Bereavement services in Wales have received extra funding of £72,000 from the Welsh Government to help them respond to the coronavirus pandemic.
Cruse Bereavement Care Cymru has been awarded the funding to help it respond to an expected increase in demand over the coming months.
As well as rising coronavirus-related death rates, Cruse is also expecting to see an increase in the complexity of people’s grief experiences because of the nature of the restrictions in place to slow the spread of the virus, which will require extra support.
The additional funding will help to recruit and train new volunteers and provide further training for existing volunteers to increase the numbers of people they can support. It will also help the service to offer new online group sessions for bereaved people and provide wider access to help and information as demand increases.
Health and Social Services Minister Vaughan Gething said:
“It is essential we have the right level of support in place, at the right time to help people across Wales to grieve the loss of a loved one.
“Without this support we risk seeing an increase in the complexity of help needed, which will not only have an impact on an individual’s mental wellbeing but also on the demand for our already stretched NHS services.”
Janette Bourne, director of Cruse Bereavement Care Cymru said:
“We gratefully welcome the Welsh Government’s funding during this hugely uncertain and difficult time.
“We’re committed to making sure all bereaved people in Wales can continue to access support, whether that’s through our national helpline – 0808 808 1677 – or ongoing telephone sessions with local branches.
“Once the current restrictions are lifted, this funding will also support us to restore our face-to-face and group sessions delivered by our hugely valued and highly trained bereavement volunteers.”