Covid-19: Islington bereavement charity' explores all loss - and not just death

Counsellors at bereavement charity Caris Islington

Counsellors at bereavement charity Caris Islington - Credit: Caris Islington

A Finsbury Park bereavement charity has branched out in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic to help people struggling with any kind of loss, and not just death.

Caris Islington's new online loss and trauma project aims to address the devastating and lasting impact on many people’s lives that Covid-19 has wrought, like the loss of a job or social life as a result of pandemic control measures.

Counsellors can also offer help to those who have not been able to say goodbye to loved ones who have died as a result of the lockdown.

Bosses at the centre which runs out of St Mellitus Church in Tollington Park had already expressed a desire to explore other types of loss with their clients before coronavirus struck, but had "never had the opportunity".

But they decided the one-year pilot was needed after listening to clients who "stopped talking about bereavement", and focused more on their feelings of anxiety and isolation.


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"A lot of the clients were preoccupied by the pandemic," manager Chrystelle Heldire told the Gazette.

"People were saying how isolated they were and how worried they were.

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"The pandemic is bringing lots of uncertainty and especially for young people, who are doing exams or further education, in that their journey has been interrupted.

"Some people feel fearful for the future and it has brought stress, anxiety, anger and depression.

"It's been a year now, and people are starting to wonder if the world as we knew it is coming back ever."

She added: "Something has got to give at some point. It is as if you have a cord and you are pulling at it, and at some point the cord will break. It doesn’t really matter how resilient you are - if it's repeated and long term, it will show up somehow in feelings of depression, a lack of motivation or direction, or a lack of certainty."

The centre can support up to 150 adults and children who have any kind of link to Islington. Sessions will be delivered online via Zoom or telephone sessions. 

Call 0207 2815200 or email info@carisislington.org to self-refer.

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