New book collections to support people through bereavement have been launched at libraries in Lowestoft and Soutwold.

The Compassionate Communities books have been selected by Suffolk Libraries stock team and have been provided by St Elizabeth Hospice thanks to funding from the East of England Co-op.

The books cover a range of subjects related to bereavement and compassion and are appropriate for a range of ages with some devoted to helping children and young people understand grief and loss.

Lowestoft Journal: The launch of the book scheme Picture: Suffolk LibrariesThe launch of the book scheme Picture: Suffolk Libraries (Image: Suffolk Libraries)

Both libraries will also be launching regular Compassionate Care sessions to help people with advanced care planning with support from St Elizabeth Hospice.

The sessions are designed for anyone over 18 to help them plan for their own death or that of a loved one.

The sessions help someone make known their wishes, feelings, beliefs and values are before they become unable to do so, so that they and their loves ones or people around them can make choices that reflect their wishes. 

The sessions cover the four key themes of personal, financial, legal and medical. 

It is said by starting these difficult conversations earlier, it can make the process easier for everyone when it comes to discussions about someone’s care, support, or treatment.

Southwold Library will launching sessions on 24 April and then Lowestoft Library will be starting sessions on 5 May to then run on the first and third Fridays of each month. 

Hugh McElhinney, volunteer community manager at St Elizabeth Hospice, said: "Through Compassionate Communities we are seeking to help the local community have open conversations concerning death, end-of-life and grief, so that we can all understand how we can better help one another.

"Libraries are real community hubs and are the perfect locations for us to highlight Compassionate Communities to people.”

A launch event was held at Framlingham Library, which is also invovled in the scheme along with other county libraries.