COVID-19 - Bereavement and Grief - Caring For Plymouth
Updated 3 March 2022
- Tell Us Once
- Further information for people with dementia
- Further information for people with learning disabilities
- Further information for people with autism
- Funeral guidance
- Funeral costs
Church of England in Devon (Plymouth)
Church of England ministers across Plymouth offering a listening ear and emotional support for bereavement issues via the telephone.
Support for parents and their families when a child of any age dies through any cause. They have local support groups, one-to-one support, telephone and online support, as well as support for parents bereaved in specific circumstances e.g. by suicide, drugs or alcohol, accident, long term illness and more.
0345 123 2304
CRUSE Bereavement Care (Devon Area)
A specialist service for those people who have suffered a traumatic bereavement or who are suffering with complex grief.
0300 330 5466
Derriford Hospital Bereavement Office
Providing sensitive, sympathetic support and assistance to the individual needs of bereaved relatives and carers to help them through the procedures following the death of a patient at the hospital.
Not a crisis service so cannot respond to an emergency. Provides information, mental health support and training and signposting to other services where appropriate.
Head Space is an out of hours service for people who think they are approaching a mental health crisis. Bookings can be made via phone or email.
Free support to children, young people and their parents/carers who have or are about to experience the death of someone special. Call 01752 424348 Monday, Wednesday, Friday 12 noon - 1 pm.
Independent Funeral directors who also offer bereavement support services. Knapman offer counselling support through their qualified counsellors who are registered with BACP (British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy) and who have specialist training in complex grief, bereavement and trauma.
Free and confidential service providing emotional and mental health support, counselling, information and signposting to children and young people, up to 18 years old, in Plymouth.
St Andrew's Minster Church
St Andrew's Minster Church in city centre run the Snack n Chat Bereavement Group (facilitated by a team of 5 volunteers) on a Tuesday morning, 10am-12:30pm, with refreshments in the coffee corner at the back of the church. This is not operating during the lockdown period (but in normal times between 40-50 bereaved people attend for support and friendship so it may become very important once restrictions are lifted).
St Luke's Hospice
Provides end of life care and support to those from Plymouth, South West Devon and East Cornwall. The Compassionate Friends (who offer practical and emotional support) and Bereavement Support services offered by volunteers is usually open to those known to St Luke's but during the pandemic, it is open to all.
The Mustard Tree
The Mustard Tree Cancer Support Centre has been created to support people with cancer, their carers and family. The Centre is available to anyone affected by cancer at any stage of the illness and offers a wide range of services within a comfortable environment where you can share your concerns, ask questions and receive support.
University Hospitals Plymouths NHS Trust Bereavement Team
We provide sensitive, sympathetic support and assistance to the individual needs of bereaved relatives and carers to help them through the procedures following the death of a patient at the hospital. Our service includes working with medical and nursing colleagues to ensure the prompt completion of all the necessary paperwork after a death as well as explaining to the bereaved how to register a death, how to find a Funeral Director or arrange a funeral without a Funeral Director.
01752 439492 or 01752 439743
At A Loss
National charity providing a one-stop bereavement support and signposting website. Aims to ensure that every bereaved person in the UK can find bereavement support when they need it.
Bereavement Advice Centre
Free helpline and web-based information service provided by Co-op Legal Services.
A free, private and confidential service for anyone under the age of 19 in the UK. Children and young people can talk to trained staff/volunteers about anything they are dealing with.
The National Charity for the elderly, the terminally ill and their pets.
01736 757 900
CRUSE Bereavement Care National Helpline
Free and confidential one-to-one support for bereaved people (Lines open 9:30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday and 9:30am to 8pm, Tues, Wednesday and Thursday). There is also advice and information and booklets people can download from the website.
0808 808 1677
Grassroots Suicide Prevention
National charity in suicide prevention aiming to give people skills and confidence to save lives through training, innovation and thought-provoking campaigns.
Hope Again: Young People Living After Loss
A youth website, which is part of Cruse Bereavement Care. A safe place is provided for young people to learn from other young people how to cope with grief and feel less alone.
If U Care, Share Foundation
Support and information for people bereaved by suicide.
0191 387 5661
A faith-based, mental health charity working predominantly with those from an Islamic faith, but no-one is disregarded if they are from a different background. This is not an emergency service.
Jewish Bereavement Counselling Service
Charity offering counselling support to the Jewish community (including those with a close connection to a Jewish person e.g. partner) following bereavement.
National charity providing free bereavement support after the loss of a loved one and also now offering specific COVID-19 loss support.
It is not a 24 hour service.
National charity that raises awareness of sudden, infant death syndrome, provides expert advice on safer sleep for babies and emotional support for bereaved families. The helpline is a listening and not a counselling service. As well as this,there is a Facebook group that people can request to join, for peer support and a befriending service. There is also the Care of Next Infant programme which supports families before and after the birth of a new baby.
0808 802 6868
National cancer charity providing emotional, physical and financial support to people living with cancer and advice on e.g. welfare rights, energy bills, finances, work and cancer, Macmillan grants etc.
Provides care, support and information for anyone affected by a terminal illness. The free national listening support line includes support for people who have been bereaved due to terminal illness. Callers can be matched with a trained volunteer to have up to six bereavement support sessions over the telephone. Please be aware this is not counselling but listening emotional support.
0800 090 2309
Provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem.
An online tribute charity where people can create a free tribute in the online memorial garden to remember a loved one (and the opportunity to fundraise in their memory)
Muslim Youth Helpline
National charity providing emotional support at the point of crisis and signposting to the young Muslim community.
National Bereavement Partnership
For all those affected by the pandemic, who want information, advice and support (and where required, counselling). It is run by highly skilled and knowledgeable professionals.
0800 448 0800 (Free helpline for emotional support 7 days a week, 7am-10pm)
NHS Bereavement Helpline
We have introduced this helpline to support bereaved families during the pandemic. It is not a counselling service, but it offers support, guidance and advice on coping with grief and loss. It is staffed by NHS Blood and Transplant registered nurses who are very experienced in working with bereaved people. Call 0800 2600 400, 8am-8pm every day.
0800 2600 400, 8am-8pm every day.
Confidential support and advice service for children and young people under the age of 35, experiencing thoughts of suicide and for anyone concerned that a young person could be thinking about suicide.
An online book of remembrance specifically for those who have died due to COVID-19 in the UK. People can submit the name of someone who has died and also view the entries of others.
National telephone helpline and support by email and text. All available 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
The Sikh Helpline
Charity acting as a point of contact for members of the community in dealing with a range of issues. The helpline is a listening service which is available to everyone.
0845 6440704 (available 24/7)
Staying Safe From Suicidal Thoughts
National website offering compassion, kindness and easy ways to help people keep safer from suicidal thoughts, seek support and hope of recovery via videos from people with personal experience. Provides vital safety plan guidance.
Shout for support in a crisis
A 24/7 free crisis text service for anyone of any age in the UK.
UK charity supporting people bereaved after a sudden death and their carers.
National charity who provide palliative, neurological and bereavement support.
Support After Suicide
Support to people bereaved by suicide and information about relevant resources. The website is provided by the Suicide Support Partnership (an alliance of organisations with a focus on providing timely appropriate support to everyone bereaved or affected by suicide.
Survivors of Bereavement By Suicide
Self-help voluntary organisation aiming to meet the needs and break down isolation of those bereaved by the suicide of a close relative or friend (For over 18's only). The helpline does not offer counselling but the opportunity to talk confidentially with trained volunteers, many of whom have been bereaved by suicide.
The Black, African and Asian Therapy Network
This is the largest community of counsellors and psychotherapists of Black, African, Asian and Caribbean heritage in the UK. In the 'Support' section of the website (in the 'Wellbeing, Health and Healing' area), there is a 'Time4me' Children's Bereavement workbook available. This is a free, interactive resource for children to use with an adult and aims to facilitate conversations about the death of a significant person in the child's life.
The Compassionate Friends
National charity providing emotional support for bereaved parents, siblings, grandparents etc who have experienced the death of a child.
The Good Grief Trust
Charity to provide reassurance and support to the bereaved. Run by the bereaved for the bereaved. Now extended their offer of virtual grief cafes. These are online support groups which regularly run every week on Sundays and Wednesdays (12 noon to 1pm) and a monthly one. They are safe, closed meeting places run via Zoom and people can book a place via emailing us.
Online self-help group providing mutual emotional and practical advice and support to those who have been widowed primarily but not exclusively in their 50's and 60's.
WAY Widowed & Young
UK charity offering a peer to peer emotional and practical support network for anyone who has lost a partner before their 51st birthday.
National childhood bereavement charity offering a wide range of practical support and guidance to bereaved children, families and professionals.
National website and crisis text line offering mental health support to children and young people.
Tell Us Once is a service that lets you report a death to most government organisations in one go.
To use this service you need:
- the Tell Us Once reference number given to you by the registrar
- name, date of death and National Insurance Number of the deceased
- contact details, date of birth or National Insurance Number of the next of kin (closest relative by blood or marriage)
- details of the person or company dealing with the deceased's property, belongings and money (estate)
Find out more on the GOV.UK website.
The following guidance can be found on their website
- supporting a person with dementia during grief
- supporting a person with dementia during bereavement
There is the Dementia Connect Support Line where dementia advisors can provide advice and support - 03333 1503456. The helpline cannot offer personalised medical advice but can answer questions about all aspects of dementia, give advice and support for all associated challenges.
Free Admiral Nurse Dementia Helpline, call 0800 8886678 for families caring for someone with dementia and for people living with dementia. It can provide advice and information on dementia-related issues and emotional and practical support to carers affected by COVID-19. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition to our Helpline, we have launched our Closer to Home virtual clinic. If you're caring for someone living with dementia you can book an appointment with an Admiral Nurse, in confidence.
Self-isolation or quarantine
- Coping without support groups or day centres
- Missing friends and family
- Care homes
- If you care for someone with dementia that you do not live with
Living at home
- What to do to look after yourselves mentally and physically
- What to do if you're worried professional carers might not be able to come and help
- What to do now weekly carer's groups are not running
- How to explain the situation to someone with dementia
- What can I do for my friend with dementia who lives alone?
- Worries about catching the virus when getting supplies for my relative with dementia when I care for them full-time.
It is for use by people living with dementia (independently or with support), their families and carers and professionals. It covers the following:
- Bereavement and dementia
- The effects of bereavement
- Supporting someone following a bereavement
- Good practice for communicating with someone with dementia experiencing loss and bereavement
- The journey through loss and bereavement (a pictorial guide)
- Bereavement and dementia-Communication tips for family and carers
- Useful contacts and resources
There are a variety of guides available to download on their website
For Families and Carers
- When someone dies
- A guide for carers
- A support booklet
Easy Read Guides
- Going to a funeral
- What can help you feel better when someone dies
There is also the Learning Disability Helpline, call 0808 8081111 and an online community forum which provides a safe, supportive place to meet others and get support.
UK registered charity that produces books containing just pictures so they are clear and easy to understand for people who find pictures easier than words.
The following digital books are available to download free from their website.
- Bereavement Mini set of Books including: When Somebody Dies, When Mum Died, When Dad Died, Am I Going To die?
- When someone dies from coronavirus: a guide for families and carers
- Jack plans ahead for coronavirus: a guide for families and carers
- Beating the virus
- Good days and bad days during lockdown
We're Living Well But Dying Matters
This is a film about including people with learning disabilities in discussions around death, dying and bereavement to help them feel comfortable talking about these issues.
Palliative Care For People With Learning Disabilities Network
Charity to bring together service providers, people with learning disabilities and carers, working for the benefit of individuals with learning disabilities who have palliative care needs.
National Autistic Society
In the Bereavement section on the website, there is advice on how to support an adult or child with autism, to cope with a death.
Plymouth City Council Funerals and Cremations
For enquiries about a burial or cremation, please email email@example.com
Good Funeral Guide
A UK not-for-profit, independent information funeral advice resource. They have a variety of guides that can be downloaded and a blog section which is regularly updated.
You may be able to get help from
- A private or personal pension scheme the deceased had that pays a lump sum to help with funeral costs.
- A trade union, professional body or a provident club which pays a benefit when a member dies
- A life insurance policy taken out by the deceased which pays a lump sum if someone dies before a certain age
- A funeral payment if you are on a low income
Government and the Department for Work and Pensions help with funeral costs
The Social Fund Funeral Expenses Payment helps to pay for the cost of a funeral if you or your partner fit certain criteria and are receiving certain benefits. It does not cover the full cost and how much you receive depends on your circumstances (and not those of the person who has died). The payments are grants and do not need to be paid back. Apply by either calling the DWP Bereavement Service Helpline on 0800 7310469 or complete the funeral expenses claim form.
The Bereavement Support Payment is available to people who have lost a spouse or civil partner (if they are under state pension age). The amount varies according to whether the surviving partner has dependent children or not. It could be used to cover funeral costs.
Children's Funeral Fund is available if you live in England, Scotland or Wales, your local authority will not charge you fees for a standard burial or cremation of a child under the age of 18.However, the fund does not cover other funeral costs.
War Pension is available if your loved one was receiving a War Disablement Pension or died as a result of serving in HM Forces, you may be able to apply to Veteran's UK for help covering the cost of a funeral.
Budgeting Loans is an interest free loan available to people in England and Wales who have been on Pension Credits, Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance or Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance for a minimum of 12 weeks. It can be used to cover funeral costs and must be repaid within 104 weeks.
Public Health Funeral are available if there isn't enough money in the deceased's estate to pay for the funeral ,next of kin cannot be located or are unable to arrange to cover costs and you are not eligible for other support, the council has a duty to arrange a simple, respectful public health funeral. It is usually a short, simple cremation service which does not include flowers, viewings, and transport for family members or obituaries. The time, date and funeral director will be chosen by the council. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
A funeral director that is a member of one of the following will be able to give you a price list on request and will not exceed any written estimate without your permission:
Some work-related charities and organisations (related to your work history and past employment of the deceased) offer grants. In some cases, it may also be possible for your partner or other close family members of the deceased who are helping with the funeral bill to make applications based on their work history. Also, some non-work related charities offer financial support depending on individual characteristics.
To find out what help you might be able to receive from grant-giving charities, you can use the Turn2Us Grants Search Tool.
Northcott Devon Foundation
Provides one-off grants for people living in Devon who are in need and have been bereaved, have an illness, disability, injury or are in exceptionally disadvantaged circumstances. Applicants must check that local funding is not able to provide them with what they need before applying for the grant. Applications must be made through a sponsor e.g. a doctor/social worker/Citizen's Advice Bureau, headteacher, priest etc.
Child Funeral Charity
Staff are working remotely during the pandemic and are still answering calls and emails, 01480 276088 or email@example.com. Referrals are taken from professionals who know the bereaved family and their circumstances e.g. GP, funeral director, celebrant, hospital bereavement officer etc.
A charity that helps families caring for a child with an illness which is life-threatening or has the potential to shorten their lifespan. They aim to help in situations where none is available elsewhere and will consider requests for funeral and memorial expenses. Call 0208 9402575.
There For You (Unison Welfare)
Unison's charity provides support to members and their dependents who are struggling generally due to unforeseen changes of circumstances which include bereavement. To access support email firstname.lastname@example.org.
SSAFA-The Armed Forces Charity
Provides support for those going through bereavement and can help with securing financial assistance alongside other practical help. Call 0800 7314880.
ABF-The Soldier's Charity
The British Army's national charity which can offer grants to cover unexpected or difficult expenses that cannot be met any other way. For bereaved families, this could include help to cover the cost of a needed holiday break after a bereavement (They are unable to provide money for memorials or headstones). Contact the South West Regional Office (based in Exeter) via email email@example.com.
The RAF Benevolent Fund
Support for serving members, veterans and their dependents. Families facing financial difficulties after a bereavement can apply for support to help with essential living costs or costs associated with the bereavement (If the family are not eligible to receive a funeral payment from the DWP or the payment doesn't cover the full cost, they can help to cover the costs of a basic funeral). They provide specialist bereavement counselling and support and advocacy to help people access the state benefits available when someone dies. The helpline number is 0300 1021919 and email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Royal Naval Benevolent Trust
Provides financial support and assistance to Royal Naval and Royal Marines personnel and their families in times of need. Grants are given in circumstances that include necessity or distress (this includes funeral expenses). Call 02392 690112 or email email@example.com.
Royal British Legion
Can help those who are part of the Armed Forces community by providing grants to help through a temporary crisis (An assessment is carried out to check on your eligibility). The grants do not provide cash but can provide essentials for you and your family and individual circumstances are carefully considered. Call 0808 8028080 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Junius S. Morgan Benevolent Fund
Helps registered nurses, healthcare assistants and midwives (working or retired) who have practised in the UK for a minimum of 5 years. The fund provides financial assistance of up to £1,000 to people who get into hardship due to various circumstances, including the death of the family's primary wage earner. Applications can be made via email email@example.com
For You By You (The Civil Servants Charity)
Can provide financial support (will consider funeral expenses). An application form can be accessed on their website.
The Electrical Industries Charity
Supports families of people who work or have worked in jobs connected with the electrical, electronic and energy industries, whether in retail, manufacturing or the wider industry. They offer financial assistance and grants for people in difficult circumstances through e.g. bereavement (in some cases, they offer grants to help with funeral costs). They also offer counselling services via the telephone/skype. Call 0800 6521618 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Timber Trades Benevolent Society
Provides grants (including occasionally, funeral grants) for people who have worked in the timber trade in the UK for at least 10 years (or 5, in extreme cases) as employees of companies involved in trading/distribution of wood-based products and who are on low incomes/have little or no savings. People can apply directly or through a third party such as Citizen's Advice Bureau via email email@example.com.
The Transport Benevolent Fund
Supports public transport workers and their families. If a member dies in unexpected circumstances, the fund may pay a grant to the bereaved partner, parent of a dependent child or to a child who was dependent on their single parent. If bereavement has led to short term hardship, the fund may help with cash grants to pay pressing household bills. It also provides grants of up to £250 a year to help towards the cost of a range of therapies such as counselling. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Retail Trust
Supports people who work in customer-facing environments e.g. shops, online stores, distribution centres, call centres, banks and property agencies. They offer grants to help alleviate financial pressures that often affect people's emotional wellbeing e.g. funeral expenses. Applications can be made online.
Supports anyone working in/who has worked in the grocery industry. Call 08088 021122or email email@example.com. The helpline is for anyone struggling with emotional/personal/financial issues and there is also a telephone-based befriending service for people finding it hard to cope or feeling isolated after a bereavement.
The Drinks Trust
A charity supporting anyone who works in the alcoholic drinks industry (manufacturing, distribution and marketing, pubs, off licences). They can offer practical, emotional and financial support to families whose loved one has died and in exceptional circumstances may also provide financial grants to help cover funeral costs. Call 0800 9154610 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution
Provides financial support to many farming families every year, including grants to help people of all ages cope in an immediate crisis, like a bereavement. Call 0808 2819490 or email email@example.com.
The Fishermen's Mission
Supports fishermen and their families (active or retired). Can provide emotional support after a bereavement and help with negotiating practical issues/paperwork after a death. They can also give financial assistance for rent, food, utility bills, school dinners or uniforms. Email BrixhamCentre@fishermensmission.org.uk
Latest COVID-19 guidance
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