A FREE bereavement support service is letting people know it is still offering help despite challenging times.

Bradford Bereavement Support gives professional counselling to people aged 16 and over living in the the Bradford Metropolitan area. Clients can refer themselves and will be allocated a counsellor after an assessment.

Ruth Owen from Guiseley-based Full Circle Funerals is a trustee of the charity. She said: “As a funeral director, and from personal experience, I understand how important bereavement support and counselling are to those experiencing grief. Grief is something we all experience at some point and we all experience it differently.

“The service that Bradford Bereavement Support provide is unique in terms of its accessibility, no charge for its services and superb volunteers. The pandemic has had an enormous impact on the whole of society and we want to let the residents of Bradford know that our service is here to support them.

Service Manager, Kulbir Bura said: “The Covid pandemic has meant that we have had to change the way that we work with our clients and our volunteers. For whilst we are unable to offer face-to-face meetings, we are now providing assessments and counselling via telephone or video conferencing.”

She added: “As an organisation that delivers counselling and bereavement therapies we recognise that this pandemic is having a significant impact on people, their families and their communities. People are talking about a future tsunami of mental health issues from grief and we want to let the residents of Bradford know that we are here and we are taking referrals. Our telephone number is 07946 131940. Please do get in touch.”

Volunteer counsellor Julie Ramadan said: “BBS Counsellors offer a safe, confidential and non- judgmental space where clients can look at their feelings and emotions around a bereavement. The therapeutic benefits for clients are that they are able to work through the grief and arising issues, to be less overwhelmed, to cope better and ultimately to understand themselves more.”