A charity which supports bereaved men, women and children celebrated three decades of a consoling service across the region.
And Calderdale Help in Bereavement Services (CHiBS) plans to continue for many years to come helping people affected by death.
The self-funded charity celebrated with a dinner at The Shay, Halifax, with CHiBS representatives Anne Dalby and Jenny Hirst and other volunteers and guests including the Mayor of Calderdale Pat Allen and the Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire Chris Harris , who is a former volunteer of CHiBS.
CHiBS provides a ‘listening ear’ helpline service and face-to-face support to people enduring some of their darkest hours. On the first Monday of each month the charity holds a public support group at Halifax’s Women Centre.
The charity was founded in 1984 and relies entirely on donations and grants, while all charity associates operate voluntarily.
Founder member Jenny Hirst, 78, of Lightcliffe, was awarded this year’s Courier Community Spirit Outstanding Individual award for her long-standing dedication and service to CHiBS.
She said: “All befriender volunteers undergo training and their own experience of bereavement gives them an understanding of the thoughts and feelings of isolation which grief can bring.
“We offer a listening ear and one-to-one support. We don’t give advice - we listen.”
In 2013/14, the charity has helped around 160-200 adults and between 40-60 children dealing with grief.