Article Text

Download PDFPDF

P-05 Development and evolution of St Clare bereavement support services before, during and after the pandemic
  1. Sushma Dhami
  1. St Clare Hospice, Harlow, UK


St Clare Hospice’s bereavement support offering has grown extensively since before the pandemic.

Pre 2019. The bereavement service was open only to those known to the hospice and was mostly counsellor-led support. Feb 2019. Introduction of bereavement cafés – a social support model, which is volunteer-led and open to everyone who has been bereaved, offering a space for people experiencing loss and bereavement to meet and connect with other local people who have had similar experiences to their own. It is a safe place to speak openly about their experiences, or just be in the company of others who understand.

March 2020. No disruption to service when we went into lockdown and started to work from home – counsellors moved immediately to telephone and online counselling sessions. April 2020. When the pandemic hit we opened a number of localised bereavement Facebook Groups that allowed people to connect with others online and talk openly about their grief.

We received funding from the national lottery to set up a bereavement helpline to support the local community.

June 2020. We opened our bereavement helpline, which is run by staff and volunteers. May 2020. We took our bereavement cafés online and facilitated four zoom cafés. October 2020. Introduction of Listening Ear Service to provide one-to-one telephone support with a trained volunteer to people in the community who are bereaved and socially isolated. Introduced an extensive volunteer training programme.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.