Sarah* was put in touch with LionHeart after she sadly lost her husband, Trevor*, to cancer, and a friend of his and fellow RICS member suggested we might be able to help.
Trevor had run his own company, and Sarah contacted LionHeart to see if she could get advice about winding up his business matters and dealing with probate issues.
She also enquired about benefit entitlement. The couple had no life insurance as their policy had lapsed, and once her husband had been diagnosed with cancer, they had been unable to renew it.
LionHeart referred Sarah to a business debt advice line, and a support officer also advised her on claiming bereavement payment and allowances, and council tax discount.
She says the emotional support she received was also invaluable.
“[Support officer] Clare Davis was fantastic and helped me enormously through those first bewildering weeks,” she says. “Then she suggested I might benefit from bereavement counselling and introduced me to [LionHeart counsellor] AnnMarie.”
Over a six-month period, Sarah had counselling sessions, with increasing gaps between each one.
“Each week I began to feel stronger,” she says. “ I was able to open up to AnnMarie with my worries, fears and concerns, and discuss all kinds of issues that I didn’t want to raise with my children or close friends.”
Sarah believes the coping strategies she learned through the regular counselling sessions proved extremely positive.
“It gave me the strength to come to terms with the huge loss in my life and the change to our family, to help me to understand my grief and the grief of others who are close to me,” she explains.
“My one regret is that I wasn’t aware of LionHeart when my husband was so ill and undergoing treatment while struggling to keep his practice going. I think he would have benefited from counselling himself as I know he found it hard to talk to us and didn’t want to frighten us.”
*Names changed to protect identities. Photo posed by model.