Bereavement service could close for the lack of £10,000

BY Tan Parsons A BEREAVEMENT counselling service based in Highgate is on the brink of going under unless a benefactor comes forward. The north London branch of Cruse Bereavement Care has existed for many years, filling a vital gap in the counselling ser

BY Tan Parsons

A BEREAVEMENT counselling service based in Highgate is on the brink of going under unless a benefactor comes forward.

The north London branch of Cruse Bereavement Care has existed for many years, filling a vital gap in the counselling services offered by social services and the NHS.

Around 100 volunteer counsellors work for the group, but without further donations the organisation will be forced to shut down in December.


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The centre would need to raise £10,000 to operate for another six months, and much of this money goes towards the cost of phone calls.

There is no bereavement counselling offered by social services, and many of Cruse's clients are referred by GPs, hospitals and psychologists.

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"This has been a terrible year for us and it's just unbelievable that we're facing the prospect of closing," said Clive Jacobs, who is the referrals co-ordinator and first point of call for the group's clients.

"The only way I can describe it to someone who has not been through the process of bereavement is that it's like the pain of splitting up with a girlfriend or boyfriend magnified many times. It's just impossible to bear - it almost destroys you and you need someone to help you through it.

"You don't know which way to turn and very often people will blame themselves."

Many of the people who ring up are desperate and the counsellors deal with people who have lost loved ones to all kinds of deaths including illness, murder and suicide.

Mr Jacobs, who runs the service from his Highgate home, says the difference the service makes to people who have lost someone is enormous.

"Ten thousand pounds would be an incredible donation and would make a world of difference to so many people," he said.

"Anyone going through this process needs to be able to speak to someone and often they are not able to talk to loved ones about it. They sometimes need to be able to cry their eyes out and convey everything they need to in speaking to people like us.

"We do a job that no one else does. We are also here for as long as it takes - sometimes it can take a year, other times a few weeks."

Anyone wishing to make a donation should call 020-8340 1716 or send a cheque made payable to North London Cruse to c/o North London Cruse, 12 Ringwood Avenue, London, N2 9NS.

tan.parsons@hamhigh.co.uk

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