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New bereavement counselling service launched to support local people devastated by pandemic

Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

Thames Hospice has secured significant funding through the National Lottery Community Fund to provide a new bereavement counselling service called Co-Connect. Launched this month, it will offer vital support to local people across Berkshire and South Bucks, aged 18 and over, whose bereavement has been adversely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Since 2020, many people who have been bereaved of a loved one have experienced additional distress and complexity in their bereavement. For some, COVID-19 was a cause of death for their loved one. Others speak of the pandemic circumstances which restricted care and visits when their loved one was alive. Some have experienced being unable to regroup with family, friends and colleagues. Others have struggled to access social care, medical, community and charity support services. Many have been unable to grieve for their loved one in the normal way.

Simon Smith, Head of Counselling Support Services at Thames Hospice, is leading the two-year project. Simon said: “Thames Hospice has always provided counselling and bereavement support and we are so grateful to have been given a new and significant opportunity, through National Lottery funding, to make a difference to hundreds of people in our community whose bereavement has been adversely affected by COVID-19.

“Many local families are in great need of urgent bereavement support to recover and move forward from their experience of complicated grief. Co-Connect will enable my highly-skilled counselling team to respond quickly and deliver therapeutic support towards improved mental health, wellbeing and resilience for local families who have faced bereavement in these times.”

Co-Connect is expected to support 400 beneficiaries over two years through one-to-one sessions and peer support group sessions to improve their mental health and wellbeing. The new service will work alongside other local hospitals, community services and charities, and, we hope, will relieve some of the current pressures on the NHS and other bereavement support agencies.

How to access Co-Connect

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