My grief these last eight months has been the toughest thing I’ve ever had to endure in my life; it still is, but my one major saviour is to walk. It’s my sanctuary, it’s where nature does its work. It’s where in difficult times, I try to make sense of the world and my place within it.” 

Maggie Crowe, Director of Patient and Family Services at Dorothy House Hospice Care, said, “We know that the experience of bereavement can be very isolating and overwhelming. Our Walking Through Grief groups offer a chance for people to come together, connect with others who are going through a similar experience, and find support in the natural beauty of the Wiltshire countryside.” 

For more information about the free Walking Through Grief groups and other end-of-life and emotional support services offered by Dorothy House Hospice Care, please visit their website at dorothyhouse.org.uk.

Pictured above: Walking Through Grief members take on 2.5 miles around Winsley