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Listening Ear: Bereavement service launched to support people during pandemic

A bereavement service has been launched to support anyone in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw who has lost loved ones during the coronavirus pandemic.

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Unsplash: Alexei Scutari

The service, provided by a charity called Listening Ear, will be delivered by trained counsellors specialised in helping people cope with the turmoil caused by bereavement.

Listening Ear received funding for the service from public health and NHS services in Barnsley, Bassetlaw, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield.

As well as providing emotional support, they can offer referrals to the coroner's office, GPs, funeral directors and other support services.

"It offers one-to-one telephone support from a qualified worker, emotional and practical support, with the emphasis on both of those things and advice on dealing with a whole range of agencies that you have to deal with when one of your loved ones dies," Director of Public Health in Sheffield, Greg Fell said.

Unfortunately, the region is in dire need of the service as the South Yorkshire death toll rose above 400 last week.

Mr Fell said the disruption to the usual grieving process makes this support vitally important.

"The impact of bereavement is going to be particularly hard because, for good reason, we are significantly limiting visits at nursing homes and hospitals so that means you may not be able to have visited your relative before they died," he said.

"We've reduced the number of mourners at funerals and again that's going to impact the process of grieving."

Counsellors will be contactable through a freephone number Monday to Friday from 10am to 5pm and there is no waiting list.

The support is open to anyone who is bereaved, not just those who have lost loved ones to Covid-19.

To access the free service call 0800 048 5224 or email [email protected]

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