The current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has impacted every part of our lives. As the NHS continues to battle the outbreak, it’s important that we acknowledge and support the many individual battles which will sadly be lost. This current time presents an unprecedented number of patients who are facing the end of life, and with additional pressures and the emotional effects of tragedy and loss, it’s important to know that support is always available.
On this page, we have compiled a range of resources and services offering bereavement support:
- You are not alone in your thoughts and feelings
- The things you are feeling are normal
- There is support available – you are not on your own in this.
- Try to open up, whether it be to family, friends or a healthcare professional. Talking about loss and how this is impacting on your life can help.
Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust: Bereavement Support Group
Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust have established an Adult Bereavement Support Group and a Children and Young People Bereavement Support Group:
- Preston group (for adults, children and young people) is held at The Bereavement Centre, Royal Preston Hospital, Fulwood, Preston, PR2 9HT
- Chorley group (just for adults) is held at Woodchats Coffee Shop, Clifford Street, Chorley, PR7 1AQ
The groups meet at 6:30pm – 7:30pm on the first Thursday of every month. They meet in separate rooms of the same venue and are facilitated by fully trained staff and volunteers.
Individual bereavement support sessions and telephone support are also available by arrangement.
To find out more, you can visit the dedicated webpage: https://www.lancsteachinghospitals.nhs.uk/bsg/.
*Please note, you must ring the week before attending to confirm your place.
Age UK (Age 60+)
Age UK offers a wide range of information and support surrounding coping with bereavement, including:
Access their resources here: https://www.ageuk.org.uk/lancashire/about-us/news/bereavement-support/
They also have a befriending service to help keep older people connected with their local community.
As usual, older people can also access the Age UK free, national advice helpline on: 0800 678 1602. Lines are open 8:00am-7:00pm, 365 days a year.
AMPARO offers emotional and practical support for those affected by a suspected suicide including family members, friends or colleagues.
Phone: 0330 088 9255
At a Loss
At a Loss provides the UK’s signposting website for the bereaved including bereavement services, resources, advice for the recently bereaved and a live counsellor chat function. They also host coronavirus pandemic bereavement information: https://www.ataloss.org/Pages/FAQs/Category/coronavirus-pandemic
Click here to visit their website https://www.ataloss.org/.
Big White Wall (Age 16+)
Big White Wall is a safe online community of people who are anxious, down or not coping who support and help each other by sharing what’s troubling them, guided by trained professionals.
Available 24/7, Big White Wall is completely anonymous so you can express yourself freely and openly. Professionally trained Wall Guides ensure the safety and anonymity of all members.
The site is currently experiencing a high percentage of users sharing anxieties relating to coronavirus.
If you are aged 16+ and living in Chorley, South Ribble or Greater Preston, you can join Big White Wall for free.
Simply visit www.bigwhitewall.com and enter your postcode.
Child Bereavement UK
Child Bereavement UK supports families when a baby or child of any age dies or is dying, or when a child is facing bereavement.
Support is available 9:00am–5:00pm, Monday–Friday.
Contact telephone number: 0800 028 8840
Cruse Bereavement Care
Cruse offers FREE confidential support for adults.
You can call the helpline:
Tuesday and Wednesdays, 10:00am – 12:00pm.
Fridays, 6:00pm – 8:00pm.
on 01772 433645.
Or visit their website at: https://www.cruselancashire.org.uk/, to learn more.
Derian House Children’s Hospice
Derian House Children’s Hospice offer a range of information and support including emotional, practical and financial guidance as well as their respite and end-of-life care.
The hospice has also published coronavirus information including resources for families. https://www.derianhouse.co.uk/covid-19-information/
Dying Matters is a broad based, inclusive and rapidly growing national coalition which aims to change public knowledge, attitudes and behaviours towards death, dying and bereavement.
They have a range of resources to help people start conversations about dying, death and bereavement.
Visit their website at https://www.dyingmatters.org/
Faith bereavement support
The Lancashire Council of Mosques has established a bereavement service for people of Muslim faith, focusing on the faith related aspects of bereavement.
This will be delivered by trained volunteers across Lancashire.
Learn more by visiting: https://www.lancashiremosques.com/.
GriefChat was founded in 2017 in response to the long waiting times experienced by many bereaved people who are trying to find support for themselves or for their bereaved family members or friends.
Visit their website at: https://www.griefchat.co.uk/
The Healthier LSC website has dedicated suicide support resources, including advice on how to support others who may be considering suicide or who may have been affected by it:
To visit their website, click here.
The Inter Faith Network for the UK works to promote understanding, cooperation and good relations between organisations and persons of different faiths in the UK.
They have produced a dedicated COVID 19 section on their website.
Get in touch by calling +44 (0)20 7730 0410 or by vistiting https://www.interfaith.org.uk/contact
Kooth (Age 10-16)
Kooth offers free, safe and anonymous online support for young people, available Monday – Friday 12:00pm – 10:00pm, Saturday – Sunday 6:00pm – 10:00pm.
Young people can chat to friendly counsellors, read articles written by other young people, get support from the Kooth community and write in a daily journal.
For more information, visit: www.kooth.com.
You can get in touch with the Samaritans about anything that’s troubling you, no matter how large or small the issue feels.
Whatever you're going through, call free any time, from any phone, on 116 123.
You can also visit their website for a whole host of coronavirus specific resources: https://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help/support-and-information/if-youre-having-difficult-time/other-sources-help/.
St Catherine’s: Bereavement and remembrance
St Catherine’s Hospice Care state, ‘the care of St Catherine’s doesn’t stop when a loved one has died – we’re here to support loved ones through bereavement, and to provide opportunities for our community to remember and reflect together’.
They offer a range of support services including:
Bereavement counselling - Bereavement counselling can be provided if requested.
The Hospice is an organisational member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and has volunteer counsellors who give their time to support families and loved ones.
If you declined Bereavement Support at the time of your loved one’s death but now feel you need some support, please contact the hospice and ask to speak to the Support Team.
Bereavement support for children and young people – St Catherine’s works with Vine House in Preston to offer bereavement support to children and young people through the Stride project (below).
Using a variety of creative tools, along with one-to-one support from trained counselling staff, children and young people and their families are supported through dealing with their sadness and loss.
For further information on any of the above, and more, please visit: https://www.stcatherines.co.uk/our-care/bereavement-and-remembrance/.
Stride: Cancer Help
The Stride service aims to provide opportunities for children and young people, aged 5 to 19 years of age, to explore and express feelings associated with bereavement and/or loss. Support may also include parents and any significant others involved in the child or young person’s care, for example teachers or social workers.
Visit their website to learn more: http://www.cancerhelppreston.co.uk/our-services/stride-launch/
Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (Over 18)
SOBS exist to meet the needs and overcome the isolation experienced by people over 18 who have been bereaved by suicide.
Their helpline is open from 9:00am – 9:00pm, seven days a week, and can be accessed by calling 0300 111 5065.
Access their website here: https://uksobs.org/
The Good Grief Trust
The Good Grief Trust supports the bereaved and is run by the bereaved.
They currently operate a COVID19 free helpline, open 8:00am – 6:00pm. On 0800 2600 400 and have a dedicated coronavirus bereavement advice page.
Click here to visit their website.
Way Widowed and Young (50 and under)
Way Widowed and Young are a national charity in the UK for people aged 50 or under when their partner died, helping to navigate life after loss.
Members receive a secure website, access to private Facebook groups and access to their 24 hour helpline.
Sign up at:https://www.widowedandyoung.org.uk/join-way/.
Winston’s Wish offer information, advice and guidance on supporting bereaved children and young people during the coronavirus outbreak including ‘how to say goodbye when a funeral isn’t possible’, ‘how schools can support children’ and ‘talking to children about coronavirus’ : https://www.winstonswish.org/coronavirus/
Helpline: 08088 020 021
For further information, please visit:
UK Government: https://www.gov.uk/browse/births-deaths-marriages/death.