Bereaved Islanders will be able to access extra support, thanks to a new support helpline being introduced by Mountbatten Isle of Wight.

Bereavement is a natural response following the death of a person you have loved or cared for. The death of a friend or relative can be devastating and, at times, seem unbearable.

As part of the psychology and bereavement service provided by Mountbatten, trained and supported volunteers will be offering a listening ear to those who are bereaved and anyone who feels they would want to talk to someone. As well as listening the volunteers will be signposting individuals to other services depending on the nature of the calls they receive.

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Jane Hazeldine, Mountbatten’s Director of Director of Psychosocial Care said:

“Dealing with a bereavement can be devastating. You may react by feeling angry, sad or guilty. It can affect your memory, concentration, motivation, thoughts and beliefs. Sometimes it can help to talk to someone who is independent and trained to listen to, and support you. I’m grateful to the volunteers who have signed up to help provide this important listening service.”

The service will be available from today (Thursday) between 10:00 and 00:00, 7 days a week on 01983-217297. The new Bereavement Support Helpline replaces the Keep Connected Line set up at the start of the pandemic.

Sally List, Head of Volunteer Development at Mountbatten, added:

“Our Mountbatten Volunteers have a wide range of life experiences including the death, dying and bereavement of friends and family. They are able to empathise with others and bring their experience to bear on what can be a challenging time.

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“We have provided our volunteers with training in listening skills and they have the information to be able to recommend where individuals should seek further support if required.”

Anyone interested in volunteering with the Bereavement Support Helpline can find out more by telephoning Sally on 01983-217368 or visit the charity’s website.

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