New support group offers solace to bereaved siblings in Cornwall

the image is a small promotional poster for the Bereaved Siblings Support Group. It reads; Newquay Methodist Centre; The Hub 'a space for all' Bereaved Siblings Support Group, 18+ Bereavement for any reason/time in the past 1st Thursday of the month - 6.30pm Please reach out to us at
CHAOS Radio - Newquay Methodist Centre launches Bereaved Siblings support group

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A new support group for Cornwall’s bereaved siblings launches this Thursday, aiming to provide a safe space for anyone over the age of 18 that has suffered the loss of a sibling at any stage of their life, writes Tom Howe.

Sessions are to be led by Reverend Clare Anderson at Newquay Methodist Centre on the first Thursday of each month, starting at 6.30 pm.

It follows the sudden death of Truro’s Josh Annear last November, aged just 30, and the lack of specific support available for his two surviving siblings.

Josh’s mother, Sharon Trudgian, raised concerns to Clare at a meeting of Kim’s Group – a support centre for bereaved parents, also based in Newquay – and a conversation soon developed about how to bridge that crucial gap in support. 

“My son died suddenly in November,” Sharon explained to CHAOS Radio, “and off the back of that my daughter Faith discovered quite quickly that she needed support…and a safe space to connect with other people. It was her big brother [that passed away] and [she found] there was no face-to-face support in Cornwall for siblings, unless you are under the age of 18.

“I attended a group myself for bereaved parents and [met] Clare, who is a wonderful person and put Faith at ease immediately. Off the back of that, the group was formed and their first meeting is on Thursday at The Methodist Hub Centre. The doors are going to be open from 6.30 pm, probably for about an hour and a half, and there is going to be plenty of tea, coffee, cold drinks and biscuits. 

“It is a really warm, safe space. You can talk as much as you want or you can just listen. Clare is an amazing facilitator. As a vicar she has got a great personality. She is empathetic, encouraging and wise. It is going to be a group that is going to come from the grassroots so it is very much just seeing how it is going to form and hopefully grow.

“I really want to encourage other people to help this group take off. It is about getting the word out there and encouraging people to try something once or twice because it is terrifying what we go through when somebody dies..that fear and the loneliness of feeling so on your own with it.”

The newly-formed bereaved siblings group focuses on exploring a range of different topics and themes, as well as recognizing that there are many different types of loss and that people grieve in different ways.

“From some of the conversations that I’ve had since Josh died, [I can see] there is a huge lack of support when it is an adult child or sibling that has died,” continued Sharon. “Josh was 30 but if he had been under 18, we would be flooded with support. Siblings are known as the lost mourners because people don’t think that they are as important as the parents and they really are. 

“The whole identity of the family changes. Josh was the oldest sibling of three. There was a huge age gap between them all and he was very much the kind of pivotal older brother. People have said to me, ‘my sister died 20 years ago and I could have done with this’ or ‘am I too old to come to this because I’m 50’? This is support adult siblings through that life change, whether they are 18, 75 or 90-years-old.

“Everybody is very different. Just because your sister has died, it doesn’t mean that somebody whose brother has died can relate because your grief is personal and your relationship with them was personal. [The group] are hoping to explore support that is out there and trying new things, so not being afraid to walk with other bereaved siblings or gain comfort from being in a room of people that understand.

“What they are going through is huge. If you think about it, you share your whole childhood with your siblings and when they are gone, you lose all of that connection. My son was 30 and my other two children are 17 and 19. That is a long time for them, to have had their whole childhood together and for that to be gone. It is about reaching those people, encouraging them to come along and to be with others that get it, being in a really safe space and recognizing that sibling loss is absolutely devastating.”

Although the sessions specifically tailor for those aged 18 and over, a collective knowledge of other organisations built for bereavement support could result in anyone under that limit being signposted to services offered by the likes of Winston’s Wish and Penhaligons Friends.

To learn more, visit The Hub Nansledan on Facebook or email Reverend Clare Anderson via