The power of walking and talking: St Catherine’s hosts bereavement walk at Nymans

Published: 04 Jul 2023

The National Trust gardens at Nymans in Handcross provided a stunning backdrop when St Catherine’s Hospice hosted a bereavement walk, to help local people dealing with grief and loss. 

Supported by Nymans, and in partnership with Carers West Sussex, the informal walking event on 13 June was to support carers who have been bereaved. Free of charge to attend, it provided attendees with an opportunity to talk, as little or as much as they wanted, about their bereavement experiences and their loved ones, whilst walking around the beautiful gardens. 

The session was run by St Catherine’s Wellbeing Team and began with a short poem of reflection, followed by a gentle walk around the gardens to observe the natural surroundings and enjoy conversations with one another.  The session ended with refreshments in the café and a final chance for reflection. 

Claire Vaculik, St Catherine’s Bereavement Co-ordinator said, “The bereavement walk was a wonderful way to bring people together, to encourage them to take a break from their normal daily lives and provide a calm and beautiful space to enjoy nature. If they felt comfortable, it also offered an opportunity for them to share their feelings and experiences about their bereavement journey. We are so grateful to the National Trust and Nyman's for supporting these walks and giving us such a gorgeous venue to host these important events. We are very much looking forward to running another one in the near future.” 

Liz Wait, who took part in the walk said: “I really enjoyed meeting people on the same journey as myself and it’s brought me great comfort today. I didn’t know if I wanted to get out of the car when I arrived and I was in tears at the start, but it’s been great and really lifted me.”  

St Catherine’s Hospice provides expert end of life care and support to terminally ill people and their families across West Sussex and East Surrey.  St Catherine’s cares for around 2,000 people every year living with a terminal illness, in its hospice in Crawley, in people’s own homes and in care homes. Eight in ten people cared for by St Catherine’s are supported in the comfort of their own home. 

To register your interest in attending a future St Catherine’s walk at Nymans please email For more information about St Catherine’s please visit

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