New Kirkcaldy group to help bereaved people combat loneliness

The Step-by-Step group enjoys a trip to the bowling, attended by David Torrance MSP.
The Step-by-Step group enjoys a trip to the bowling, attended by David Torrance MSP.

A group to help bereaved adults in and around Kirkcaldy to combat social isolation has proved so popular that a second one is being set up.

Step by Step is a social group set up by Cruse the bereavement charity offering support to bereaved adults who feel cut off or lonely or who just want to keep busy by enjoying the benefits of meeting new people and becoming involved in their local community.

The group, which meets fortnightly at St Bryce Kirk centre, does not focus on bereavement, although the loss of a partner or friend will be the main experience which the members have in common.

Some bereaved people do not socialise as much after experiencing the loss of a loved one because they feel uncomfortable being on their own, maybe after a long period of time with their partner.

At Step by Step members do not have to talk about anything they do not want to. It is all about connecting with other members with similar experiences.

Members are encouraged to take part in activities to build their strengths and resilience to become active within the community and as a member of Step by Step.

Jacqueline McGregor, Step by Step co-ordinator and counsellor, explained: “Some people after experiencing a bereavement stop doing all the pleasurable things they once enjoyed.

“Through our group, members are supported to revisit activities and hobbies that once held meaning for them. They are also encouraged and supported to identify activities which are likely to meet their preferences and needs.”

It is free to become a member and the group is a great opportunity to meet new people, widen social connections, feel a sense of belonging, pursue common interests and practical concerns in a safe, relaxed and friendly environment.

Group coordinators and volunteers ensure members can do what they want to, from chats over tea, relaxation exercises, breathing techniques, music therapy, painting, arts/crafts, quizzes, gardening, listening to guest speakers from community organisations and going on outings.

As well as the current Kirkcaldy group, which started off in October last year with just four members and now has 14, with a waiting list, there is one in Methil and another being set up in Glenrothes and Dunfermline.