Charity appeals for help as it adapts to Covid-19
A Norfolk pregnancy loss charity has adapted its service to ensure it can continue to support bereaved parents throughout the Covid-19 crisis, and has issued a call for help to ensure it survives the effects of the pandemic.
For over 20 years Christian-inspired TimeNorfolk has been providing free, face-to-face support to people who have experienced any type of pregnancy loss including miscarriage, stillbirth and termination. It also provides support to women with unplanned or complicated pregnancies or have any other pregnancy related issues. But because of the rapid spread of coronavirus it is now supporting clients through telephone and video calls.
“Offering face-to-face support has always been incredibly important to us, as we are one of the only charities that offer this unique support in Norfolk. We never imagined we’d find ourselves in a place where we would be unable to welcome clients through our doors, but Covid-19 has meant change had to happen and it had to happen quickly,” said Director Lesley Bradfield. “The loss of a baby is like no other bereavement. There are no memories to treasure, only lost hopes and dreams. For people to navigate this loss with added anxieties and stress from life being upended by a global pandemic without support was not an option to us.”
The charity has five part-time members of staff who are all now working from home and a team of volunteer practitioners who are supporting their clients via telephone and video calls.
“The clients have all been so understanding and are just grateful that they are still able to access our service during such a stressful time. We have also been supporting women who are pregnant following previous losses who are finding that changes have been put in place in our hospitals, understandably due to Covid 19 precautions,” said Lesley. “TimeNorfolk has great relationships and works closely with hospitals within our county. We understand the reasons for this and have the utmost respect for those who have to make such tough decisions, but for our clients this adds another level of upset and anxiety at a time which is already fraught with emotion. We are so grateful to our wonderful NHS and also our team of practitioners for taking on this challenge to support our clients so willingly at this time,” she added.
Another way coronavirus has affected the charity is one with serious implications and threatens its future.
Lesley said: “We are a small self-funded charity, which means we rely on grants, fundraising events and donations to keep us operating. Because of Covid-19 all our upcoming fundraising events have had to be cancelled, community token funds have been put on hold and grants are difficult to find. Unfortunately, this is putting a huge amount of pressure on us and the service we offer, so, we are reaching out for help.
“This isn’t just about the impact it has on our charity, it’s the impact it would have on people who are unable to get help when they need it the most. Having a still birth, miscarriage or a termination can be both traumatic and overwhelming. Women and men may experience a variety of issues such as depression, anxiety, anger, eating disorders, relationship difficulties, guilt or sense of isolation. Unresolved, they can result in long term mental health conditions. It is unthinkable to us that these people would have to face this without the support of TimeNorfolk.
“We know these times are very difficult for everyone, but if you are able to make a donation of any amount to help TimeNorfolk continue to deliver this much needed service to men and women who have lost a baby we would be truly grateful. Please do get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Pictured above are TimeNorfolk supporters at a skydive fundraising event in 2017 with director Lesley Bradfield, left.
TimeNorfolk is a Norfolk-based charity with a head office in Norwich and a base in Great Yarmouth. It provides free, confidential, face-to-face counselling and support to men and women who have experienced a pregnancy loss. It is there for women who are facing unplanned or complicated pregnancies or have any other pregnancy related issues.
As a registered charity operating throughout Norfolk, it offers time, compassion, information and practical support through a team of dedicated volunteers and qualified supervisors. The charity is funded entirely by donations and grants.
The work is widely recognised and growing throughout the county, with a new office in Great Yarmouth now open. Referrals come from local organisations as well as GPs and other health professionals. The service is organised by five part-time paid staff and a host of amazing volunteers.
Contact us: If you feel you need support after any kind of pregnancy loss, please contact 03333 058552 or visit www.timenorfolk.org.uk for more information.
Office address: 70 Catton Grove Road, Norwich, NR3 3NT