An online Remembrance Service has been launched by Wigan and Leigh Hospice to help bereaved local people.
The 10-minute video features readings and poems which are usually read out at a Remembrance Service held every two months at the hospice, which cares for many patients in Lowton and Golborne, to remember people who have recently died.
Services have been halted temporarily because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Clinical Director, Jo Carby, said: “At the hospice we feel caring for loved ones is equally as important as looking after our patients. We have held Remembrance Services for many years and people who attend tell us they bring them a great deal of comfort. Coming together as a group and sharing that experience together can help people feel less alone in their grief.
“Sadly, we cannot hold such services at the moment, as they are often attended by up to 150 people and it simply isn’t possible for us to guarantee social distancing.
“We still felt it was important to try to continue our remembrance services in some way. I am pleased that the response so far has been very positive from people who have found it helpful to have this opportunity to reflect and remember someone special.”
When a patient dies who was under the care of the Hospice, the Hospice offers a bereavement support service to those people closest to them. The service is led by trained volunteers and helps people work through their grief. The Hospice also has two professional counsellors for those people who need extra support in their grief. Bereavement and counselling usually take place face-to-face but are currently being offered over telephone and video call.
The Remembrance Service is available to watch on the hospice’s website www.wlh.org.uk under ‘Bereavement Support’ and on YouTube.
Jo added: “It is worth bearing in mind the video may generate emotions difficult to deal with, especially during the pandemic. To prepare for this, I would urge people to consider when they wish to watch it, taking into account how they are feeling at that time. It may be a good idea to watch with friends or family at the same time. It might also be worth arranging to talk with a family member or friend afterwards.”
Anyone struggling to cope with bereavement is urged to call the Samaritans. The Hospice’s bereavement support team is also available on 01942 525566 to help anyone who was close to a patient.
Picured top is Pauline Payne, Chair of the Board of Trustees at Wigan and Leigh Hospice.