Unfair not to offer funds

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Following the death of a loved one, people choose to cope with their loss in different ways.

Some are able to manage their grief purely with the support of family and friends – but others find it helpful to talk about their feelings with a trained counsellor, who can offer independent support.

The Sheffield arm of the Cruse Bereavement Care charity offers such a service, and is part of a national organisation, but is tasked with raising all of its own funding locally.

Last year its referrals increased by 20 per cent, with volunteers taking over 1,000 phone calls and seeing more than 300 bereaved people face to face, including young children.

Volunteers are also being faced with more cases involving harrowing circumstances, such as suicide. However, despite many of these clients being directed to Cruse by GPs and social care, no statutory funding is provided in Sheffield by either the council or the NHS.

While the good cause continues uncomplainingly to offer its services, this is an example of a charity’s goodwill being taken for granted. If GPs and other professionals are using the organisation as a convenient first port of call, then an annual contribution should be made from public funds by way of recognition.