Family-run Tapper Funeral Service has been encouraged by the positive response to its Outlook Bereavement Support programme after more than 500 local residents have participated since its launch in April 2011. Across three recent events within the last month, more than 150 guests have attended.

The programme is the first of its kind, developed to provide comfort and support across the region. Outlook Bereavement Support represents a series of events which take place across Dorset and bring the bereaved together, enabling them to help one another through the grieving process. Regionally Tapper serves the community from nine branches including the Harbour View Woodland Burial and Memorial Gardens, covering areas from Milford-on-Sea to Broadstone. Many from within these communities are enjoying the opportunity to meet new friends, share experiences and gain social confidence under new circumstances.

The informal, friendly social functions provide support to those who have lost loved ones and give people a chance to talk about their experiences and feelings, or simply listen to others.

Steven Tapper, Joint Managing Director at Tapper Funeral Service, said: “Our Father’s Day Remembrance Service at Harbour Lodge was full; lots of families attended the event and stayed on to enjoy the weather and the camaraderie of other bereaved families. A picnic at Harbour View, despite poor weather hosted at least 50, and a further lunch gathering at Parkstone Yacht Club saw the highest numbers we have seen yet at an Outlook event. It is all really positive and we hope it will grow further.”

Steven continued: “Bereavement is different for everyone so we wanted to create an environment and support network which people can call upon when they wish, to allow them to work through their emotions, at their own pace, but not in isolation. We hope more will be encouraged to take advantage and meet some really lovely people in a like-for-like situation.”

Future events from Outlook Bereavement Support include:

• A buffet lunch and get-together for widows and widowers at Moordown Conservative Club in Balfour Road (off Wimborne Road) on Wednesday July 25 at 12.45pm. There will be a talk by Stuart Timbrell on ‘Discovering Dorset’.

• A Remembrance Service at Harbour View Woodland Burial and Memorial Gardens in Lytchett Minster, Poole, on Sunday September 30. The service, which will pick up on various dates in autumn like Remembrance Sunday, All Souls Day and Harvest Festival, starts at 10.30am in Harbour Lodge (by the car park) and will be followed by refreshments.

• A free open coffee morning for anyone who has lost someone they care about on Thursday October 11 from 10.30am. The event, Remembering Your Loved Ones, is aimed at helping people come to terms with bereavement. The morning will be led by John Taylor of Tapper Funeral Service, who has many years’ experience in helping people deal with loss.

For more information on Outlook Bereavement Support and opportunities to attend events, please visit or call 01202 478887 or 01202 338535.

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