Wakefield children’s charity Star Bereavement faces closure unless funding can be found

Star Bereavement Support Services is struggling to stay open unless money can be found quickly.
Star Bereavement Support Services is struggling to stay open unless money can be found quickly.

A city-centre charity that helps children cope with the death of a loved one has admitted it faces closure unless it can find extra funding.

Star Bereavement on Upper York Street in Wakefield has helped thousands of youngsters over the years, offering a counselling service in the wake of a family tragedy.

But those behind the scheme fear it could fold unless it can secure cash in the short term.

Service co-ordinator Claire Taylor said: “We are really struggling. We have been lucky to secure a grant from Children in Need for three years for a bereavement support practitioner, but there’s no funds for the running costs.

“We have downsized massively as much as we can but we need space if we are to deal with young people.

“As a charity we have always struggled to get enough funding to meet demand, but it’s the only service of this kind in the area.”

The charity has applied for funding from Children in Need and the National Lottery, but could take months with a fresh cash injection needed quickly.

The service was launched 25 years ago, initially starting out at Wakefield Hospice before finding its own office at Nostell Business Park.

But due to diminishing funds the charity was forced to move into smaller offices on Upper York Street. Claire says almost all of the children that come to them have lost a parent and demand is exceptionally high.

There is a waiting list between three and five months and have only two part-time staff, compared to the nine members it once had.

Claire added: “It’s more important than ever, especially as mental health is talked about more these days.

“We need to be able to advise and offer support if children need it.

“We want to be positive and promote the charity, but in reality we have only got a few months of money left.

“We are doing everything we can to make sure we don’t close.”

Call the charity on 01924 787384 if you can help.