Gloria Hunniford visits local Kent bereavement group

10 October 2013

London 3rd October – Yesterday television and radio presenter Gloria Hunniford stopped by at her local Cruse Bereavement Care service in Ashford.

The organisation, based at St Mary’s Church hall in Kennington, received a grant of almost £10,000 from People’s Health Trust, using money raised by HealthWhole through The Health Lottery.

Gloria chatted to the clients, volunteers and organisers of the service learning what they do and sharing her own experiences of personal loss.

Carol Bursey, Chair of the South Kent Branch, spoke about the difference the funding has made:

“The funding we received was vital in keeping us going last year, without it we would have closed, but now we are able to extend our service to even more people in need.”

The service offers counselling to people in the area who have been bereaved, and who are struggling to come to terms with their loss. The volunteer counsellors help their clients to overcome such grief and help them to get their lives back on track.

Gloria, who tragically lost her daughter Caron to cancer in 2004, found she could relate to the people she met, and praised both the service, and the funding they received:

“Having lost my own daughter, I understand just how valuable counselling can be. Many people are very lonely and don’t have anybody to open up to, so the marvellous thing about Cruse is that they are a shoulder to lean on.

“What is especially poignant is that this branch of Cruse Bereavement Care would have folded had it not been for [this] funding. This is the strength of The Health Lottery scheme; it can get into the core of communities and help organisations who need it the most. It is so vital that organisations like this survive, so well done The Health Lottery, HealthWhole and People’s Health Trust.”

Carol was delighted to receive funding:

“For Gloria, who has had her own tragedy in her life, to recognise that what we do is invaluable, it has been a great morale booster for all of us here.”

Donna Taylor, who sadly lost her daughter, also spoke about the service and about how it has helped her:

“Cruse means a lot, I started bereavement counselling February this year and it has given me my life back. I think the fact that a project like Cruse can get … funding is so vital, it really was a lifeline.”

She also mentioned how delighted she was to meet Gloria:

“I was so excited to meet Gloria, I was a bit star struck and great to relate with her, she is a very nice lady.”

To date The Health Lottery has helped raised over £39 million for health related good causes, and over £790,000 in the Kent area alone.



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