The Peace Hospice Bereavement team offers a wide range of support, free of charge, to anyone who has been bereaved within Hertfordshire regardless of whether or not they have visited the Peace Hospice.
This service has been awarded 'Any Qualified Provider' status.
The following services are available for adults, children and young people:
This service is provided by a team of qualified and accredited bereavement counsellors.
Initially 8 x 50 minute 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.
Bereavement support group
The aim of the group is to give people an opportunity to meet others who have been bereaved, to share experiences and to offer mutual support. It is hosted by trained staff and volunteers in a relaxed and supportive environment. The group meets on the third Thursday of each month at the Peace Hospice.
If it becomes clear that family relationships are being affected by the bereavement, family group support is available from family specialist accredited bereavement counsellors.
Children and young people
STARS is a specially designed grief programme for children aged 5 - 12 years and their carers. The six session programme provides bereaved children and their carers the chance to meet others who have also experienced a death. STARS helps families to find ways of expressing themselves and holding onto memories. Sessions are run in small groups of up to eight children both at the Peace Hospice and in Borehamwood.
A teen bereavement group meets at the Peace Hospice at 7pm on the first Wednesday of each month. This group gives the chance for bereaved teenagers (aged 13 - 18) to come together and share their experiences with others who have had somebody important in their lives die. It is facilitated by experienced counsellors.
Bereavement Counselling for Children and Young People
Individual bereavement counselling is available with qualified counsellors who have additional training and experience of working with children and young people.
Social groups and practical workshops
The Doves Club offers an opportunity to meet with other bereaved people. Meetings are held on the third Tuesday of the month, over lunch in a local pub. We also offer some practical workshops in areas of life skills, finance and cookery.
Education programme for schools
We offer free bereavement training to school staff to help them feel comfortable when talking about death and dying and will help to put procedures in place when a death affects a pupil, the whole school or a staff member.
How to make a referral
You can self-refer by calling the Bereavement Office on 01923 229595 or Healthcare Professionals can download a Referral Form from this website.
What happens next?
Once a referral is received the Bereavement Coordination team will aim to contact you within 20 days to arrange a meeting or telephone discussion. If you need to talk to us please call the Bereavement Office on 01923 229595.
In an emergency please contact your GP. Should you feel the need to talk to someone outside of office hours the Samarians are available 24 hours a day on 08457 909090.
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
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, days or even weeks.
Facing the fact of loss
After the funeral 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, wanting to go out all the time, over-eat, smoke or drink 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 stop you enjoying the present.
What can you do to help yourself?
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.
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/