Service Users Feedback
Feedback from Paul’s Place service users
“I lost my son in October 2016 and for the first year after I struggled to find proper, useful support. I tried several different counsellors but couldn’t connect with any of them. I started attending the Liverpool SOBS support group and it was there that I met Joe, Agnes and Kathy and heard of their plans to set up Paul’s Place. When the service launched I rang Kathy and was given an assessment within a few days and had my first counselling session the following week with Maria. She was amazing and completely understood everything I was going through. I was given a set number of weekly sessions and just as I finished my counselling sessions the weekly drop in group was launched, which I have also found to be massively helpful and have met some amazing, inspiring friends there. Paul’s Place is such a unique and wonderful service; run by the most amazing, hardworking and understanding people. I honestly don’t know where I’d have been without their fantastic support and will be forever grateful to all who play their part in keeping this much needed service running”.
“The Paul’s Place bereavement group offered a valuable lifeline to me and my family, after we lost my sister. The peer support from the group has been great and the group allows people to talk when they want to talk; and to listen to other people’s experiences. Agnes and Joe do a valuable role hosting the group and they really care about the people who attend”.
“Paul’s Place has been a lifeline to me. Meeting others who understand the pain of losing loved ones to suicide. The group sessions give us a chance to talk about our feelings with those who understand. Support and information from Agnes and Joe have made such a difference to all who attend our group and hopefully will continue to do so, for all those who will sadly join us in the future”.
“If it wasn’t for Agnes speaking to me at a SOBS support group meeting in Liverpool, I’d have never known about Paul’s Place. I thank you for all for the work that you do, because otherwise I just don’t know what would have happened to me. Regarding my counsellor, Jane – WOW! I put her on a pedestal. I can’t thank her enough. She is fabulous. She helped me realise that talking does help and stopped me feeling like I was going mad. The Tuesday morning drop-in groups are a great help. It’s somewhere we can all let off steam, get comfort from each other and maybe for someone who is newly bereaved by suicide, it may just give them a little glimmer of hope that you can still go on”.
“When you lose a loved one to suicide, it changes who you are and how you live your life. How could it not? Almost five years on and at times I still struggle to make sense of what has happened. Also, some days are better than others, but with time and accessing the right support network; the good days will outnumber the bad. I can never thank Kathy, Neil, Helen and all the team, for the care and support given to me, after the loss of my Son to suicide. I dread to think where I would be now, without your help. You were and continue to be my lifeline”.
“I started attending Paul’s Place after losing my brother in 2016. I found that counselling was not really for me, but I found the drop in group really helpful. It’s really good to be able to talk to others experiencing the same thing I am; and although I don’t always talk at the groups I still get so much from them by listening to others talk and we’ve made some lovely friends there”.
“As far as Paul’s place is concerned, I personally have found it a godsend and I feel I am with friends when I am there. I have been given so much support at a really dark time and I can only sing your praises; as I do all the time”.
“When we tried to find support, we were lost. It was our daughter Clare, who after thoroughly searching the internet, found Beacon Counselling Trust and contacted Kathy. From the moment she made contact the service that was offered to me was unbelievable. If it wasn’t for the help that I received from them, I really don’t know where and what state I would be in now. When you lose someone to suicide it is a different kind of bereavement. You will never get over losing someone this way, but with the right help and support you can learn to live with your loss and become able to function again, on a day to day basis. They have helped me understand the thoughts and emotions that you have, as well as the normal grieving process. After you have lost someone to suicide you are left with a space inside you that cannot and will not ever be filled. But in time, you can learn to love, laugh and live again. It’s not by any means easy, but it is possible”.
“After the recent loss of a loved one through Suicide, Beacon Counselling Trust was recommended as somewhere to go for help and support; where I would receive one to one Counselling with a therapist for up to 20 sessions. While attending this, I found out there was a Group drop-in session every Tuesday; so I attended it. I soon discovered that I was not on my own. I met people who also experienced the loss of a loved one through Suicide; and all this in Paul’s Place – within Beacon Counselling Trust. I found it easy to share my story with people I’d never met, but yet were so welcoming and understanding. I even formed a bond with someone I would call a very good friend (Dave). We would share the odd laugh, which was strange considering the reason for all of us being there. So, without Paul’s Place I firmly believe I wouldn’t be where I am today. Without the care and dedication the staff showed us and without this organisation, I really don’t know where the people of Merseyside would go to in order to share their story”.
“Paul’s Place has been an absolute blessing to myself and my family. It’s quite easy to feel alone and overwhelmed after a loss to suicide, but Paul’s Place provides a friendly and welcoming environment; where everyone is heard and supported. Attending group meetings has really made dealing with this loss easier and has allowed me to meet some amazing people in the process. Words cannot explain how thankful I am”.
“There is something about Paul’s Place that makes me want to keep going back; and it has to do with real people who understand the devastation and utter heartache that losing someone to suicide leaves behind. Caring, supportive and just knowing they are there is invaluable to me. It gives me hope that one day I might be able to move forward, even if just a little bit”.
“Paul’s Place has helped me so much since losing my Mum in July 2019. When losing such a special loved one, you feel that you’ll never be able to live your life properly again; but going to Paul’s Place group meetings every Tuesday morning and the last Wednesday of every month has helped me more than I could have possibly imagined. Full of people who have been through similar to you and no judgement, just plenty of love! Thank you so much to all involved”.
“Paul’s Place has been a godsend to me and my two girls (both in their twenties), since their Mum took her own life. It allows us to meet up with people who’ve sadly shared the same experience; and we don’t have to explain to them how we feel……..they already know”.
“I became involved with Paul’s Place about 4 months after my son took his own life. I realised that I would need counselling and support in able to return to work, which I was planning on doing. I found the counselling service amazing and it has really helped me to understand the importance of dealing with my grief and looking after myself. I started attending the weekly support group and found this a great source of support and comfort. Groups are not for everyone but this worked for me, it’s okay to talk or to just listen, and most of us can identify with the thoughts and feelings that each other have, it makes me feel less isolated and less mad. In terms of learning how to live with a loss by suicide the group has been so helpful. It’s not all constant sadness, we laugh, we joke and we cry whenever we need to. I call it my main protective factor, even in my darkest days I think I couldn’t take my own life because it would give the wrong message to my group of friends who have already been through enough. Also to listen to the vast difference of our lost ones families and circumstances has helped me to realise, that despite all the differences in circumstances, actions and family composition nothing changed the outcome for our loved ones who couldn’t stay with us any longer. That helps with the guilt and the constant questioning that we all go through. I really wish I had never had to meet these people. However, I am immeasurably glad that I did, they are now my friends and my support and that works both ways. They are the silver lining to a very dark cloud. I can’t imagine, as I approach the second anniversary of my son’s death, where I would be without them; and they do bring some joy into my broken heart”.
“Paul’s Place has been really special for me. I have received specialist counselling which has been vital in helping me heal from the trauma of losing my husband so suddenly. It’s given me the strength to carry on raising our three children”.