St Clare Hospice’s bereavement helpline gets Lottery funding

A bereavement helpline run by St Clare Hospice has received Lottery funding. Picture: ST CLARE HOSPI

A bereavement helpline run by St Clare Hospice has received Lottery funding. Picture: ST CLARE HOSPICE - Credit: Archant

Bereavement helpline gets Lottery Funding

A new bereavement support helpline has gained £46,000 funding from the National Lottery’s Community Fund.

The helpline 01279 967670 opened on Monday, June 22.

Organiser, St Clare Hospice, says the line is in response to a need for emotional and practical support as the number of people experiencing bereavement has increased during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The helpline is being run by a team of hospice staff and volunteers, trained to give support and practical guidance after a loss. It will operate from 9am–5pm, Monday to Friday, and is open to people no matter how long ago their loss was.

Sushma Dhami from St Clare said: “Bereavement is never easy. During the lockdown, navigating grief and loss has become more difficult. People find they cannot rely on their usual routines, and the face-to-face comfort and support of family and friends is disrupted.

“Our Helpline is here to offer support to people who are struggling with their grief whether their loss was recent, as a result of coronavirus or not; or a long time ago, and they’re finding that new thoughts and emotions have arisen due to the unsettling lockdown period.

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“We also know that bereaved people are finding it hard to navigate changes in the government regulations as a result of the pandemic. Registering a death and arranging a funeral, are not following the usual steps.”

The new service will also connecting people online so they can support each other.

“One of our main ambitions is to connect people who may have similar experiences,” said Sushma.

“Our new online Bereavement Cafés on Facebook groups, have been hugely successful in the few weeks they’ve been running. These offer a space for people to meet, chat, and support one and other, through sharing experiences, resources and services.”

The hospice has a new booklet to help people facing death and loss during the pandemic.

To find a local, online Bereavement Café group on the St Clare Hospice Facebook page, visit and look under the ‘Groups’ tab.

To access support from St Clare Hospice’s Bereavement Support Helpline, call 01279 967670.