Community Bereavement Service
Grief is a natural reaction to loss, but in some cases it can be devastating, causing a loss of direction, affecting our relationships and our work.
When someone is grieving, especially if it is their first experience of the death of someone close to them, not knowing what to expect or how to handle certain situations often intensifies their grief. Many people say that feeling they have little control over what is happening to them or around them is a significant factor that contributes to their anguish.
No two people will experience loss in the same way, so it is impossible to really know another person’s pain or sense of loss. Even if you have experienced the death of other people in your life, your grief may be different each time. Part of the struggle of grieving involves attending to life changes and adjusting to new roles and relationships.
Even though you may never manage to ‘get over’ the death of someone, it is possible to learn to live without them physically in your life and to find meaning again.
How the Service works
The Community Bereavement Service is available to adults and children of all ages in need of support, whilst coming to terms with the death of a relative or friend. Our service can help you to find ways that can help you to start take control of your life again.
The service is made up of a team of counsellors, one of whom manages the service, an administrator and a volunteer support workers.
Our team is also able to support families through their grief, by providing Information and resources to help parents in supporting their child. We also deliver Rainbows programmes, which is a safe setting for children and young people to explore feelings around grief and loss.
After an initial assessment you will be offered some of the following support:
Bereavement support for adults
Circular guided walks with a qualified volunteer (60 – 90 minutes). The walks are designed to fit with the abilities of participants and are not too strenuous. They start and finish at locations close to a venue where participants can have refreshments/snacks and a chance to socialise. Walks take place in all weathers.
‘I felt relaxed enough to share my feelings’
Bereavement Support Group
The purpose of the support group is to give you the opportunity to join others who are experiencing similar losses and issues. The group is facilitated by experienced bereavement support workers who have been trained in group work. We find that group members sometimes get to know each other well and some continue to meet informally after the sessions have ended. The six week group themed, ‘looking back, moving forward’ is available in the daytime and in the evening.
‘It’s good to realise that you’re not on your own and that what you’re feeling is normal’
One to one bereavement support
One to one bereavement support can be over the phone, via email or face to face. It can be an opportunity to talk, in confidence, about the consequences of your loss, with someone who will be able to listen to your experience of grief. Support is person-centred, non-directive and can help you think through any changes you may need to make and find a new way to a new life.
‘I was able to talk freely and got validation for my feelings’
Every loss is a very personal experience and no two people experience loss in the same way. Many people find it helps to talk with someone who is not part of their family or close circle of friends.
Bereavement support for children
We work closely with parents and carers to support children experiencing grief. As parents and carers, you may be best placed in helping children. We can provide you with resources, information and services to help you manage in supporting this.
We also offer other structured support.
One to One with a support worker qualified to work with children
We run confidential sessions, which last no longer than an hour, at a mutually convenient time. The sessions are in a setting that allows space to process thoughts and feelings at a level of their understanding.
These programmes are tailored for different age groups in a safe environment, specially designed for children and young people who are grieving a loss through death. Rainbows acknowledge that grief needs to be recognised and supported; not denied, buried or ignored.
How can you get in touch?
Clients may self-refer. Your GP may also refer you to the service. With your consent, your friends, family and workplace can also contact the service on your behalf, regardless of how long ago you experienced your bereavement. After an initial telephone assessment, clients are offered what we feel may be the most appropriate support for their needs.
The service is a free of charge, confidential and is led by fully trained counsellors.