Eric Thwaites – Ilkeston Group / bereaveMENt

Prior to establishing the Ilkeston group, in 2006, I helped move and set up the charity in the Flamsteed Centre, Ilkeston, where it still resides today. My wife Chrissie worked for Derbyshire County Council at the time, where she was asked by Gill Irish if I could help move the charity into the Flamsteed Centre, knowing I did odd jobs for people after being made redundant from textiles engineering.
After the move, the charity asked me to stay on for 2 days per week to help with the installation of phone lines and a computer system.
Once the office was set up I was offered a permanent post within the charity, which I accepted.
During the first year I proposed to help set up a support group in Ilkeston, making them aware that I would hand this over after it was up and running. 14 years on and I still volunteer to support all those who attend this group, I have made some really good friends and I’m passionate about the help and support that the charity offers.  Due to Covid-19 we have not been able to have face to face meetings but continue to support virtually, it’s not the same but it does keep everyone connected. As a charity, we also saw the need for a men’s only virtual group and are very proud to have launched bereaveMENt which I also volunteer for in my spare time.
As most of you know Chrissie (my wife now retired) was also employed by the charity and served for 13 years supporting me through so much turmoil.
I couldn’t have done the job I do today without her support, thank you Chrissie x
Read more about the Ilkeston Group here