A "WARM and welcoming group" helping bereaved people in the Eden Valley has been given a further year's funding.

The bereavement support group was set up by the Oaklea Trust in Appleby. Volunteers have so far helped up to 140 people.

The inspiration came from the Rev Sandra Pearl after a discussion with a local funeral director, and a "real need" for support for widowed spouses was identified.

The group meets on the first Monday afternoon of each month in the informal surroundings of the Appleby Hub on Chapel Street.

Joyce Keetley, from the Carlisle Diocese, who helps out, said: "We are a friendly group and everyone appreciates the homemade cake.

"There is no charge and people can drop in for however long they want and talk about whatever they wish."

Rather than counselling, the gathering gives bereaved family members the opportunity to talk about what is on their mind over a cup of tea and a biscuit.

Health bosses have praised the group, which has been described as "warm and welcoming" and "really helpful" by people who have attended.

Funding to keep the group going for another year has been secured from Cumbria Community Foundation and the Cumberland and Westmorland Herald Fund.