Bereavement support in Essex

Help for those experiencing bereavement

Here are some resources to help the bereaved find the support they need in these very difficult times and challenging circumstances:

Affected by bereavement or loss because of COVID-19?

  • Havens Hospices have launched a Coronavirus Crisis Bereavement Line to support adults and children across Essex bereaved directly or indirectly as a result of Coronavirus. The helpline number is 01702 220321. The phone line is open seven days a week, 9am to 6pm, with a trained team of counsellors and bereavement workers who will listen, advise and signpost people so they can manage their grief until longer term support can be arranged. Children will be offered more structured sessions over the phone or via Zoom.
  • St Luke’s Hospice have a free Bereavement Support Helpline 03334002358 (open Mon-Thurs 1-4.30pm) for people affected by Covid-19, supported by The National Lottery Community Fund and Children in Need, is available to people living in the districts of Basildon and Thurrock.

Financial support available

Contact the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Bereavement Service to check if:

  • you can get bereavement benefits
  • you can get help towards the cost of a funeral if you’re on a low income
  • the death will affect any other benefits you’re already claiming

Bereavement support for children and young people

  • Simon Says has developed an excellent reading list for all ages to support children and young people in understanding and dealing with loss. They also have excellent resources for teachers too.
  • The British Heart Foundation have developed an animated short story to help bereaved children
  • St Helena offer bereavement support for children and young people and are currently offering telephone counselling and support as well as virtual sessions. To find out more visit their website.
  • Farleigh Hospice offer a range of bereavement services for children ages 4 to 18 who need either bereavement or pre-bereavement support. The support is designed to support individual needs with three options: Circle, Yo Yo and Greif Chat with a mix of telephone support, 1 to 1, support groups, therapy and more. Circle adult bereavement support is based at Farleigh Hospice and offers a service to anyone aged 18+ living in the mid-Essex area e.g Chelmsford, Braintree and Maldon. The Yo-Yo Project is open to any child or young person aged 4-18 who is either facing the loss of someone significant or bereaved and resident in mid-Essex. Both services are free of charge and you can find our referral forms at www.farleighhospice.org and search bereavement.  Self-referral or referral from professionals are accepted.For information email circle@farleighhospice.org or call 01245 457308 or yoyoproject@farleighhospice.org or call 01245 457416.
  • If you are supporting a bereaved child or young person the Childhood Bereavement Network has information and links to national and local organisations.
  • Family Innovation Fund-Xtra (FiF-Xtra) services, offer early support across a number of key areas including children’s bereavement. They are available to children and young people aged between 0 and 19-years, and up to 25-years for young people with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND). They can be accessed directly by families, through referral from a professional such as a teacher, via the Getting Help in Essex Directory, or by calling one of the organisations themselves.

Child Bereavement UK have several short guidance films including:

Having an end of life discussion

It is often very difficult to have end of life conversations, whether you’re the person dying or the concerned relative. But these videos will explain the benefits of having the conversation, how to approach the subject and the practical things to think about.

Coping with the death of someone through suicide

If you are dealing with the unexpected death of someone from suicide, St Helena are running a bereavement support group for individuals bereaved by suicide. There will be eight sessions, run by two qualified counsellors in St Helena’s first virtual group. To find out more and book, visit their website or call 01206 984274.

Coping with the death of a loved one

Support is available:

Livewell Partners