MBE for Trish Thomas, Gloucester SOBS
Although now rapidly fading from memory, New Year 2018 got off to a good start with the welcome news of a New Year’s Honour for one of the longest-serving suicide bereavement volunteers in the UK, Patricia Thomas, who has been awarded an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire). Trish has volunteered in support of people bereaved by suicide for over twenty years. In 1997 she joined the Steering Group which led the development of Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SOBS) into the national organisation it is today – SOBS now has 60 support groups throughout the UK. Two years later, she went on to set up the Gloucester SOBS Support Group, facilitating the meetings for many years. In addition to providing direct support for the bereaved, she has also worked tirelessly with police forces, mental health trusts and other organisations, developing and delivering much-needed training to front-line staff in how to respond to the needs of the bereaved. We are pleased to see that the importance of support for the suicide bereaved has been recognised in the New Year Honours list and warmly congratulate Trish on receiving this well-deserved accolade.