Handmade hearts, personal messages and a new support helpline have been launched to support bereaved families in Norfolk.
Norfolk Community Health and Care Trust (NCH&C) has set up the telephone service, which will be operated by chaplaincy staff and bereavement volunteers from Priscilla Bacon Lodge, seven days a week.
Those who have lost a loved one will receive a postcard detailing the Bereavement Support Helpline along with a personal message from the clinician who cared for the patient. This will be accompanied with a handmade heart which the patient would have been given during their care. This will be sent in sealed clear bag along with the postcard to the family of the deceased, the bag must remain sealed for 14 days to ensure there is no risk from infection control.
Tracey Dryhurst, Team Lead Psychological Service in Specialist Palliative Care, said, “Bereavement is always a time of great sadness and change for families and individuals, but at this time these feelings will be heightened by the social distancing and the isolation that this brings.
“Normally, we turn to one another for comfort in grief and so this Bereavement Support Helpline will give people the opportunity to have their story heard and understood. They can also gain information about practical ideas to cope with the thoughts and feelings of loss, and be connected with other bereavement organisations locally and nationally.
“We would like families and individuals of the patients that we have cared for to know that we continue to support them during this difficult time.”
Mark Nicholas, CEO of Priscilla Bacon Hospice, said “We are delighted to donate the postcards that are being used to signpost the new Bereavement Support Line. This is a brilliant initiative from our NCH&C colleagues, as these postcards will spread the message across the county to those in greatest need.”
The helpline will be open between 9am and 5pm, seven days a week, on 01603 255728.
If you crochet, or knit, and would like to make some hearts, they would be greatly appreciated. Because they will be going in to the hospice, they must meet certain rules for health and safety reasons. Please click here for all the details you will need.