Wimbledon Guild boosts bereavement support availability in response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

Councillor Peter McCabe, Merton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care

Wimbledon Guild has extended the capacity of its free Grief Support Service, thanks to £23,000 funding from Merton Council.

Throughout the pandemic the restrictions on visiting loved ones, saying goodbye in person, and holding funerals, affected everyone. These factors, combined with our community’s collective sense of shock and isolation, has made grieving even harder.

To help support our community through this challenging time, local charity Wimbledon Guild has extended its Grief Support Service and from July 2022 will be offering evening appointments until 8pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays in addition to their regular hours of Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm. Appointments will be available in Wimbledon and also in Mitcham.

The extended hours are specifically designed to help older Merton residents who often have smaller support networks to access the service, and, together with the extended ability to offer support to anyone in Merton who has been bereaved since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, will mean more people than ever before will be able to access the service.

Grief Support is a free and confidential service provided by Wimbledon Guild. It offers one-to-one emotional support to over 18’s in Merton or registered with a Merton GP, when they are struggling with a loss and need to talk.

Councillor Peter McCabe, Merton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, said: “Grief is part of the process of losing someone you love and it can stay with us for a long time. People grieve in many different ways and the process of adjusting to life after loss varies significantly. 

“We hope that more bereaved residents will find comfort through the Wimbledon Guild Grief Support Service. This is especially important as we emerge from the pandemic, when so many people were unable to grieve fully. COVID-19 restrictions prevented many from being with their loved ones at the end, from taking comfort from relatives or friends or not being able to attend funerals.”

Adil Qureshi, Head of Talking Therapies said: “We are continuing to see more and more people impacted by the pandemic who have experienced the loss of a loved one. By increasing the capacity of our Grief Support Service, we can help make sure that as many people as possible in our community have the time and support to explore their emotions and work out what life looks for them like going forwards.”

To find out more and to book an appointment visit the Wimbledon Guild website