Sheffield City Council has launched a new helpline for bereaved families under the Covid-19 pandemic.
The new scheme, set up with the charity Listening Ear, is intended to offer practical and emotional support to families in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw.
Under social distancing rules, many people are struggling to find the support they need amidst the coronavirus pandemic, but Listening Ear aims to support them.
The service is for anyone suffering from bereavement of any cause, not just from the coronavirus disease.
The Cabinet member for Health and Social Care at Sheffield City Council, George Lindars-Hammond, said: “Losing a loved one is never easy and it is especially difficult when we are not able to go through the usual grieving process such as saying goodbye or attending a funeral.
“It’s important not to shoulder the burden of loss on your own. This is why this service is so important.
“By talking to someone at Listening Ear, the team will assist you with the practical help available and to listen to you to support you at this sad time.”
The scheme will also provide families with information about other support services they can access around them, and offers practical advice for dealing with the loss of a loved one.
Sheffield City Council are partnering with Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham City Council, and the NHS to deliver the service.
Richard Brown, from Listening Ear, said: “The practical support at this time will also help to reduce feelings of anxiousness and stress.”
The helpline number is 0800 048 5224 and is open between Monday and Friday, between 10am and 5pm.
The number is also being shared by hospitals, funeral homes and faith groups.