New bereavement group for young adults

By Jessica Elgot, May 31, 2012
Jason Rumney

Jason Rumney

A recruitment consultant whose father died suddenly from cancer last year has put money into a counselling group helping young Jews to deal with the loss of a parent.

Assisting those aged 18-to-30, Aftershock recently held its first gathering and will meet monthly at Jewish Care’s Martin B Cohen Centre in Edgware.

Jason Rumney, 25, from Essex, had searched for a counselling service after the death of his father last September. He wanted to socialise with other young people who were in a similar situation.

He donated £2,000 to Aftershock, which is run with Jewish Care and the Jewish Bereavement Counselling Service.
JBCS volunteer counsellor Cindy Collick led the first session. She pointed out that those who were young when a parent died needed “very different” support.

“There was nothing like this in north-west London. We do group work and shared experience. We leave for the second part and the group has a social.

'I WANTED TO HELP OTHERS' Jason Rumney’s father Lester — vice-chair of South West Essex and Settlement Reform Synagogue in Newbury Park — died just three months after his cancer diagnosis.“I was comfortable speaking about it, but it has hit my family, especially my mum, very hard,” he says. “My brother and I feel like we now have to take responsibility to be the men of the family. I work in the City and was about to go and start a new company in LA, but I can’t do that now. I’m keen to look into training as a life coach in my spare time.” He adds: “I wanted to help others in a similar situation and start a social group. “I’m quite sociable and do a lot for charity and wanted to get involved with other people doing that.”

“We want them to build up a social network and meet on their own more than once a month.”

The sessions will cover different aspects of bereavement. “Obviously everyone’s journey is different. We hope to address dealing with guilt, anger, sorrow and loss. What will it be like to get married with no mum there? What about graduating from university? What will the changes be at home?”

Last updated: 3:45pm, May 31 2012