Members of the charity WAY, Widowed and Young, and their families and friends will be heading to The Warden's Bungalow in Ellesmere on May 20 to roll out their picnic blankets.

WAY's annual Big Picnic offers the chance for people who have been widowed at a young age to get together with other bereaved families.

Local member, Alison Utting said: "We're looking forward to our fourth WAY Shropshire Big Picnic.

"We’ve had a couple of rainy picnics, so this time we’ve booked the Warden’s Bungalow at the Mere so that we can have fun, whatever the weather.

“The Big Picnic is a chance for WAY members and their children to celebrate the charity that has helped them through really difficult life events. It’s also a chance to spread the word about how WAY can help other young people who have lost their partner, and for anyone who wants to just show their support or find out more about WAY. We’ll have the kettle on and you would be welcome to drop in for a cuppa or bring your own picnic.”

Last year, the national event attracted thousands of people to 37 of the most picturesque parks, beaches and beauty spots up and down the country – from Cornwall to Scotland.

WAY is a charity that supports anyone aged 50 or under who is overcoming the loss of a partner. It’s a peer-to-peer support network run by volunteers who have been bereaved at a young age themselves, so they understand exactly what other members are going through.

It started when journalist Caroline Sarll discovered there was no support for her sister, whose husband died when she was 35. That was in 1997, so WAY celebrates its 21st anniversary this year.

WAY was founded in 1997 and now has more than 2,700 members across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

However, there are an estimated 80,000 people across the country who have been widowed under the age of 50 and who could benefit from WAY’s support. The Shropshire group currently has 57 members.