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Beccles Charities East Suffolk

Hospice expands bereavement support service

The service operates out of Beccles Hospital – Photo: St Elizabeth Hospice

A healthcare partnership operating out of Beccles Hospital is expanding its bereavement support service across the local area.

The partnership of St Elizabeth Hospice and East Coast Community Healthcare (ECCH) has extended its support to the communities of Great Yarmouth and Waveney.

Following the impact of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic highlighting the importance of technology, such as Zoom, in enabling communities to help one another, the partnership has expanded and developed St Elizabeth Hospice’s bereavement support service to create LivingGrief.

The service expansion will now see the employment of three emotional and wellbeing staff members dedicated to the Great Yarmouth and Waveney area, serving to increase the bereavement service’s capacity which has already supported more than 250 patients and their families since June 2019.

Available to anyone over 18-years-old, who has previously used the hospice’s services, LivingGrief will provide users with therapeutic support, information and resources on what they may experience during bereavement.

It will also offer guidance on how to support one another through grief and the chance to speak with others living through similar experiences, as well as opportunities to speak one-to-one with specialist GriefChat counsellors.

Hanna McDowell, Head of Therapy at St Elizabeth Hospice said: “We understand initiating conversations about death and bereavement can be very difficult but often not talking about these subjects can leave people feeling isolated, especially during the unusual circumstances brought by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This is why we have developed our support service LivingGrief, as we want to enable as many people as possible in our community to have access to bereavement information and support to ensure nobody is left feeling isolated.

“There is no right or wrong way to experience grief, but through LivingGrief we want to bring people together and let them know they are not alone and we are here to help, to listen and to talk whenever needed, so please do get in contact.”

LivingGrief is the latest addition to the free specialist palliative care services provided in Great Yarmouth and Waveney by St Elizabeth Hospice as part of a joint partnership with East Coast Community Healthcare (ECCH).

Operating from Beccles Hospital, in the community and through the service’s 24-hour advice line, OneCall, the partnership has supported more than 1,850 patients and their families, who are typically living with conditions such as cancer, heart failure, pulmonary hypertension and neurological disorder, since its launch in April 2019.

ECCH’s Executive Director of Operations, Adele Madin, said:“It was our ambition on launching our specialist palliative care service that we would continue to grow and enhance it to benefit patients and their loved ones in Norfolk and Waveney. I am delighted that we are now able to offer this extra support and I hope that it makes a very real difference, bringing comfort when people most need it.” To find out more about LivingGrief call the emotional and wellbeing enquiry line, open weekdays 9am-4pm, on 0300 3035196 or visit www.stelizabethhospice.org.uk/how-we-can-help/information-and-support/bereavement-support/

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