St Clare Hospice secures Barclays funding to continue Bereavement Support Helpline for the next year

St Clare Hospice secures Barclays funding to continue
Bereavement Support Helpline for the next year

WEST Essex and East Hertfordshire charity, St Clare Hospice, has secured £100,000 funding from Barclays to continue their Bereavement Support Helpline for the next year. The helpline, 01279 967670, launched in June 2020 in response to a community requirement for immediate emotional support, information and guidance, as the number of local people experiencing bereavement has sadly increased during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Charities were invited to apply for one of 100 donations of £100,000, and Barclays were inundated by hundreds of applications from charities across the UK who are struggling to deliver on-the-ground support to vulnerable communities impacted by the crisis.

Barclays launched their 100×100 UK COVID-19 Community Relief Programme to support COVID-19 relief work in local communities. The programme, which forms part of their wider COVID-19 Community Aid Package, focuses on supporting UK charity partners who are meeting the immediate needs of people in our communities, including low income families, those facing financial hardship, isolated elderly people and key workers.

The Bereavement Support Helpline is run by a team of hospice staff and volunteers, trained to deliver immediate emotional support and practical guidance for those who would like extra support after the loss of someone close. The helpline operates 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday, and is open to all local people living in West Essex and East Herts who are bereaved, no matter how long ago their loss was.

St Clare Director of Income Generation, Rosie Knowles, said: “We are hugely grateful to Barclays for their incredibly generous donation of £100,000 to fund our Bereavement Support Helpline for the next year. The helpline launched in June, at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, and has proven to be a lifeline to families facing loss and bereavement. Major grants like this are invaluable to a small hospice charity like ours, and ensure that we can respond to the needs of our community and deliver new services to support people as we all navigate the difficulties which have arisen as a result of the coronavirus situation.”

Nigel Higgins, Barclays Chairman, said: “COVID-19 has created an unprecedented social and economic impact in the UK, with many experiencing greater hardship due to the crisis. Incredible charities, such as St Clare Hospice have been playing a vital role in the UK’s response to the pandemic, ensuring urgent help reaches those most in need of support. As a bank we have been doing all we can for our customers, clients and colleagues, and we hope that by partnering with St Clare Hospice and many other charities across the UK, collectively we can ensure that as many people as possible in the communities in which we live and work are supported through this crisis.”

Patient and Family Support Service Manager at St Clare, Sushma Dhami, said: “Bereavement is never easy, but for many people, navigating grief and loss has been even harder this year. Not only has COVID restrictions meant that visiting loved ones and attending funeral services has been restricted, but after a death people cannot rely on their usual routines and face-to-face support from family and friends due to social distancing.”

Sushma adds: “Our Helpline has been able to offer vital support since June, 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. Our call handlers have also been able to support recently bereaved people in navigating the changes in how to register a death, and arrange a funeral – which have changed because of COVID regulations. We’ve also been able to help people find other support services in the local community that could be useful, as well as offering practical guidance on things welfare and finance.”

· To access support from St Clare Hospice’s Bereavement Support Helpline, the number to call is 01279 967670.
· For more information about St Clare’s Bereavement Support, please visit their website

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