Belfast insurance broker provides fundraising boost to Cruse Bereavement Care

Belfast-based insurance broker Gallagher has donated £2000 towards the Northern Ireland branch of UK bereavement charity Cruse Bereavement Care, following a surge in demand for its services during the pandemic.

The donation was awarded through Gallagher’s Community Fund, a nationwide initiative which invites colleagues to nominate UK charities to receive funding. Gallagher, one of the UK’s largest insurance brokers, has had a presence in Belfast for 65 years, employs over 60 people, and looks after the insurance needs of many Northern Ireland businesses.

Cruse Bereavement Care aims to help bereaved people to understand their grief, cope with their loss and look after their well-being. In Northern Ireland, the charity has provided bereavement support since 1984, and operates seven offices, with branches in Belfast, Derry, Bangor, Newry, Moy, Ballymoney and Omagh. The services offered by the charity – including face-to-face and group counselling, as well as telephone, email and online support – are provided free of charge by trained bereavement volunteers.

Pre-pandemic, Cruse Bereavement Care usually supported around 3,500 individuals in Northern Ireland each year. However, the number of people turning to the charity for help has increased dramatically. With most of Cruse Bereavement Care’s usual income streams – including fundraising events and activities – having been suspended during the pandemic, the donation will help the charity to continue to provide its vital support services to members of the community.

Julie Wardlow, who nominated Cruse Bereavement Care and is based at Gallagher’s Belfast office, said: “Bereavement affects everyone at some point, and can have a devastating effect on emotional, physical and mental health. Cruse Bereavement Care helps people process their feelings, develop coping strategies, and return to every-day life – and I have seen first-hand just how life-changing the charity’s support can be.

“As a community broker, giving back to local good causes is something that is very important to us, and we’re delighted to have had the opportunity to play a part in supporting this wonderful charity in what has been a challenging time for organisations that rely on the generosity of donations.”

Elaine Brannigan, Community Fundraising & Engagement Manager in Northern Ireland for Cruse Bereavement Care, commented: “We are extremely grateful to Gallagher for its generous donation. This donation will help make a huge difference to all those who receive our support throughout Northern Ireland, especially at this time when there are more people suffering bereavement due to the pandemic.”