Launch of Free Bereavement Counselling Service for Fife Families

Families in Fife, who are struggling to come to terms with the loss of a loved one, are to be offered free bereavement support as part of a new scheme by funeral directors and qualified counsellors.

The service is being made available to adult clients of Crosbie Matthew Funeral Directors Ltd, as part of a caring partnership between leading trade association, the National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF) and bereavement support specialist Professional Help Ltd.

As one of Fife’s longest established family firms, dating back to 1939, Crosbie Matthew Funeral Directors have been supporting families for 80 years, with funeral homes in Kirkcaldy, Glenrothes and Dalgety Bay (Dunfermline).

Sheila Matthew

Under SAIFCare, family members will be offered up to six free counselling sessions, which can be used by one person or split between various members of a family. Delivered by a qualified bereavement counsellor, the sessions can take place at a location of the bereaved person’s choosing or by telephone, online chat or email.

Sheila Matthew of Crosbie Matthew, a member of SAIF, said the service would help local families at a difficult time – “As funeral directors, we often see people at the start of their journey of grief and feel we would like to do more to assist, as we know that feelings of sadness and loss don’t end with the funeral. This service enables us to go above and beyond for the families in our care in order to ensure they get the support and advice they need at life’s most difficult time,” she said.

Funeral profession trade association SAIF piloted the service with 13 of its funeral director members last year and quickly identified a need to expand it across a wider area. Funeral directors who are members of the organisation have to opt in to offer the service.

Terry Tennens, Chief Executive of SAIF, said that demand for bereavement counselling was huge – “It was clear from our trial that people really welcome and rely on the extra support from their funeral director and we are certain that this will be replicated as we roll the service out to more of our members across the UK.

“Whether it’s a growing recognition by the NHS of the benefits of counselling, or the current demand placed on existing bereavement organisations, we are in no doubt that more people are seeking help following a death of someone close. It suggests that the famed British stiff upper lip has become outdated, as people become more aware of the benefits of getting professional support at a time of personal crisis. Funeral directors are ideally placed to help”.

Catherine Betley, founder of Professional Help, which is an organisational member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy added, “I’ve worked with funeral directors for a number of years now and it’s clear to me that many want to do more to help their clients. Through our partnership with SAIF, we are now able to offer support from qualified bereavement counsellors to members of the public in their time of need.

“There is no time limit on grief but we do know that providing support early on in the journey can have significant benefits for a person’s wellbeing. I’m sure SAIFCare will provide help and comfort to many people.”

For more information, visit www.crosbiematthew.co.uk or contact any of the three offices –
199 Nicol Street, Kirkcaldy 01592 640644
6 Church Street, Glenrothes 01592 751997
Moray Way North, Dalgety Bay 01383 822121

ENDS

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