Hospice of the Good Shepherd received £19,000 to create Bereavement Help Points in Cheshire.
These Bereavement Help Points offer a wide range of assistance; including emotional peer support, advice from trained volunteers, and printed resources to take away.
They began work on the project in June 2019 and launched the first two Help Points in November at Chester Storyhouse, and Ellesmere Port library. This gave the hospice the opportunity to support people in the run up to Christmas – traditionally a very difficult time for those who are bereaved.
In January, they launched a third Help point at the Enterprise Centre in Blacon.
The hospice relies on a pool of experienced bereavement support volunteers to run the Help Points; this grant has helped to recruit and train eight new volunteers.
As well as creating the Bereavement Help Points themselves, the grant has also helped the hospice to enhance its online presence. They are currently producing social media pages, website resources and a forum as other ways for people to discover the service, or access support from home.
Feedback from attendees has been positive, with some calling the Help Point a ‘lifeline’ whilst they wait for formal counselling support.
The hospice has plans to expand the project further and has forged connections with other local organisations, leading to the offers of a further two venues for the near future. There is also a proposal for a ‘walking’ Help Point, for people who prefer to spend time outdoors.