Next Friday (19th September ) we will be holding a coffee morning in Kettering for anyone in the area who is suffering from an asbestos related disease. Of course, those attending are welcome to bring spouses, relatives, friends or carers along, as they are also affected by the diseases in question. But for some time now, we at DAST have felt aware that more support needs to be on offer to the loved ones. This is especially the case if they suffer bereavement. Those left behind usually contact us with the sad news, but we have no official services that we can offer them, only our sympathy. We think that this needs to change.
First of all, we have secured a small grant from the Evan Cornish Foundation, which we are going to delibrately use to support the bereaved. We are in the process of organising a coffee morning for those affected, to be held next March. This will be held in Lincoln and the local branch of Cruse Bereavement Care have agreed to come along and give a presentation, then stay to handle any questions.
We have also had some promising news from the Big Lottery Fund. For a good year now, we have been trying to get through to the final stage of their grant application process – and we have now finally achieved this. We are asking for a three year grant to employ a bereavement support worker. They will give initial telephone support as well as organising a befriending project and a regular forum meeting. We have to submit some further information about this proposal within the next couple of months, and we will hear early in 2015 if we have been successful. Please keep all of your fingers crossed that this bid is successful – it will mean direct help from a trusted organisation for the predicted hundreds of people who will be accessing our services over the coming years.