On Friday December 7th over 140 local women gathered at The Brooklands Hotel to raise funds for Cruse Bereavement Care’s grief support work in our community. This annual charity luncheon raised over £12,000 while also raising awareness of the charity’s vital work.  Cruse Bereavement Care is a major national charity for bereaved people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Cruse offers support, advice and information to children, young people and adults when someone dies, and it works to enhance society’s understanding and care of those bereaved.  The charity’s services include face-to-face sessions as well as group, telephone, email and website support. Cruse runs training courses annually for volunteers and provides confidential and free support.  Last year in the local Surrey North area Cruse supported over 400 adults and more than 30 children and young people through their grieving process.

Local chair Karen commented.’ Though we are part of a national charity each local branch is responsible for its own management and much of its own funding. It is incredible that so many women from our community came out to support our organisation AND enjoyed a festive Friday out.’ 

Though organisers wanted the event to be a wonderful afternoon for guests the work of Cruse is serious and needed to be highlighted amid the merry-making.  At the fundraising lunch a former client Victoria spoke movingly about how the loss of her father when she was a first year student at university affected her deeply. She described how Cruse’s support helped her adjust to the loss, process her grief and move forward with her life. Many guests had tears in their eyes and gave Victoria a warm round of applause at the end of her remarks.

When asked about grief at Christmas, Karen offered the following comments,’ If you know someone is sad this Christmas season, do what you can to allow the person to talk about the loss. You don’t need to have all the wisest words to say, sometimes just listening and allowing someone to talk can be hugely helpful. We encourage our clients to light a candle, make an ornament or do something else to remember their loved one in a concrete way.’

Cruse relies on donations – of financial support, services or even your time. If you would like to learn more about Cruse’s bereavement support work in the community, make a donation or discover volunteering opportunities please email the local office on surreynorth@ruse.org.uk or check out the national website www.cruse.org.uk

Cruse also has a national Helpline bereaved people can call over the Christmas season and throughout the year to get support: 0808 808 1677