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Grief is different for everyone. So it might affect you in a different way to your family and friends. But if you need someone to talk to about how you’re feeling, one of these bereavement charities could 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.

Website: https://www.cruse.org.uk/

Sue Ryder 

This bereavement charity has been offering support since World War II. Its founder, Sue Ryder, was a humanitarian who dedicated her time to helping those displaced and bereaved due to the war. Since then, the charity has grown on a national level in the UK and continues to offer support to those who need palliative care, online resources, and counselling services to help people through their grief. 

Website: https://www.sueryder.org/  

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 the LGBTQ community.

You can use their online directory to find specialist bereavement support organisations and services in your area.

Website: https://www.thegoodgrieftrust.org/

GriefShare

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.

Website: https://www.griefshare.org/

AtaLoss

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.

Website: https://www.ataloss.org/

Samaritans

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.

Website: https://www.samaritans.org/

The Bereavement Counselling Charity 

This bereavement charity specialises in raising funds to make grief counselling more affordable for those in the Hampshire area. The founders created the charity when working in the social services sector after discovering there was no immediate support for people grieving in the area. Since then, they’ve received the Queen’s Jubilee award for services to the community and continue to make grief counselling more accessible for those that need it. 

Website: https://www.bereavementcharity.org.uk/ 

Bereavement charities for widows and widowers

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.

Website: https://www.widowedandyoung.org.uk/

Gingerbread

Gingerbread is a charity for single parents. They provide a range of emotional and practical support, as well as campaigning for equal rights for all types of family. While bereavement support is a small part of what they do, they can help you to find the right support. They're also there to help you adjust to the practicalities of raising children as a single parent.

Website: https://www.gingerbread.org.uk/

Children's bereavement charities

Childhood Bereavement Network 

Of all the child bereavement charities in the UK, the Childhood Bereavement Network is unique. They not only connect bereaved children and their families with the support they need through local groups and counselling, they also campaign for change and lobby the government to take action. Through their research and campaigns they’re getting schools, workplaces and other organisations thinking about the way we talk to children about grief and bereavement. 

Website: https://childhoodbereavementnetwork.org.uk/

Winston’s Wish

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.

Website: https://www.winstonswish.org/

Grief Encounter

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.

Website: https://www.griefencounter.org.uk/

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.

Website: https://www.childbereavementuk.org/

Sibling Support

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.

Website: https://www.siblingsupport.co.uk/

Jigsaw (Southeast) 

Jigsaw offers support to children and young people who’ve experienced the death of a family member or who have a family member with a life-limiting condition. They have a dedicated team of volunteers who run their helpline Monday to Friday from 9:30am to 12:30pm. But you can always leave a message outside of these hours and someone will return your call. This children’s bereavement charity provides grief support after the death of a family member via video call or telephone, information evenings for families and professionals, as well as guidance and training for schools so that children are given the support they need when experiencing grief day to day. 

Website: https://www.jigsawsoutheast.org.uk/ 

Balloon 

Balloon is a small children’s charity for bereavement that offers support across Exeter and East and Mid Devon. They have lots of online resources for children coping with loss and info for parents on how to help their children too. They also provide free one-to-one sessions for children and young people who would like to talk to someone about their grief, as well as activity days to bring families together.  

Website: https://www.balloonscharity.co.uk/  

Mosaic 

This bereavement charity for children helps families in the Dorset area cope with grief and loss. Their aim is to “develop a Dorset wide network of specialist bereavement support for all children, young people and their families” and they do this by offering telephone advice and one-to-one sessions with children to talk about how they’re feeling. They also have regular activity days and residential weekends to give children the opportunity to meet up with friends and enjoy time outdoors. 

Website: https://mosaicfamilysupport.org/ 

Seesaw 

Seesaw is another local children’s bereavement charity helping people in Oxfordshire. They provide training for professionals who may be in a school setting or who work with children with special education needs or disabilities, so that they can offer the children they work with the support they need. And when needed, their team of bereavement support workers can offer one-to-one help children talk about their grief and how they’re coping. 

Website: https://seesaw.org.uk/ 

Bereavement charities that help parents who've lost a child

Sands

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.

Website: https://www.sands.org.uk/

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.

Website: https://www.childdeathhelpline.org.uk/

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.

Website: https://www.lullabytrust.org.uk/

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.

Website: https://www.tcf.org.uk/

SLOW (Surviving the loss of your world) 

This charity for bereaved families is tailored to parents who’ve lost a child. They run regular support groups in London and on Zoom for other families across the UK. All of their groups are run by specially trained facilitators who have experienced the loss of a child themselves. They also recognise the importance of helping young children who have lost a sibling with their SLOWsibs groups. Here, children can meet and take part in activities while exploring their feelings and helping them to feel less alone.  

Website: https://slowgroup.co.uk/

A Child of Mine

Based in Stafford, A Child Of Mine provides emotional and practical support to bereaved parents and families. This includes support groups and financial grants for families in Staffordshire, as well as phone and email support for those further away. They also offer training for people working with bereaved parents, including healthcare professionals.

In 2020 A Child Of Mine set up the annual National Bereaved Parents Day, which raises awareness for all parents who have lost a baby or child of any age.

Website: https://achildofmine.org.uk/

Charities specialising in bereavement from cancer

Maggie’s

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.

Website: https://www.maggies.org/

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.

Website: https://www.macmillan.org.uk/cancer-information-and-support/supporting-someone/coping-with-bereavement

The Loss Foundation 

The Loss Foundation is one of the few charities for bereavement that specialises in supporting people following the death of a loved one to cancer. The offer online support groups and workshops, walk and talk events, retreats, therapy sessions and their one-to-one buddy system where you can talk to someone who’s gone through a similar experience. All of their services are free of charge (apart from their retreats where attendees need to cover the costs). 

Website: https://thelossfoundation.org/ 

Faith-based bereavement charities

Jewish Bereavement Counselling Service (JBCS)

JBCS provides bereavement counselling to people in the Jewish community. Their counsellors are trained to understand the challenges that bereavement can bring specifically within a Jewish context. They support people experiencing different kinds of loss, including miscarriage, stillbirth and suicide. The charity offers 1-2-1 counselling either face-to-face, over the phone or online. They also have a variety of different grief support groups you can join. Please note - you'll be asked to make a contribution to the cost of your grief counselling sessions, though no one is turned away for financial reasons.

Website: https://jbcs.org.uk/

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.

Website: https://uksobs.org/

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.

Website: https://www.ifucareshare.co.uk/

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.

Website: https://lonetwinnetwork.org.uk/

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.
  • Find other grief organisations and charities near you using the government’s directory.

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.