The Bereavement Trust has closed down
The Bereavement Trust has been the chosen charity supported by Cherished Urns for many years. They recently let us know that a series of circumstances has led to their ceasing to operate from September 30th. We are so sad that this has come about. They did an excellent job of bringing comfort to those who are grieving.
What was the Bereavement Trust?
It was an independent charity founded in 1992 by Reverend David Stoter. Run by a small group of volunteers, the Trust operated a free, confidential telephone helpline. This provided help and comfort to people who had recently suffered a bereavement.
Trained volunteers manned the helpline every evening from 6pm to 10pm. Support was available not only in English but also in Asian and Chinese languages. Sometimes they gave advice, support, and information. Additionally, quite often they just listened. Many people who are grieving after a loss just need someone to talk to. Also, they provided vital company to those feeling lonely.
How did the Trust operate?
The Bereavement Trust depended on a small group of dedicated volunteers. The treasurer, Peter Tagg, obtained funding from various private patrons.
The Trust did not operate from a dedicated office. Instead, the helpline ran through a central telephone point. From here, a switching system passed the call to the home of the volunteer on duty. Each night a different person received the calls in their home.
Why has the Bereavement Trust closed?
The closing of the Trust has come about due to a combination of events. The trustee who managed the day to day running of the charity, Mike Page, died recently. His wife Maureen was co-ordinator. Additionally, she also manned the phone line on a regular basis. Due to her recent loss it was felt she could not continue in this role at present.
Another member of the telephone team retired and another had an upcoming surgery. This left the telephone helpline severely understaffed. Despite intents to recruit new volunteers replacements were not found. Additionally, the current COVID-19 pandemic further complicated finding and training adequate personnel.
We are so sorry that the Bereavement Trust has been forced to cease functioning. We would like thank all of the volunteers for their dedication over the years that the Trust operated.
Where to find support now
If you need help or support after a bereavement you can visit this NHS page. There are still a number of helplines helping the bereaved, but the Bereavement Trust will be greatly missed.