Grief is different for everyone. So it might affect you in a different way to your family and friends. If you need someone to talk to about how you’re feeling, these charities can help.
Bereavement charities available to everyone
Cruse Bereavement Support
Cruse is one of the UK’s largest bereavement charities, with more than 4,000 volunteers nationwide. You can talk with their grief counsellors on the phone, by online chat or at one of their 80 branches across the UK.
The Good Grief Trust
The Good Grief Trust is run by the bereaved for the bereaved. They offer a wide range of support to anyone who is experiencing grief. Their Virtual Good Grief Cafés provide a safe space where you can talk with others online. They also run specific café sessions for those in the LGBTQ community.
You can use their online directory to find specialist bereavement support organisations and services in your area.
GriefShare runs seminars and support groups for people who are bereaved to share their experiences. While most of their groups are in Northern Ireland, they also have groups in London, Birmingham, Sheffield, Bangor, Preston and Cambridge.
AtaLoss is there to help anyone who is bereaved find the support they need. Their website has links to a variety of support services and resources for adults and children. The charity also provides training to youth workers, teachers and church volunteers to help them support people who are grieving.
WAY (Widowed and Young)
WAY helps anyone aged 50 or under who has lost their spouse or partner. The charity provides peer-to-peer support including a confidential support line and closed Facebook group. They also organise social events and meetups to help widows and widowers cope with loneliness. You’ll need to join as a member to access the full range of support. This costs £25 which goes towards the cost of running the charity. However, there is financial support available for anyone who can’t afford to pay the membership fee.
The Samaritans is there to support anyone who’s struggling to cope or who needs someone to listen without judgement. Their free phoneline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, ready to help people in crisis. You can also contact the Samaritans by email or by letter if this is easier for you.
Bereavement charities for children
Founded in 1992, Winston’s Wish provides emotional and practical support to children who have lost a parent or sibling. They also help the families of bereaved children. You can get in touch with them by phone or email.
Grief Encounter helps children and young people who have lost a loved one. They provide immediate 1-to-1 support by phone, online chat or email. They also provide resources and training to help parents, carers and teachers help children who are grieving.
Child Bereavement UK
Founded in 1994, Child Bereavement UK helps children and young people up to the age of 25 to cope with grief. They also provide support to parents who have lost a child. Children and their parents can speak to a bereavement counsellor by phone, video or instant messenger. In some areas of the UK you can also attend support groups with other bereaved families.
Sibling Support helps children and young people who’ve lost a brother or sister. Their website includes a questions and answers section that gives age-appropriate answers to the questions children may have about bereavement.
Charities that help parents who’ve lost a child
Sands is the UK’s leading stillbirth and neonatal charity. Bereaved parents can get support by phone, on the mobile app and in their online communities. There are also more than 100 support groups across the UK where you can share your experiences with others.
Child Death Helpline
The Child Death Helpline is a free telephone helpline for anyone who’s been affected by the death of a child. Trained bereavement counsellors are available during the daytime and evenings, as well as at weekends. They are supported by Great Ormond Street Hospital and the Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust.
The Lullaby Trust
The Lullaby Trust raises awareness of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and promotes safer sleep for babies. They also provide bereavement support for anyone who’s been affected by the sudden death of a baby or young child. You can call their helpline to speak with a bereavement counsellor.
The Compassionate Friends (TCF)
The Compassionate Friends network helps bereaved families cope with the loss of a child of any age. You can get support by calling their phone line and joining their online support groups. They also run a Grief Companion scheme giving 1-to-1 support, and provide retreats for bereaved parents.
Other specialist bereavement charities
SOBS (Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide)
SOBS supports people over 18 years of age who have lost a loved one to suicide. You can access support by email, by joining their online support groups or by going to a local support group. They also run retreat events to help you find some relaxation. Their bereaveMENt virtual support sessions are specifically for men to share their experiences in a safe space.
If u care share
If u care share is a suicide prevention charity. They also provide help to people who’ve lost a loved one through suicide. If you live in the northeast of England (Durham, Newcastle, Gateshead, North Tyneside, Northumberland, South Tyneside or Sunderland) you can speak with their counsellors face-to-face, by phone or email.
BEAD (Bereaved through Alcohol and Drugs)
BEAD helps people who have lost a loved one to drugs or alcohol. The website and community is run by bereaved people. You can find a variety of useful resources and also stories of other people’s experiences.
The Lone Twin Network
The Lone Twin Network is a support network specifically for twins whose twin has died (sometimes known as twinless twins). The group is open to twins over 18 who have lost a twin in utero, during childhood or as an adult. The network runs meetups throughout the year at different locations across the UK.
Charities specialising in bereavement from cancer
Maggie’s is a cancer support charity with centres across the UK. While they focus mainly on helping those living with cancer, they also provide bereavement support to people who have lost someone to cancer. You can also read this useful article they’ve written about cancer and grief.
Macmillan Cancer Support
Macmillan helps people living with cancer by providing practical support. They also offer some useful bereavement resources for people who have lost a friend or family member to cancer. These include easy read storybooks to help you explain dying and grief to children or people with learning difficulties.
Find local bereavement charities and support near you
There may also be smaller local bereavement charities where you live. You can find them by:
- Using The Good Grief Trust’s UK map to search for bereavement organisations in your area. They list small local charities and also local branches of national charities.
- Talking to your local faith leader – even if you don’t usually attend a place of worship, they’ll be able to offer you support.
By connecting with a national or local bereavement charity, hopefully you can find the support you need. While talking can’t take your grief away, it may help you to find ways to cope.
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash