People who have lost loved ones have said they would not have 'coped' without a bereavement service offered by Bolton Hospice.

As part of the service to help friends and family through the saddest of circumstances Bolton Hospice holds a bereavement walk.

It is where people  can to talk about their experiences and open up about the reality of losing someone or watching someone go through end-of-life care in natural peaceful surroundings.

Sue Leyland has been volunteering with the bereavement services for around 23 years, and says that the group has made her feel more comfortable opening up about grief whenever she wants.

She said: “It’s somewhere different each month.

The Bolton News: Bolton Hospice Campaign

“And it’s just nice because it gets us out.

“When you lose someone it’s awful when it’s someone very close to you.

“Your whole life changes and it’s almost like you think ‘I can talk to my friends, but do they keep wanting me to talk about the same thing?’.

“But in a group like this, it doesn’t matter.”

Sue says the best thing is that they can all be there for each other, and listen, and comfort one another.

The Bolton News: Joan Houghton says that she wouldn’t have 'coped' without the support from the hospice.

Lillian Punchaby added: “We’re all in the same boat.

“We’ve all lost our partner, and that’s a common denominator.

“They’re a lifeline, believe me.”

Sometimes those who go on the walk are strangers who then become friends after connecting at the group.

Lillian added: “We’ve made new friends because we were all complete strangers, and we’ve been all over together to Glasgow, Newcastle, Llandudno, Blackpool, and Fort William.”

The hospice offers a number of different bereavement services including one to one support, a number of group activities which take place at various times to accommodate people’s lives.

Bolton Hospice is facing cutbacks if a funding gap cannot be plugged. 

The Bolton News recently launched its 'Save Bolton Hospice' campaign to help reduce the deficit, aiming to raise an initial £100,000.

The money is vital or the hospice faces making cuts.

To support the appeal, visit

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