The Peace Hospice Bereavement Service offers a wide range of support. Everyone wishing to receive this support must be referred to us by a healthcare professional.
The following services are available for adults, children and young people:
This service is provided by a team of accredited specialist bereavement counsellors. Initially 8 x 1 hour individual sessions will be offered.
Bereavement support volunteers
This service is provided by a team of volunteers trained in bereavement support. One to one or group sessions for on-going support are available.
A grief programme for children, young people and their carers
The Doves Club meet once a month. A chance to socialise with other bereaved people over a pub lunch.
Once a referral is received the Bereavement Co-ordination team will contact you within 20 days to arrange a meeting or telephone discussion.
These services are offered free of charge.
All referrals to the Peace Hospice bereavement service must be made by a Healthcare Professional
We hope some of the following information will be of help to you.
Frequently Asked Questions
|The Five Stages of Grief|
Bereavement Support Links
Training and Personal Development
|How to Contact Us|
Understanding Bereavement (pdf)
Is Mummy coming home? (pdf) - Dealing with loss in early years
STARS (pdf) - A grief programme for children and their carers
Stepping Stones (pdf) - Confidential support for teenages and young adults
If you would find it easier to be supported over the telephone, a member of our team can offer you a regular dedicated call. We would hope to arrange this at a regular, pre-arranged time for as long as is helpful.
We have a network of 40 trained bereavement counsellors, spread across South West Hertfordshire, who offer confidential one-to-one bereavement counselling to support you through your grief. This service is provided either at The Peace Hospice or in outside counselling premises.
Counselling is the opportunity to meet with a qualified counsellor, in confidence, to explore your feelings. The Counsellor will support you in finding your own resources to cope with your grief.
If you feel it would help to talk to a bereavement counsellor, please contact us and you will be given the opportunity to discuss how things are for you, what support you feel would help and what we can do to support you.
If a bereavement counsellor is considered the most appropriate support for you, then you will be put on our waiting list and we will contact you just as soon as a counsellor becomes available.
We will endeavour to find a counsellor who can see you at a time most convenient to you. We have counsellors who can see clients both in the daytime and in the evening. It is recommended that you have a regular day and time for your counselling sessions and each session will last between 50 mins to 1 hour.
Your local group will assign a visitor specifically to you. A visitor will offer you their time and support on a regular basis. All of our visitors have been trained to work with bereaved people and have experience in meeting and supporting people during this difficult time.
You may be finding it difficult to continue to share your feelings with other family members or friends, they may also be grieving. Maybe you would find it easier to talk to an independent person in your own home. A visitor can provide a listening ear and will understand your need to talk about the person or persons who have died.
If you would be interested in receiving a visit, please contact us and you will be given the opportunity to discuss how things are for you, what support you feel would help and what we can do to support you.
The child may also be overwhelmed by powerful emotions and feelings including guilt, the recognition for the first time of their own mortality, isolation, withdrawal, anger and anxiety.
Sessions are run in small groups both at the Hospice and in a community centre in Borehamwood. They are limited to five programmes a year.
"Dear friends from the STARS project,
I just thought you might like to hear about the parents night held at Charlotte’s school recently.
Since the start of the school year Lotti had been very withdrawn and had lost all interest in her schoolwork. Her teacher made allowances because of our loss and remained supportive and encouraged her even when she failed the tests when, she normally would achieve good results.
The first thing Lotti’s teacher told me when I arrived was how amazed she was at the turn around in her behaviour and her work rate within the last six weeks, Lotti has begun to show more confidence working in a group as well as on her own. The interest and quality of her work has improved greatly and she has even managed to write a lovely story about her father through her own choice, without getting distressed.
Today in school assembly Lotti was awarded the school shield for her considerable achievements in the last six weeks.
I believe that a great deal of this achievement is due to the STARS programme and would like to thank you all for your help."
offers an opportunity to meet with other bereaved people in a friendly and supportive setting. Meetings are held on the third Tuesday, every month, over lunch in a local pub. The Doves Club is a friendly and sociable group who will be pleased to meet you. Please contact us for further information.
How do I find out if you can help me ?
Please contact us on our Helpline and our staff will be able to discuss this with you. Our aim is to explore with you the right kind of support. This discussion will take place over the telephone, or an appointment can be arranged for you to come andDo you only help those who have had a relative at the Hospice ?
see a member of our team.
No. We can support any bereaved person within Hertfordshire.
How regularly will I see my Counsellor ?
Sessions are usually weekly and each session will last between 50 min to 1 hour. It is recommended that you have a regular day and time for your counselling sessions.
Will I be seen in a group ?
Not necessarily. Counselling is available on a one-to-one basis or in a group.
What is counselling ?
Counselling is the opportunity to meet with a qualified Counsellor, in confidence, to explore your feelings. The Counsellor will support you in finding your own resources to cope with your grief.
What if I don’t like my counsellor ?
We always try to allocate an appropriate counsellor for each client. In the first counselling session there will be an opportunity to discuss how you feel especially, how the client and the counsellor feel they can work together, this is an important part of any counselling relationship. If you feel you cannot work with your assigned counsellor at any time, you are encouraged to express this either to your counsellor or via the office: and if appropriate after discussion another counsellor could be assigned.
Can you only help me if my relative/friend has died from cancer ?
No. We support any bereaved person through any cause of death.
Is counselling right for me ?
This can be a difficult question to answer, when you contact our helpline there will always be a discussion to explore with you what our service can offer. Our staff will do their utmost to make you aware of exactly what counselling means: then you and the member of staff can jointly decide if counselling is appropriate for you.
When will I see my Counsellor ?
We will attempt to find a counsellor who can see you at a convenient time for you. We have counsellors who can see clients both in the daytime and in the evening. It is recommended that you have a regular day and time for your counselling sessions.
How long will my counselling last ?
The amount of sessions offered will be decided between the Counsellor and the Client, but initially 8 x 1 hour individual sessions will be offered.
Who will I see ?
A counsellor will be allocated individually for you, once you have been accepted for counselling. We will write to you to advise who the counsellor is and he/she will then make contact with you to arrange your first session.
Do you help children and young people ?
We offer group support for children and young people through our STARS Programme.
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You may be unable to accept the fact of death. There may be feelings of numbness, panic, anger or unreality. It can last a short time - hours or days - but occasionally it can last for weeks.
Facing the fact of loss
After the funeral, when friends and relatives go back to their own lives, feelings of loss and loneliness may strike. Sleep can be disrupted by vivid dreams and wakefulness. You may find yourself searching for the dead person or even thinking that you hear or see them. You are not going mad - it is a common experience. You may experience intense sadness or yearning, guilt, panic, fear, self pity or anger directed at yourself or others.
You may now have accepted the loss of the old way of life, but feel unable to replace it with anything new. Sadness and aimlessness can make the easiest tasks an effort. You may neglect your home, forget to prepare proper meals and avoid going out. You may go to the other extreme, going out all the time, overeating, smoking or drinking too much, or become excessively tidy.
Despair and depression
If the period of disorganisation is left unresolved, you may give up in despair and become more depressed. Adequate support can help ease, shorten or even prevent this stage developing.
Reorganisation and recovery
With time, the pain of grieving lessens. You are building a new identity and finding a new purpose in life. It is important to renew old pursuits and try to take up new ones. You may feel your energy returning and begin to enjoy living again. This isn't disloyal to the person who died, what happened in the past will always part of you but should not affect you enjoying the present.
Working through your grief is helped by sharing your feelings with someone else. You may find friends avoid you because they do not know what to say. Why not take the first step and tell them you need their help?
You may be vulnerable to sudden impulses and may wish to get away from your old life, while still not being ready to make the right decisions about your new one.
If you feel that you would benefit from bereavment support please talk to your healthcare professional, i.e. GP, community nurse, hospital nurse or doctor. Other professionals such as teachers, Citizens Advice Bureau or social workers can also help.
The Compassionate Friends is an organisation of bereaved parents and their families offering understanding, support and encouragement to others after the death of a child or children. Also offered is support, advice and information to other relatives, friends and professionals who are helping the family. The website offers up to date information on coming events as well as how to contact the organisation. Also available is how to volunteer or donate to the organisation. www.tcf.org.uk/
Cruse Bereavement Care offers free bereavement counselling, support and information to anyone bereaved by death. Their website briefly outlines the services offered by this organisation and the ways in which you can help. Contact information is also available. www.crusebereavementcare.org.uk/
Winston's Wish a grief support programme that provides a range of services for bereaved children and their families. Contact information, publications and ways to help the support programme are available on this site. There is a large section on how the organisation can help you, which includes a section in which you can ask a question directly to the organisation. More technical information is also available for professionals who care for bereaved children. www.winstonswish.org.uk/default.asp
The WAY Foundationis the only national charity that provides support to young bereaved men and women in the UK. Membership is open to anyone widowed up to and including the age of 50. www.wayfoundation.org.uk/
SOBS (Survivors Of Bereavement by Suicide) exists to meet the needs and break the isolation of those bereaved by the suicide of a close relative or friend. We offer emotional and practical support in a number of ways:
- Telephone contacts
- Bereavement packs
- Group meetings (in a number of locations)
- One-day conferences
- Residential events
- Information relating to practical issues and problems
PAPYRUS is a voluntary UK organisation committed to the prevention of young suicide and the promotion of mental health and emotional wellbeing. Founded in 1997 by parents who had lost a son or daughter to suicide, PAPYRUS has three primary objectives:
- To provide assistance and resources to the professional and public sectors who care for teens and young people battling suicidal tendencies.
- To promote public awareness in the importance of emotional wellbeing and to campaign for improved mental health services in the UK for vulnerable young people.
- To provide an easily accessible route to information on suicide prevention and emotional wellbeing; from basic self-help resources, to guidance on seeking counselling and therapy.www.papyrus.org.uk/
At the same time, RoadPeace launched the first and only national helpline for road victims - 0845 4500 355 - a Lifeline offering vital information, advice and support on 7 days 12 hours each day, backed up by publications written from the victims' perspective and practical experience of thousands of cases - on investigations, prosecutions and civil claims. Long-term support and friendship are offered through mailings, local groups, annual events and many joint acts of remembrance.
RoadPeace champions the rights of road crash victims to ensure the trauma they suffer is acknowledged. To this end, RoadPeace researches and documents the experiences of road crash victims, using the findings to inform and influence policy makers, agencies, the media and the public.
RoadPeace also works for real road safety - to reduce the causes of road crashes and make sure that lessons are learnt to prevent similar deaths and injuries from occurring. RoadPeace works with many transport campaigning and social justice groups and is a founder member of the Safer Streets Coalition, the Slower Speeds Initiative and Children and Traffic Coalition. Many concerned members of the public support RoadPeace's work and have joined as members. www.roadpeace.org/
Here at SAMM we offer understanding and support to families and friends, who have been bereaved as a result of murder and manslaughter, through the mutual support of others who have suffered a similar tragedy.
- in which fewer people die by suicide
- people are able to explore their feelings
- people are able to acknowledge and respect the feelings of others.
Samaritans’ values are based on these beliefs:
- The importance of having the opportunity to explore difficult feelings.
- That being listened to, in confidence and accepted without prejudice, can alleviate despair and suicidal feelings.
- That everyone has the right to make fundamental decisions about their own life, including the decision to due by suicide. www.samaritans.org.uk/
Unfortunately we are currently unable to offer any Student Counselling placements.
We offer free bereavement training to staff to help them develop or amend their Bereavement Policy. The training aims to help staff to feel comfortable when talking about death and dying and will help to put in place procedures when a death affects a pupil, the whole school or a staff member.
For more information on our work with schools and colleges please contact Contact Allison Tromans-Nunes on 01923 330 330 ext 216 or email email@example.com
Bereavement General Office Enquiry: 01923 250355
Fax: 01923 330331