Bereavement charity to move to new home after lockdown closure

The Norwich and Central Norfolk Cruse Bereavement branch

The Norwich and Central Norfolk Cruse Bereavement branch will be moving to Pottergate from St Augustine's Street. - Credit: Archant

A charity is set to move to a new base to continue its work supporting bereaved people in Norfolk.

The Norwich and Central Norfolk Cruse Bereavement branch, previously based in St Augustine's Street, has left the premises as of April 29, and said the pandemic was causing it to "haemorrhage" money. 

In a note left on the building, the charity reassured service users that it would still be providing bereavement support in Norfolk. 

The charity will instead move to the Friends Meeting House, in Pottergate, and plans to run a blended service of face to face, telephone and Zoom support.

Caz Thompson, chairman of Norwich and Norfolk Cruse Bereavement Care, said the move was positive as the new base was on more transport links in the centre of the city. 

Retired lay minister Caroline Thompson, who is helping Cruse expand its bereavement counselling serv

Retired lay minister Caroline Thompson, who is helping Cruse expand its bereavement counselling services in West Norfolk and the Fens Picture: Chris Bishop - Credit: Archant

She said: "It's not a sign Cruse is not needed or not busy. We were not able to use the office for the last year and it was haemorrhaging a lot of money.

"In common with other Cruse local branches, we have come out of our leases and long-term arrangements.

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"We are in meetings, we are training more people and recruiting more people."

Cruse Bereavement Care volunteers offer support one-to-one and through peer support but during the pandemic has run its services through telephone calls or via Zoom.

Mrs Thomspon said: "We're extremely busy. We're training more people than ever.

"There have been dips and peaks as you would expect. We are dealing with people that have been directly affected by Covid. They have lost people through Covid and we are supporting anyone, Covid death or not. We do not say to people we prioritise Covid, people come to us and as soon as we have a councillor for them to allocate." 

Mrs Thompson said realistically it would be June when the charity expected to be able to conduct face to face services again.

If you require support contact the Norwich and Central Norfolk team on 01603 219 977. You can email support.norwich@cruse.org.uk 

The Cruse Bereavement Care national helpline is available 24 hours a day on 0808 808 1677. 

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