A dedicated bereavement support line for people affected by the coronavirus has been launched today by St. Luke’s Hospice in Basildon, Essex.
The ‘Bereavement Support Line for People Affected by COVID-19, supported by The National Lottery Community Fund and Children in Need’, was set up to support those who are bereaved during the pandemic.
The free support line is staffed by existing teams of trained counsellors and supportive care staff from the Hospice, who are utilising their skills to provide this essential support where it’s now crucially needed. Callers will speak with a member of the specialist bereavement team who will provide immediate emotional support and an understanding listening ear.
Its aim is to ease the growing challenges and difficulties people face when a loved one dies. In the current climate, feelings of bereavement can be intensified by restrictions on visiting loved ones, attending funerals and due to social distancing measures which can limit the ability to comfort loved ones or grieve as people may do usually.
Sharon Quinn, Director of Care and Quality at St. Luke’s Hospice, said:
“Our community is experiencing unprecedented challenges. Many people will be reeling from the sad and often sudden loss of a loved one due to the coronavirus. Having to self-isolate and remain socially distanced at this time can make feelings of grief and loneliness even more intense.
“As a Hospice, we recognise how distressing loss can be, particularly in these circumstances, and we want to be there for those people who are bereaved who may need us, to provide a source of support at this difficult time.
“The team on the other end of the line will provide a listening ear so that people can express their emotions as they try and come to terms with their loss.”
The line will be open Monday to Thursday, from 1pm to 4.30pm.
Anyone living in the districts of Basildon and Thurrock who has lost a loved one during the Coronavirus pandemic can call the team on 03334002358 (freephone).
Outside of these times and for further information people can contact our Dove Community Counselling team on 01277 658057.
St. Luke’s Hospice, which supports people in Basildon, Thurrock and wider South West Essex, continues to provide essential care to people in the community; in people’s own homes, in its In-Patient Unit, and by offering vital support services such as counselling over the phone, where it is able to do so. The Hospice is working closely with local healthcare partners to ensure integrated care continues in the community, alleviating pressure on the NHS while meeting the needs of those it cares for.
To find out more, visit the St. Luke’s Hospice website at www.stlukeshospice.com.