The pandemic has been a challenging time for our community. It has been especially hard for those who have been bereaved during this time. The usual ways that we celebrate life and support each other in grief have been disrupted. Those who have lost someone through covid-19 may have the shock of a sudden and unexpected loss or the sense of unfairness of a life shortened. Those who have been bereaved through other causes may have been unable to see loved ones before they died or unable to visit someone at home, in a care home or hospital. Those who have been bereaved through suicide or drug and alcohol related death have been even further pushed to the sidelines.
Funerals have taken place with very restricted numbers and sometimes a feeling of not being able mark the person’s life in the way that did them justice. The narrative of “underlying conditions” and a tone of media coverage of some lives having more value than others has caused distress to many families. People with a learning disability and those in care homes were put at risk by a failure to properly protect them. Staff working in care, health and emergency services are exhausted and have had to deal with serious illness and death over a prolonged period of time with little or no time to process what they have experienced.
Work with bereaved families and our communities across Norfolk to agree a fitting way to mark the lives lost and harm experienced throughout the pandemic
Lead a public health campaign to open-up conversations about bereavement and the other impacts of covid on our well-being and mental health
Provide additional funding to bereavement charities for at least the next 2 years to help them meet additional demand
Ensure well-being and welfare support remains in place for social care workers and unpaid carers, and encourage our health care organisations to do the same
Prioritise emotional support for those children and young people who need it