Grief is a natural process, but it can be devastating. In Huntingdonshire, since the lockdown began in March to date, 480 people have lost their lives due to Co-Vid 19. Although that number is lower than the national average it means that 480 families have lost loved ones in such a short period of time.
Annie, from the Huntingdonshire Branch of Cruse Bereavement Care is just one of the volunteers at the end of their local support line. When she spoke this week to HCR104fm, she said that as a branch they had been preparing for a “tsunami” of calls from distraught relatives due to the coronavirus epidemic, but that did not happen. However, in recent days the level of referrals which the branch normally receives has returned.
Like other “face to face” services in these times of lockdown, Cruse can now only support people over the telephone. That has its disadvantages but, as Annie said, it has enabled them to be able to speak with people in the remote villages of Huntingdonshire which are not easy to access without a car.
She wondered if it might be that people were frightened to come forward and ask for help and was keen to encourage people to use the local help line – 07902 662 492 – which is always available to those who wish to talk. Mental health is an issue which has come forward in this time and it helps to share the feelings of grief with someone who understands the sadness and loneliness of loss.
Cruse, a volunteer led organisation, offers a service which is free, confidential and open to anyone over the age of 16. They offer support regardless of the time that has lapsed since the bereavement and is offered to everyone whatever their culture, race, religious persuasion or sexual orientation. If you would like to volunteer with Hunts Cruse then do make contact with them, as they are intending to run their accredited 6 day training course later in the year.
For more information go to the Huntingdon branch of Cruse website on crusehuntingdon.org.uk