Funeral director launches bereavement support service

STV News, by Catherine Hunter
26th April 2020

Caledonia Cremation has created the helpline with support from Foundation Scotland.

A charity-run funeral director has launched an emotional support line for anyone in Scotland who has lost a loved one to coronavirus.

Caledonia Cremation, which operates from Govan in Glasgow, recognises that coping with bereavement is one of the hardest experiences to face, but during this period of social distancing, families are facing additional anxiety over not being able to say goodbye.

The scheme has been part-funded by Foundation Scotland, which means that the helpline can employ a trained psychotherapist who can provide much-needed support during these unprecedented times.

Co-founder John Halliday said: “We heard from one family whose grandfather died in intensive care.

“They were unable to visit him and upon his passing there was no wake and they were unable to attend his funeral.

“We offered all the support we could, but we felt we needed to do more to help others.

“As a charity-owned social enterprise, our priority is first and foremost to support people in Scotland.

“We have always provided a caring service, but these are unprecedented times and we felt we needed to increase our capacity to provide emotional support – even if that person hasn’t used our services.

“We are grateful for the funding from Foundation Scotland as it has allowed us to employ a highly experienced counsellor and psychotherapist.

“This frees up the rest of the team who are working hard online and by phone, advising clients on how they can still say their goodbyes in this period of social distancing and helping people in poverty to claim funeral benefits.”

The service is now up and running. To get in touch, call 03000 11 33 01.