Cash-strapped Hartlepool Bereavement Service is offered a lifeline

Linda Parker pictured outside the Park Road business.
Linda Parker pictured outside the Park Road business.

A CASH–STRAPPED charity that supports people through the agony of bereavement has been given a second chance to bid for lottery funding that could save it from closure.

Hartlepool Bereavement Service was turned down for vital cash from the Big Lottery Fund at the start of the year, leaving its future hanging in the balance.

Staff have had to cut their hours to keep the service running while it looks for financial support.

The service has been given a boost after it was given another chance to apply for three years’ funding from the lottery, but it will be several months before it hears if they have been success.

Manager Linda Parker is reminding the town that they are still there and is calling for more support for agencies like the bereavement service.

She said: “We are still going as an agency, but it is hard. We have had to cut our hours slightly so we are still able to provide the service and doing our best to try to keep going.

“We have got another chance to apply to the lottery, but we need to keep going at least until August when we hope to hear if we have been lucky.

“We have been successful in our online application and we are now in the process of putting a bid together.”

The service has also been given a lifeline thanks to £15,000 from Hartlepool Borough Council’s community care grant. It is also has smaller bids in with several other funding providers.

Linda said many voluntary agencies in town are struggling as more groups battle for less funding coming through.

Linda added: “A lot of people think we are just a listening ear, but there is much more to it than that.

“Bereavement is a very complicated thing and we link in with a number of agencies.

“It is almost like starting a new life for people and is a long term process. No other agency provides what we do.”

The bereavement service, a registered charity, provides practical support to grieving people with money matters, like benefits help, wills and accommodation and runs a social group for members.

Hartlepool spiritualist Peter Crawford is holding a clairvoyance night in aid of the bereavement service.

It takes place at the Staincliffe Hotel, Seaton Carew, on Thursday, May 9, at 7pm.

Tickets, priced £14, are available from the hotel.