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‘Grief can be very lonely’ - Woman, 27, launches bereavement charity for young people

PUBLISHED: 15:38 07 July 2020 | UPDATED: 16:29 07 July 2020

Alexandra Gough, 27, from Lowestoft, has launched a beravement charity for young people, Take Our Hand. Picture: Courtesy of Alexandra Gough.

Alexandra Gough, 27, from Lowestoft, has launched a beravement charity for young people, Take Our Hand. Picture: Courtesy of Alexandra Gough.

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A 27-year-old woman who set up a bereavement charity has opened up about her own grief after the death of her boyfriend following an epileptic seizure.

Oliver Greenard and girlfriend Alex Gough in the last photo taken before Oliver died. Photo: Alex Gough.Oliver Greenard and girlfriend Alex Gough in the last photo taken before Oliver died. Photo: Alex Gough.

Alexandra Gough, from Lowestoft, launched Take Our Hand, a charity supporting young people aged 16 to 24 through bereavement, earlier this year.

In November 2011 her boyfriend Oliver Scott-Greenard, from Ormesby, died when they were both 19-years-old.

He was studying at the time at Easton College, near Norwich, while Ms Gough was living in Surrey where she was attending Kingston University.

Ms Gough said: “I had never experienced death before and to lose Ollie, something I never expected, it was a massive shock to me.

“It took a long time to be able process it and deal with my grief.”

While she did get help with counselling, distance from family and friends meant she had no support network around her.

“I had to deal with it on my own because I was living away from home and my support network was back in Norfolk.

“The last thing I wanted was to be living away from them, so the idea of quitting university seemed quite appealing, but to continue is a way of honouring the people you have lost,” she said.

Ms Gough now hopes her experience will help others going through similar emotions, especially younger people.

“When it happens to young people, it is at a very pivotal time of life, and easy to give up on a certain path,” she said.

The charity was about to launch its face-to-face support service in March when the country went into lockdown.

As a substitute it is accepting referrals for care packages available to anyone living in Norfolk, aged 16-24, who has been through or is going through a bereavement.

Each package contains a memory jar, journal and mindfulness activities, as well as some treats.

Ms Gough said: “We wanted to be able to support young people who are facing grief but now with the added challenges of potentially being isolated and not being able to be with their loved ones.

“Grief can be very lonely and even worse during this pandemic,” she added.

Anyone seeking further information can contact the charity by email at info@takeourhand.org.uk

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