Mourners’ charity is given its marching orders

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A charity that helps bereaved people cope with their grief has lost its home of 23 years.

The Milton Keynes Bereavement Service has had its contract terminated by the City Counselling Centre, which is part of the Church of Christ the Cornerstone building.

The reason given was that it was not part of the centre’s development and growth plan for the future.

Now bewildered bereavement volunteers, who help more than 800 grieving people each year, are managing to run their service while the charity is officially homeless.

They have found alternative offices at nearby Acorn House but these will not be ready until early May, said MKBS secretary Jeni Pratt.

“Everything should be back to normal in May. In the interim we need to let people know we are still here for them,” she said.

“We are still running our telephone service but sadly we’ve had to suspend our drop-in sessions, which is a great shame.”

The charity, which has managed to transfer its old telephone number, will continue to visit people in their own homes. hey can also book rooms at Acorn House for clients who prefer to meet somewhere neutral.

Said Jeni: “We’re coping the best we can. We were sad at having to leave the counselling centre.”

“We were the first service to move in there 23 years ago. Everybody knew where we were but now it feels like we have lost our home.”

The charity says its contract was terminated with no negotiation. This week Ms Bierton told the Citizen: “The MK City Counselling Centre have really appreciated the service that the MKBS have offered from the centre over the last 20 years.

“We still value the work that they do and are still referring clients to them at Acorn House and will continue to do so.

She added: “This is a time of change for many voluntary sector organisations and the City Counselling Centre is no exception.

“In planning for our future growth and development a more flexible approach is required to delivering services to the people of Milton Keynes”.

> Anybody struggling with the loss of a loved one can contact the Milton Keynes Bereavment Service on MK 231292 or email mk.bs@virgin.net.