New bereavement service opens in Gorleston

Purple Rose provides support and care to people dealing with loss.Founder Hazel Cresswell (middle) w

Purple Rose provides support and care to people dealing with loss.Founder Hazel Cresswell (middle) with counselor Becky Lynes (right) and Mary Collier (left) a Chubbs Champion.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

A woman who has worked with almost 500 families suffering from the loss of a loved one has launched a new bereavement service.

The Purple Rose Life Foundation aims to provide support for people who are struggling to cope with the loss of a friend of family member.

And last week it moved into new offices in Gorleston as part of founder Hazel Cresswell's plans to expand what it had on offer.

The 44-year-old said: 'I have met and worked with nearly 500 families who have either had loved ones facing end of life or are themselves suffering from grief and bereavement from a loss.

'From talking with these families and listening to their own experiences I have quickly realised there is a need for so much more than I initially thought.'

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The social enterprise provides people with support through various stages of loss, whether it be end of life care, bereavement or starting anew.

It is also offering people a free four-week 'listening ear' service, which enables individuals to talk to someone about their loss.

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Mrs Cresswell, of Gorleston, said she wanted people to have better support than she experienced following a death in the family.

'My vision really began around eight years ago after losing loved ones of my own.

'It was from those experiences and the feelings I felt back then that really spurred me on to want to make a real difference.

'How could I make other people's experiences better than mine?'

The former holistic practitioner said over the next five years the organisation would focus on everything from young people's loss to support for carers.

Her team is also hoping to develop a new centre, costing in the region of £1.6m, to provide further services, and an in-house funeral home.

She added: 'The centre will provide a complete new concept to continuity of care for those with any belief and will offer what we are calling 'the four seasons care pathway'.

'It will be a centre which provides support to the community through all seasons of loss, no matter the cause.'

For more information call 01493 717310 or 07739 143983

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