National Support Organisations
On this page you will find details of National organisations that can offer advice and support to you and your family, either online, by phone or in person. However, by clicking the links below you will also find details of local support groups and organisations in your area.
Yorkshire & Humberside
The Alder Centre provides services for anyone affected by the death of a child of any age (ranging from miscarriage to adult children) and for any reason, including stillbirth, termination, accidental, violent or suicidal death and death following acute or chronic illness. The Centre also offers training for Health Care Professionals.
The Alder Centre works in a way that is based on including all and recognising individual differences. Some people prefer the comfort and guidance of other bereaved parents and others that of qualified and trained professionals. The Centre provides both types of support.
The service works directly with bereaved parents and also extended family members and professionals who have been involved in the child's life.
Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust
Tel: 0151 252 5391
(The Alder Centre Helpline established at the Alder Centre, Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust and the Child Death Helpline established at Great Ormond Street Hospital were brought together in the setting up of the national freephone Child Death Helpline and website - 0800 282 986.)
Visit Child Death Helpline website
Bereaved Families Support Group
The Bereaved Families support group was set up by a group of bereaved families who had lost loved ones serving in the Armed Forces. We recognized that the death of a family member changes everything. We all cope with loss in our own way, but sometimes it helps to share your feelings with someone who has been through a similar experience.
Care for the Family
The Bereaved Parents Network
We would like to welcome you to the home page of Care for the Family's Bereaved Parents" Network. More than anything, we want you to know that you're not on your own. So whether you're looking for help for you, your family, friends, church members, or simply information about the Network, we sincerely hope you find support and encouragement here.
Child Bereavement UK
Child Bereavement UK is the UK's leading charity that supports families and educates professionals both when a child dies and when a child is bereaved. We offer a confidential listening service to anyone affected by the death of a child, or who is caring for a bereaved child.
In addition, the Child Bereavement Charity has produced books, DVDs, videos, CD-Roms, many of which have been developed with input from bereaved families. All of these can be found in the CBC shop. The charity has an interactive forum on their website where you can talk to other families together with a searchable database that contains contact details of bereavement-related help and support services in the United Kingdom.
Everything the charity does is based on what we have learned from bereaved families and children. Families work with us as volunteers - they inform our training and resources, contribute to projects and research and help us raise awareness through the media.
Child Death Helpline
The Child Death Helpline is a helpline for anyone affected by the death of a child of any age, from prebirth to adult, under any circumstances, however recently or long ago. The helpline aims to provide a quality freephone service to anyone affected by the death of a child.
A caller to the Helpline may be anyone affected by a child's death, from pre-birth to the death of an adult child, however recently or long ago, and whatever the circumstances (stillbirth, illness, accident, murder, suicide ). For a parent, their son or daughter will always be their child, irrespective of age. We receive calls and support parents whose child was of any age when they died.
We offer a confidential, safe environment within which a caller can talk openly about the child's life and death. Callers are given the opportunity to freely express their worries and emotions. We provide support not only at times of crisis but also for the ongoing needs of callers over their lifetime.
Childhood Bereavement Network
The Childhood Bereavement Network seeks to ensure that all children and young people in the UK, together with their families and other care givers, including professional carers, can easily access a choice of high-quality local and national information, guidance and support to enable them to manage the impact of death on their lives.
CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young)
CRY is a charity that offers help, support and counselling to families where there has been a sudden cardiac death of an apparently fit and healthy young person (Sudden Death Syndrome, SADS, SCD, SUDS)
Cruse Bereavement Care
Cruse's vision is that all bereaved people have somewhere to turn when someone dies. Grief is a natural process, but some people need support to understand and cope with what can be a devastating experience. Cruse offers specialist website, telephone, email and face-to-face support for adults, children and young people.
Visit the website to search for your local Cruse service
EB provides a contact line enabling people who have been bereaved by epilepsy related deaths to get initial support and information. Currently there are over 1,000 calls per annum.
Core to the work of the charity is providing information and support to bereaved families, friends and carers who have lost a loved one through epilepsy.
If you have lost a loved one to epilepsy, please contact our bereavement support line. The team offer support and information which could help. Tel; 01235 772 852. [email protected]
Help to Heal
Help to Heal is a service that offers a bridge between counsellors and people seeking help. We feature a large counsellor directory listing practitioners all over the UK, who are qualified to offer support and guidance on a wide range of issues.
Help to Heal also includes a section devoted to the numerous counselling methods and techniques. The history, origins and practice of each method are explained with a description of how they are used to address common problems.
Our Help and support section features information about some of the problems that counselling can help to confront and overcome. Helplines, websites and other resources are included for each different issue.
As well as information about counselling services, we've included a Helpline section for those looking for more immediate support. There's also further details about some of the main counselling organisations and professional bodies.
Visitors can also keep up-to-date with the latest developments in the fields of mental health with our counselling blog. It's regularly updated with posts about modality-specific articles
INQUEST was founded in 1981. It is a small charitable organisation with a staff team of ten and the only organisation in England and Wales that provides a specialist, comprehensive advice service to bereaved people, lawyers, other advice and support agencies, the media, MPs and the wider public on contentious deaths and their investigation.
Our casework priorities are deaths in custody (police, prison, immigration detention and deaths of detained patients) and our focus on deaths in custody and the monitoring of such deaths means that we are at the forefront of uncovering patterns and trends. Within this area we have particular concerns about the deaths of women, black people, young people, and people with mental health problems that reflect our commitment to challenging discrimination. This is both in terms of the treatment and care received by the deceased in custody and the experience of bereaved relatives following the death.
Arising from our casework and related areas we develop policy proposals and undertake research to lobby for changes to the inquest and investigation process, reduce the number of custodial deaths and improve the treatment and care of those within the institutions where the deaths occur.
In pursuing these objectives, INQUEST seeks to maintain a set of core values that are essential to our work:
- We provide a specialist free, confidential and independent service to bereaved people and the concerns and experiences of bereaved families set the framework for all our work;
- We try to empower those who are often excluded from exercising their rights by providing information and advice. We also assist people to use the formal legal processes to scrutinise the practices of state bodies;
- We ensure that the collective experience of those with whom we work is fed back to the relevant policy makers;
- Our casework is non-judgemental in relation to the background and actions of an individual that has died;
- Our work is situated within a bereaved-centred, anti-racist and anti-discriminatory framework.
To support children and young people and their families who have experienced loss and trauma and to empower them to have a voice in decision making about their lives.
Hypnotherapy Directory was launched to connect individuals with qualified professionals in the UK. We offer information about what hypnotherapy is, how it can help, upcoming events, articles written by professionals and the latest hypnotherapy news. To ensure the professionalism of our members, we require proof of their qualifications and insurance cover, or proof of professional body membership. This is crucial to providing a website that can be trusted by the public.
Meningitis Research Foundation
Provides support and befriending to those bereaved as a result of meningitis or septicamia, in addition to giving information about the disease. The helpline regularly takes calls from bereaved people during the night time hours, when many feel the pain of their loss most deeply. If you want to talk, an experienced member of the helpline team will be there to listen.
My Blue heart is an idea born from the knowledge that bereaved people often need a way to show others they are grieving. The badges convey the message `I carry your heart in mine'. They are intended for anyone who has suffered a great loss, for those who are recently bereaved or who just need to show they are missing someone special that day. We hope they will provide a way to communicate loss and give others the opportunity to show compassion and support.
All profits from the sale of My Blue Hearts will be used to help bereaved families in the local community. In particular, we aim to support the brothers, sisters, cousins and friends of children who have died, helping them to understand their loss and find positive ways forward.
Paul's Fund is a charitable trust that makes grants for a holiday break to young adults aged approx. 18 to 30 who, amongst other criteria, have been bereaved through the loss of a child. The holidays are to be taken at Paul's Place which is located in the delightful village of Georgeham near Croyde on the beautiful North Devon coast and offers both B&B and Self-Catering accommodation. Grants from Paul's Fund will cover the full accommodation costs of up to six people (the young adult plus a partner, family members or a friend) along with travel and daily allowances. The self catering cottage only accommodates two people but the B&B has three guest rooms (twin and double).
The Place2Be is a charity working inside schools to improve the emotional well-being of children, their families and the whole school community.
The Place2Be was established in 1994 in response to increasing concern about the extent and depth of emotional and behavioural difficulties displayed in classrooms and playgrounds.
By giving children the chance to explore their problems through talking, creative work and play, we enable them to cope now and make better-informed decisions about their lives and help prevent more serious mental health and behavioural problems in later life. When children are happier and less preoccupied with problems, they find it easier to learn and so their educational chances are much enhanced.
At the Place2Be, we work with children who are withdrawn and those who show challenging behaviour.
These children may have experienced lots of change in their lives. Or their families might be going through something difficult right now - such as separation, illness or bereavement.
RD4U is a website designed for young people by young people. It is part of Cruse Bereavement Care's Youth Involvement Project and here to support people after the death of someone close.
The website is run by Cruse Bereavement Care, which is a national charity there to support people after someone close to them has died.
Because RD4U is aimed at young people, Cruse has a responsibility to make sure that everything that goes onto the site is safe. This means that we will read all messages, stories and poems before we put them online, and sometimes we will change or edit them. One of the main things we do is take out email addresses, phone numbers or anything else that could identify someone. This is to stop people who want to target and hurt children and young people.
RD4U is staffed mainly by volunteers, with a few paid workers who work on the site part-time. This means that messages, stories, poems etc. don't get put online straight away. Sometimes you will have to wait a few days. We know this can be frustrating, and we would like to ask you to bear with us until we can make things quicker.
Anyone experiencing the aftermath of a road crash will know that the emotional and practical go hand in hand. Clarification and guidance through legal processes can be emotionally sustaining. Talking to a befriender who has survived a similar loss can provide ideas for day to day coping strategies and glimpses of hope which can be practical in the extreme.
Our cumulative experiences and work in this field can help you find your way at a time where the simplest of tasks may seem overwhelming.
RoadPeace provides emotional and practical support to those bereaved or injured in a road crash.
(SAMM) Support after Murder and Manslaughter
When you have suffered the traumatic death of a loved one, it can be very difficult for you to make the initial call to the SAMM helpline regardless of how long it is since you were bereaved. Perhaps you can ask a family member, a friend, or your family liaison officer to make the call on your behalf.
We will then contact you at your convenience. You may want support via our helpline into the national office, or we can refer you to a local contact if there is one in your area. Perhaps you prefer a home visit by our specially trained volunteers or a staff member. Whichever service suits you, SAMM staff and volunteers will do their best to provide it for you You will talk to people who will care for you, and understand your grief. All our SAMM volunteers are themselves bereaved as a result of homicide
Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Charity
Sands is an organisation which can offer you support when your baby dies during pregnancy or after birth.
The death of a baby is a devastating experience. The effects of grief can be overwhelming and parents, their families and friends can be left feeling dazed, disorientated, isolated and exhausted.
It can be hard to take in information, to make decisions or to imagine how you are going to cope.
At Sands there are people who understand what it's like because many of us have been through this experience ourselves, and we are here to help offer support and information when you need it.
The loss of a baby is a devastating and traumatic experience for the mother, father and those close to them. And yet the life of a baby who dies before 24 weeks gestation is not recorded with a certificate which leaves the parent with no official recognition of the baby's life.
The numbers involved are surprising, with approximately one in four pregnancies ending in miscarriage. Many who experience miscarriage are left reeling with little sense of how to commemorate a baby who once held all the promise of a life to be lived.
Events company CCEM is looking to change that by setting up a series of commemorative services at churches, minsters and cathedrals across the UK. The Saying Goodbye events are the first set of national commemorative services for people who have suffered miscarriage, early term loss or early infant death.
Visit website for details of services near you
Support and Care After Road Death and injury
To support those who have been bereaved, injured or affected by a road death. To provide emotional and practical help through a helpline, support groups, meetings and personal support system. To provide initial free legal help and advice. To assist in helping bereaved, injured or traumatised people, to access free counselling within or outside of the organisation.
Sure Start Children's Centres
Children's centres provide a variety of advice and support for parents and carers of chidren up to the age of 5.
We were advised by several councils that the Children's Centres maybe able to offer some support and guidance after the death of a child. All Children's centres have a "Family Support Worker" who could help during this time and be an excellent source of information for families.
We are also aware that Sure Start have new Counselling services, some of the ones we can find I have put in the regional support pages, however, we would suggest contacting your local Centre for further information.
To find your nearest Children's Centre Click here.
Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide
Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide exists to meet the needs and break the isolation of those bereaved by the suicide of a close relative or friend.
We are a self-help organisation. Many of our volunteers have themselves been bereaved by suicide.
We aim to provide a safe, confidential environment in which bereaved people can share their experiences and feelings, so giving and gaining support from each other.
We also strive to improve public awareness and maintain contacts with many other statutory and voluntary organisations.
Suicide recognises no age, social, ethnic or cultural boundaries - neither do we. Our groups are open to any individual.
The Compassionate Friends UK
The Compassionate Friends is an organisation of bereaved parents and their families offering understanding, support and encouragement to others after the death of a child or children. They also offer support, advice and information to other relatives, friends and professionals who are helping the family.
The Compassionate Friends Sibling Support
Sibling Support is a project run by The Compassionate Friends which provides nationwide self-help support for people who have suffered the loss of a brother or sister.
The Compassionate Friends Postal Library
The Compassionate Friends Postal Lending Library is for bereaved parents, their families and those who seek to help them. The library contains more than 1,500 titles on all aspects of bereavement, and also audio-visual items. Many bereaved people find reading about the experiences of others who have been through a similar tragedy very helpful in coming to terms with their own loss. TCF helps parents, grandparents and siblings to cope with their loss and the library collection reflects these core needs, but it is often able to respond to those with related needs, such as children and young people who have lost a parent in childhood.
Books and other media can only be loaned within the UK. While the TCF Library is an essential part of our support given to bereaved families and professionals, running it is expensive. We therefore charge a membership fee (plus postage costs). However, library membership is free of charge (except for postage costs) to TCF members. If you only require a 'one-off" parcel of books, a small handling charge will be made, plus postage costs.
The Lullaby Trust (Formerly FSID)
When a baby dies suddenly and unexpectedly, the death is a terrible shock and can be one of the most distressing events that can ever happen. If you are reading this page because you have experienced the death of a baby we offer you our sympathy, and suggest that this site contains a number of pages that you might find helpful; some you may want to read now, and others you may wish to return to later.
If you would like to find out more but would rather speak to someone, you can telephone one of our Helpline advisors on 0808 802 6868. The Helpline is answered personally by specially trained advisors from 10am to 6pm on Monday to Friday and from 6pm to 10pm weekends and bank holidays by trained bereaved parent befrienders. The information you give will be kept confidential. All calls are free, even from mobiles.
The Miscarriage Association
The loss of a baby in pregnancy can be an unhappy, frightening and lonely experience.
You might have miscarried in the first few weeks of pregnancy or much later, or you might have had an ectopic or a molar pregnancy. You might have suspected for some time that something was wrong, or the miscarriage may have come as a complete shock. And this may not be the first time that this has happened to you.
Whatever your circumstances, some feelings are common, such as shock, a sense of loss, anger, confusion and anxiety. You may recognise several of these or none. It is very likely, though, that whatever your feelings, you are not alone others will have felt very much the same way.
We hope that you will find support here, whatever the circumstances of your loss.
The Rainbow Trust
Many families find contact with people who knew their child and who can understand some of what they are going through can be genuinely helpful as they cope with the grieving process. We know that every family will cope with bereavement in a way that is right for them, therefore we aim to offer support that is flexible to individual needs and that reflects the culture and values of the individual.
The Rosie Crane Trust
The Rosie Crane Trust treats all contact in absolute confidence. Everyone working in and for the Rosie Crane Trust, whether in a personal, professional or voluntary capacity has given their assurance to upholding the trust's confidentiality policy. Bereaved parents are thereby able to seek help from the trust, safe in the knowledge that their confidentiality will be respected at all times.
We provide a number of services aimed at supporting bereaved parents in the Somerset area:
24 hr Listening Ear Helpline 01460 55120
24/7/365 Telephone Listening Ear answered by trained volunteers
Every trained volunteer is also a bereaved parent
Callers can talk about any aspect of their bereavement, anytime, day or night
Volunteer listeners have direct experience of bereavement
Callers can be confident there is always someone there to listen
Bereaved parents meet in an informal, safe, friendly and confidential environment
Staffed by trained volunteers, some of whom are also bereaved parents themselves
Parents can talk to others who can really understand and empathise with them
Complementary therapies are regularly arranged
There can be tears, of course, but also laughter too
A course of counselling therapy from a professional counsellor
Available to bereaved parents according to need
Applications for counselling will be considered on a case by case basis
The trust aims to meet some or all of the therapy cost
Modern medicine is both extremely complex and in most cases, expensive - which is perhaps why in recent years there has been a growing movement towards alternative and complementary therapy.
Though many alternative and complementary therapies have been in use since ancient times, because they are not considered to form part of 'standard" healthcare (by large because the efficacy of these therapies has yet to be proven scientifically), regulation is scarce and choosing a practitioner who is qualified can be daunting.
Therapy Directory is dedicated to putting individuals who are searching for a practitioner, in touch with a professional who is both qualified and suitable for their needs. In addition, we are also passionate about increasing awareness of the positive benefits of complementary and alternative therapies.
The Twins and Multiple Births Association (Tamba)
Tamba is a UK wide organisation helping parents of twins, triplets and more and professionals to meet the unique challenges that multiple birth families face. Their Bereavement Support Group (www.tamba-bsg.org.uk) provides support for families who have lost one or more children from a multiple birth, during pregnancy or at any stage afterwards.
Turn2us helps people in financial need gain access to welfare benefits, charitable grants and other financial help online, by phone and face to face through our partner organisations.
We are part of Elizabeth Finn Care - a charity registered in England and Wales: 207812 and Scotland: SC040987.
To find out more visit the Turn2Us website
Winston's Wish is the leading childhood bereavement charity and the largest provider of services to bereaved children, young people and their families in the UK.
We offer practical support and guidance to families, professionals and anyone concerned about a grieving child. We believe that the right support at the right time can enable young people to live with their grief and rebuild positive futures.