Why your support matters to Rennie Grove Hospice

Zak Barwell.

Zak Barwell. - Credit: Archant

When Zak Barwell lost his mum Emma to pancreatic cancer, in August 2019 at the age of just 41 – and only four months after her initial diagnosis – he received support through Rennie Grove’s bereavement counselling service.

Zak, 22, first encountered Rennie Grove when the nurses began to care for Emma at home. She wanted to stay at home for as long as possible and they helped make this happen.

“After Mum passed away in August 2019, I went straight back to my studies,” said Zak, “I wasn’t ready to accept losing her, and channelled my energies into work and revising for my exams. Coming up to Christmas though things got really hard.

“Quite early on I went for one face-to-face counselling session at Grove House, but it wasn’t the right time. I was still very angry at this point. I also felt that I’d be more comfortable with a male counsellor.

“I soon started seeing Gareth through Rennie Grove and he came to see me at home. Initially for me, the counselling was about being able to let off steam. I was getting support from my girlfriend, but I needed to speak with someone who was emotionally removed from the whole situation. Gareth gave me a different perspective on things and that was a huge help.

“The counselling sessions focused on me talking through my family problems and dynamics. It was hard to speak honestly about things at first, I think I’d locked so many things about losing Mum away. There were no easy answers, but I learned that talking was the only way that I was going to heal. Now, looking back, I feel I’ve done really well and I know that I can always come back to Rennie Grove if I need more support in the future.”

Can you help make sure that Rennie Grove’s Family Support services continue for young people like Zak? Why not pull on your running or walking shoes, plot a 10K or half marathon route in your local area, and sign up to the virtual Herts 10K and Half Marathon. Every penny you raise will help ensure that Rennie Grove is here for all local people who need care and support. Sign up today at www.herts10K.com.