Support for the bereaved as county faces rise in deaths

As the number of those who have tragically died rises across the country support and guidance continues to be available to the bereaved in Surrey.

Support is available via Surrey County Council’s Community Helpline and the Local Resilience Forum has teamed up with Cruse, the bereavement support charity, to offer emotional support over the phone.

The Local Resilience Forum has been working closely with faith and community leaders, funeral directors, burial sites and crematoriums to ensure that there is an increase in the capacity for funerals allowing people to mourn any loved ones who have passed away.  A new set of arrangements, consistent with national guidance and neighbouring counties, have also been introduced for funerals. These are aimed at protecting those attending funerals and ensuring we can cope with the predicted increase in deaths.

Leader of Surrey County Council Tim Oliver said: “We’re doing all we can to support our residents, in particular those that have lost loved ones. We’re working closely with faith leaders and with the local resilience forum to ensure that funeral arrangement recognise the sensitivity of the occasion.”

The Bishop of Dorking Jo Wells said: “The process of grief is often not swift and should you need pastoral care, should you need a listening ear, there’s the possibility of a bereavement group in your community”

Coordinating and Jewish Chaplain to the University of Surrey Rabbi Alex Goldberg said: “In the event of a bereavement Jewish burial practices will be observed. The utmost care has been undertaken to ensure that burials with upmost dignity”

Imam Hafiz Hashmi, the Head Imam at the Shah Jahan Mosque said: “There’s lots being talked about on social media and there are often totally fake rumours being spread, we should not believe them and in difficult times we should all work together”

The government  have also recently published  advice specifically for:

mourners who are clinically vulnerable or in a shielded group who wish to attend,

mourners who are showing coronavirus symptoms

mourners who are self-isolating due to a possible case of coronavirus in their household

professionals on how bodies should be handled or those who wish to perform rituals or practices that bring them into close contact with the deceased.

In order to support bereaved and potentially isolated mourners in Surrey the LRF has agreed a referral system to local faith and non-faith groups who can provide advice and support to the bereaved. If members of the public need to be put in touch with someone who can offer this advice and support they are encouraged to call the Surrey County Council Community helpline on 0300 200 1008.

Alternatively, for those bereaved who would prefer to speak to someone independently, Surrey County Council has partnered with Cruse – the national bereavement charity. For those members of the public in need of advice, information and support (children, young people and adults), they can call Cruse to speak to one of their advisers, no matter when or how the death occurred.

The service is provided by trained experienced volunteers. It’s confidential and free and can be contacted on: 0844 477 9400


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