Background Bereavement support models have been challenged during recent years, with less opportunity for individual face-to-face support. Walk and talk groups are inclusive and combine the benefits of being outdoors with support from others with lived experience of bereavement. People walk at their own pace and many attendees have shared first language. Groups are volunteer-led with no restriction on length of attendance and are open to bereaved people known to the hospice.
Aims To monitor and evaluate the impact of our bereavement walk and talk groups, focussing on outcomes relating to a) isolation, b) wellbeing c) supportive engagement.
Methods Phase 1. Literature review, consultation with group facilitators, continual review of COVID-19 national guidance, model planning, promotion of the group.
Phase 2. Collated and reviewed data - number of groups that took place in 2020 and 2021, how many people attended and total of attendances.
Phase 3. Analysed feedback from group attendees (written and verbal) in relation to specific outcomes measures. Developed specific outcomes measurement tool for this group.
Results 2020: 10 walks, 37 people with a total of 95 attendances.
2021: 49 walks, 45 people with a total of 806 attendances.
Positive user feedback.
Conclusion Evaluation of the bereavement walk and talk group demonstrates that the groups are beneficial:
Positive impact on wellbeing.
Reduce levels of isolation.
Attendees feel understood/supported.
Peer support is authentic and helpful.
People have timely access to support.
Walking and being outdoors (local park) benefits health.
The model is collaborative, representative of our diverse community and can be replicated across service, e.g. carers.
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