Cruse was founded in 1959 by Margaret Torrie who was challenged by a radio broadcast which urged listeners to ‘do something for widows’.
From the start she decided that an amateur approach was not good enough, and enlisted the help of a range experts from areas such as pensions, housing and childcare. Cruse met an important need and local branches were set up, four in the first year alone, and these have become an important feature of the charity.
The name Cruse was taken from the Old Testament story in which Elijah, visiting a widow, asks her to supply him with some oil from her cruse (vessel). Little remained in her cruse of the oil she had but, because she was willing to share this with the prophet, it never ran out. Cruse is not an organisation based on a particular religion, however; people of all faiths and of none are welcome as service users, volunteers and staff.
As well as widows, Cruse could not fail to become aware of the problems experienced by widowers, bereaved children, adults who had lost a friend or indeed anyone experiencing loss and grief.
Cruse Bereavement Care exists today to provide information and support to anyone bereaved by death.
- Suffolk Cruse Helpline 01473 230888