Luton funeral directors help bereaved with talking groups

Talking Elephants groups meeting again after lockdowns

By Lynn Hughes
Wednesday, 12th January 2022, 11:00 pm
Updated Wednesday, 12th January 2022, 11:02 pm
Vicky Trumper
Vicky Trumper

Luton-based Neville Funerals has been overwhelmed with the response to the return of its free in-person bereavement support groups, Talking Elephants, after lockdown.

The Talking Elephants groups provide people with easily accessible, free, local and most importantly face-to-face bereavement support and the opportunity to comfortably engage with others who have been through a similar experience. Meeting in Luton, Dunstable, Stopsley and Woburn Sands, the Talking Elephants groups have received great feedback, providing a friendly place to share their experiences as well as to listen to others.

The pandemic changed how people accessed bereavement support service. A study carried out by Cardiff University’s Marie Curie Palliative Care Research Centre and the University of Bristol found that around only 40% of individuals tried to seek bereavement support during the pandemic, of which half struggled to easily access and gain support due to problems such as lack of appropriate available support and long waiting lists.

Vicky Trumper, Director at Neville Funerals, said: “Support for the bereaved, like so many community services, was difficult to find during the lockdown months – sadly when it was needed the most. Our team members were always on hand to lend support to families where they could but these informal and local bereavement groups play such an important role.

“Our Talking Elephants groups were initially launched for people to come together with others who have also experienced bereavement, and we are delighted to be able to host and support these groups again, and expand their reach, and to see them so well received, with some people even using them to form friendships and continuing to socialise with likeminded people.

“We have always wanted Talking Elephants to offer a relaxed environment for people to do this. It is also a lovely feeling to work with local places that have been able to re-open their doors to our Talking Elephants groups again. Simply having the chance to listen to others, in-person again, has been greatly welcomed and appreciated by our communities and we have been so pleased to see so many people take up the opportunity.”

Neville Funerals offers a variety of important bereavement support for the community from a regular free bereavement course to a friendly trained team of staff to speak to, and support for children and young people dealing with grief.

The Talking Elephants groups meet on the following days and dates across the region.

Luton – meets on the first Wednesday of the month from 12pm to 2pm at The Parish Centre, Lucas Gardens, Luton, LU3 4AE.

Dunstable – meets on the third Monday of the month from 1.30pm to 3.30pm at The Priory Church Hall, Dunstable, LU5 4RS.

Stopsley – meets on the third Thursday of the month from 10am to 11.30am at St Anne’s Church, Crawley Green Road, Luton, LU2 0QN.

Woburn Sands – meets on the fourth Tuesday of the month from 1.30pm to 3.30pm at St Mary’s Catholic Church Hall, Aspley Hill, Woburn Sands MK17 8NN.

If you would like more information about Talking Elephants, please contact the team on 01582 499680 or email [email protected].

Neville Funerals is an independent family company which has been serving the community in Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire and the surrounding areas for more than 140 years. For more information about Neville Funerals visit