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Boost for crisis-hit bereavement service

Robin Hardy from Co-operative Funeralcare signs the visitor book at  the Hartlepool Bereavement Service office with Linda Parker and Michelle Hall (right) when he presented them with a cheque for �235.Picture by FRANK REID

Robin Hardy from Co-operative Funeralcare signs the visitor book at the Hartlepool Bereavement Service office with Linda Parker and Michelle Hall (right) when he presented them with a cheque for �235.Picture by FRANK REID

AN under-threat organisation that helps those who have lost loved ones has been given a boost following a donation from a funeral home.

Co-operative Funeralcare at Strathmore House has donated £235 to Hartlepool Bereavement Service.

The money was raised after the company, in Stockton Road, organised its annual Christmas carol service and through proceeds from its remembrance tree.

Around 70 people attended the December service.

The cash is a welcome boost as the Mail reported earlier this month that the Park Road-based bereavement service is facing closure after two bids for lottery funding were turned down.

The organisation has just six weeks to find £9,000 in order to keep going and the Mail reported that it was appealing for help through the community in the style of a “secret millionaire” to save it.

Since the article, as well as the money from The Co-operative Funeralcare, a woman who was helped by the service has donated a generous £1,000 towards running costs.

Bereavement officer and founder Linda Parker said: “We really do need these funds coming in to continue a quality service for bereaved people.

“It’s really quite important so it’s very much appreciated.

“This money would fund the running cost of the agency to keep the service open for bereaved people, as we are a free service, so we do need these funds especially in the current climate.

“You get councils cutting back on money and lots more people applying to the Big Lottery – all voluntary services are having problems.”

The organisation has helped around 600 families since it was established three-and-a-half years ago.

Robin Hardy, funeral service manager of Co-operative Funeralcare at Strathmore House, said: “We have raised money for the bereavement service for a couple of years now and I was pleased with the amount raised.

“The organisation is a free service for people of Hartlepool and the surrounding area to offer a helping hand to the bereaved with practical issues and signpost them to various other agencies and it is a very-well used facility.”

The service offers a friendly listening ear through home visits and at its base in Park Road.

It also provides practical support for everything from welfare benefits changes, funeral grants, wills and accommodation. It is currently waiting to hear if bids from other funders will be granted.

Anyone who would like to help the service can call (01429) 244689.

 
 
 

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