New support group to help those who have lost loved ones to suicide is coming to Grimsby

-Credit: (Image: SoBS)
-Credit: (Image: SoBS)

A national charity which helps people who have been bereaved by suicide will soon launch a support group in Grimsby.

On Wednesday, July 31, anyone aged over 18 who has suffered the loss of someone close to them to suicide is encouraged to join the new talking support group in Grimsby, which has been "three years in the making" by the Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SoBS) charity.

The group will be held every last Wednesday of the month from 6.30pm to 8.30pm, and will be run entirely by a team of local, trained and dedicated volunteers, each of whom has lived through the tragic experience of losing a loved one to suicide. Until now, the closest SoBS support group has been based in Scunthorpe.


Speaking to Grimsby Live, Phill Abbiss, Lead Volunteer Coordinator at SoBS, said: "Suicide is a very different sort of bereavement, most of us will be bereaved at some point in our lives, but with suicide, you suddenly lose somebody and often it's totally unexpected and often, unfortunately, in a very violent fashion.

"That trauma is unlike any other trauma you might come across, the only other thing you could match it to is a murder or road traffic collision, but unfortunately with suicide, sometimes people have shown signs they might take their own lives and haven't been able to access support quickly enough. People are always left asking why.

The group aims to support anyone who has lost a loved one to suicide -Credit:Copyright Unknown
The group aims to support anyone who has lost a loved one to suicide -Credit:Copyright Unknown

"With a suicide, the only person who knows really what was going on is the person who has died by suicide. It doesn't matter how in-depth the note of intent was, there's still questions - 'Why didn't they speak to me? Why didn't they reach out for help? Why did they do it?' - so it affects people quite seriously.

"Because of the fear of traumatising others who haven't experienced the loss, a lot of people don't talk about it and isolate themselves. The group is facilitated by people who have this lived experience, it's full of people who have the same experience, so you can talk in front of others and explain you feel angry and guilty and all sorts of different emotions, and people understand what you're talking about."

The Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide charity was set up 33 years ago in Hull by Alice Middleton MBE, who found little support was available after losing her brother to suicide. After placing an advert in the Hull Daily Mail to find others who had been bereaved by suicide, she started a monthly talking support group in her living room.

"They didn't understand that what they were doing was peer support, but that's what it was," Phill said.

"In Grimsby, the group has been about three years in the making. We've been advertising and looking for volunteers and then all of a sudden people came along and we set up a group. We're also trying to get a group into Louth, we think that's a good area where people should have a group, and we have a well-established group in Scunthorpe, where people from here travel to. It's been a long time coming."

SoBS now runs support groups in 83 places across the UK and has 441 active volunteers. The charity also offers support seven days a week via email and runs a dedicated phone line from 9am to 7pm, Monday to Friday.

Anyone in North East Lincolnshire who wishes to attend the new support group in Grimsby can find out more details, including the location of the meetings, by emailing

If you would like to talk to someone about suicide bereavement you can contact the SoBS support line on 0300 111 5065 Mon-Fri 9am-7pm or send an email to Their website can be found at