Tree of Light services in the north west area

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The Northwest and Roe Valley Bereaved by Suicide Support Groups will hold their annual ‘Memory Tree of Lights’ ceremonies on Sunday, December 6 at 5.30pm at the Guildhall, Londonderry and Sunday, December 13 at 5.30pm at Roe Park Resort, Limavady.

The events are held to remember loved ones lost to suicide and to support family and friends during the holiday season. They are supported by the Western Health and Social Care Trust, Be Safe Be Well, The Big Lottery and The Public Health Agency.

The ceremony involves poetry and prayers which have particular significance to members and music will be by Long Tower Choir, Londonderry, and the Salvation Army choir in Limavady. Family and friends will be invited to take part in a candlelight ceremony and to leave a message to their loved one on the Christmas tree.

Fidelis Simpson, Suicide Liaison Officer, said: “When someone dies by suicide many people are affected; families, friends and work colleagues but, all too often, no one gets the opportunity to talk about how they feel. The journey for those left behind can be excruciatingly painful, devastating and traumatic. Many people who have been bereaved in this way have benefitted from a support group. Support groups are a powerful and constructive way for people to help both themselves and others.

“Grief associated with bereavement by suicide is unique. The coming together of those similarly bereaved can provide the opportunity to be with other people who can really understand and can offer the opportunity to gain strength and understanding from the individuals within the group.”

The Northwest Bereaved by Suicide Support Group meets the first and third Monday of the month in Foyle Search and Rescue Headquarters at 7.30pm and the Roe Valley Bereaved by Suicide Support Group meets the second Tuesday of each month in the Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre at 7.30pm.

For more information telephone Fidelis Simpson on 02866 382112 or the mobile number 07841569000.