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Newark friends start podcast to help people through grieving process

Two friends who were still young when they each lost a parent have set up a podcast to help others like them.

Sam Vidler's dad, Ben, died in 2014, four months after being diagnosed with terminal cancer.

He was a much-loved landlord of The Wheatsheaf in Newark, a teacher and family man.

Sam Vidler and Kat Hooker (5865226)
Sam Vidler and Kat Hooker (5865226)

When he died, aged 49, he left his wife Tracey, Sam and her sisters

"Since my dad died I've gained a significant number of friends that have also lost parents," said Sam.

"I have always wanted to do something to help others who have been through a similar tragedy to that of losing a parent at a young age."

Sam met her friend Kat Hooker at Lancaster University and both discovered they had a parent with a terminal illness.

Kat's mother was diagnosed as terminal when she was 48 and died when she was 49.

Sam, who was 20 when her dad died, said her idea of coping had been to throw herself back into everything.

She said she was living with people who did not, and could not, understand what she was going through. So she thought the best thing was to ignore it so she didn't get upset.

"It was a really difficult and destructive year for me as I found no time to grieve," she said.

Sam said it was only when she moved in with Kat, in her final year at university, that she really came to terms with her dad dying.

"As I watched Kat go through the exact thing, it was like someone had recorded me when my dad was dying and I was watching it back," she said.

"It was therapeutic for me to relieve the trauma with her, but also taught me how strong I was, since I was able to help and support Kat going through her mum's death."

Sam and Kat both felt there was not a lot of support for people in their situation so set up the Dead Parent Club and started the podcasts in September.

"We wanted to create a space where people could talk about it without judgment but also so that they know they are not alone," said Sam.

They release one episode a week where they interview people who have been through something similar.

Sam has done one in which she read out a snippet of an interview with the Advertiser, published just before her dad died.

In the interview Ben vowed: "Not to spend my last todays crying after lost tomorrows."

Sam has had her dad's memorable words tattooed on her back.

The podcasts also give tips on how to help friends that are grieving and they discuss the effects of grief on your mental health.

"We really want to reach as many young people as possible," said Kat. "Grief is a very lonely place and we've made it our personal mission to help as many people as possible."

Sam said the reaction has been amazing with so many people saying they have helped them.

"They tell us they love listening because of our positive outlook, and love the way we're able to ask the questions that they've always wanted to know," she said.

The friends both do the podcast in their spare time and do not make any money from it.

"We simply want to reach and help as many people as we can, even it that means giving them a reason to smile on their morning commute," said Sam.

The podcasts can be found on their website www.dpcpodcast.co.uk They are also on Instagram at @DPCpodcast.

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