THAMES Hospice has launched a new bereavement counselling service, thanks to recent funding.

The National Lottery Community Fund has given a helping hand towards the Maidenhead charitys’ new project, Co-Connect.

Launched this month, the service offers vital support to people across Berkshire and South Bucks, aged 18 and over, whose bereavement was impacted by covid.

Since the start of the pandemic, many people have lost loved ones and are experience additional distress.

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And others had care and visits to family members restricted because of government guidelines.

Simon Smith, head of counselling support services at Thames Hospice, is leading the two-year project.

Mr Smith said: “Thames Hospice has always provided counselling and bereavement support and we are so grateful to have been given a new and significant opportunity, through National Lottery funding, to make a difference to hundreds of people in our community whose bereavement has been adversely affected by COVID-19.

“Many local families are in great need of urgent bereavement support to recover and move forward from their experience of complicated grief.”

Co-Connect is expected to support 400 beneficiaries over two years through one-to-one sessions and peer support groups.

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Mr Smith added: “Co-Connect will enable my highly-skilled counselling team to respond quickly and deliver therapeutic support towards improved mental health, wellbeing and resilience for local families who have faced bereavement in these times.”

The service will work alongside other hospitals, community services and charities.

It hopes to relieve some of the current pressures on the NHS and other bereavement support agencies.