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Hospice sets up new covid-19 virtual bereavement service.

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Saint Francis Hospice is offering virtual bereavement counselling to help local people whose loved one has died due to covid-19. 

The charity’s Family Support team has set up the free and confidential service thanks to funding from Hospice UK and it is hoping to reach out to all, including the most vulnerable people in the community such as the elderly, along with the black and Asian communities, who have been hardest hit by the virus.  

Three qualified volunteers, together with the Family Support team, will be available to provide therapeutic support to people over video or telephone so they can acknowledge the death and work on their grief.  

“We are grateful to our volunteers, Cheryl Brown, Julie Dodsand Naina Thaker, who have given up their time to a cause that matters,” said Shahina Haque, Manager of the Family Support Service.

“My condolence from all of us here at Saint Francis Hospice, for anyone who is experiencing bereavement at such a difficult period of our lives. I cannot imagine what it is like not to be there at the time when someone you care deeply for is dying and not to have seen them beforehand. This is why it is so important that  we are there at people’s time of need.

“Our Family Support team understand  the importance of providing counselling after bereavement. Now with the absence of physical contact, not seeing your family or friends, and proximity being limited, we are aware these limitations are exacerbating the grieving process. Many will be at home alone.

“With this service being available to communities that can get missed or may think they cannot ask for help, we are here to acknowledge the death, recognise their loss and to give the space for the individual to share their grief.”

Funding is currently only available until April 2021. If you, or someone you know, would benefit from this service or like to find out more, please call 01708 753319 and ask to speak to a member of the Family Support Services Team. Alternatively, please email the team at bereavementcounselling@sfh.org.uk

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