Cruse Bereavement Care has received a much-needed financial boost from the Department of Health and Social Care to help us respond to an increase in demand for our services due to the pandemic.
- new recruitment
- reallocation of staff
- enrolment of existing, locally based Cruse Bereavement Volunteers
- extending the Helpline opening hours
- creating our new CruseChat service
Steven Wibberley, Cruse CEO said:
“These are unique times for everyone and we are yet to see the full impact that the pandemic is having on the thousands of people across the UK who have been bereaved and the lasting impact this will have on their mental health. We know from experience how devastating any death can be but in the current circumstances people are facing some of the most challenging situations imaginable.
“The social distancing restrictions and limitations on funerals since March has meant that many of those left behind have been grieving in isolation, alone, unable to seek much needed comfort from friends and family, and on top of that – many will have been unable to say goodbye or attend the funeral. What we are seeing now with an increase in calls to the Helpline month on month, is that these people have just put their grief on hold but now is when this grief is starting to be realised.
“We are delighted to have been awarded this funding from the Department of Health and Social Care to expand our helpline service and reach more people affected by the Covid-19 virus.”
The training of the new volunteers has also allowed Cruse to prepare if there is a second wave of the virus and the subsequent uptake in demand for its services in the coming winter months. The average call time to the National Helpline has already increased from 15 to 18 minutes in the last three months.
Nadine Dorries, Minister for Bereavement (Non-Financial) said:
“The COVID-19 pandemic is shining a light on the invaluable assistance that bereavement support charities and organisations provide.
“Cruse has done an amazing job over the last 60 years in ensuring that people who have lost loved ones are supported in their time of need, and they continue to do so during this incredibly difficult time.
“I am delighted that this funding will help to ensure that Cruse can meet the increased demand.”
The current UK death toll sits at just over 41,777, meaning over 250,000 extra people are now grieving as a result of the coronavirus pandemic (1) and since the start of June we have received more than 15,000 calls to our helpline supporting bereaved people.
1. The number of people who suffer intense grief as a result of what is considered a traumatic death such as suicide, is 6 (Helping people bereaved by suicide: Their needs may require special attention, Keith Hawton, Sue Simkin, BMJ. 2003 July 26; 327(7408): 177–178). Deaths from the coronavirus outbreak are being considered ‘traumatic’ given the situations in which people are dying, and the wider contextual situation in which people are grieving.