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TCF news

Spring 2018 editions of TCF publications - out now

OUT NOW....Compassion, our supportive magazine for bereaved parents written by bereaved parents....and TCF News, our charity newsletter with articles and features covering fundraising, events and other news going on in The Compassionate Friends.

We have also published a Newsletter especially for parents who have lost their only child or all their children, and a Newsletter for bereaved siblings called SIBBS (Support in Bereavement for Brothers and Sisters).

To receive these publications on a regular basis, please JOIN TCF as a donating member and they will be sent to you every quarter.

You can view all our publications online here:


TCF News

Childless Parents Newsletter (for parents with no surviving children)

SIBBS Newsletter (Support in Bereavement for Brothers and Sisters)

New private Facebook for parents who have suffered loss of a baby, toddler or pre-school child

A new private, closed Facebook group is offering peer support to parents who have lost a baby, toddler or pre-school child.

Your loss can have been just a short time ago or many years previously - all are warmly welcome. We hope the group will offer support, encouragement, some hope and friendship.

We hope the new group will give parents the opportunity to share experiences and pain, some of the difficulties related to the loss of baby or young child, share things that may have been helpful to us on this journey, and anything else that you are feeling since your child died and want to share, get feedback on, or just because you need to give words to your feelings. Together we support each other; together we remember our baby, toddler or child for the love, joy and memories we hold about them.

Contact us at info@tcf.org.uk to request to join. We will ask you a few questions - to keep the group safe for bereaved parents only - and then send you a link to access the group.

Details of all our UK Facebook Groups and how to join are here.

New fact sheets - making a complaint to or about the NHS

Most of the time the NHS does a great job of taking care of us and our loved ones, but there also can be circumstances where we may feel that it has failed in some way. It may be some action or lack of action by health professionals working in the NHS who, in our opinion, have contributed to the death of our child. In these circumstances, we may wish to make a complaint.

The Compassionate Friends have produced a series of fact sheets providing a summary of the complaints procedure in England as of 2017 from the perspective of a bereaved parent.

Part 1 gives a brief overview and some advice on reaching a decision on whether to complain or not.

Part 2 offers information about starting the complaints process.

Part 3 gives a description of the process and what you can expect.

It is hoped, in the future, to provide further information about the process in Scotland and Wales.

Worldwide Candle Lighting 2017 - love, light and remembrance

Join us on Sunday 10th December, 7pm in this event of love, light and remembrance.

2017 Book of Remembrance
Post a message of remembrance for your son or daughter, brother or sister, or grandchild.

Post your message and light a virtual candle here.

This worldwide event unites family and friends around the globe in lighting candles for one hour to honour the memories of the sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, and grandchildren who left too soon.

As candles are lit at 7:00 p.m. local time, hundreds of formal candle lighting events and thousands of informal candle lightings are held in quiet remembrance and to honour the memory of all children who have died but will never be forgotten.

Find out if there is a public event near you.

The 21st Annual Worldwide Candle Lighting gives bereaved families everywhere the opportunity to remember their child or children - so that their lights may always shine...


Gathering in Northamptonshire 'bursting with positive'.

“That gathering was bursting with positive! Broken people who fight to take another breath at times but can still laugh as much as they cry and hold the hand of another without any judgement”.

Elly Sutherland came to her first Compassionate Friends Gathering from 10-12 November 2017. Here she shares her impressions and experiences of the weekend.

I spent this past weekend at Sedgebrook Hall in the beautiful Northamptonshire countryside with well over a hundred other grieving parents. It was the National Gathering of The Compassionate Friends. If I tell people I am going to these weekends they look a little shocked. I mean who wants to get with a whole bunch of people that are sad and broken. Why would we want to spend a whole weekend together?!

From Scotland in the north to the Isle of Wight in the south we came, sharing stories of our beautiful children in an atmosphere of acceptance and without judgement. Some are new in their grief and some are veterans. Multiple loss, as in my case, is not so prevalent. People look at my badge in disbelief and ask about Rachel AND James. One or two thought maybe I had lost James and my name was Rachel so hard is it to imagine that both could be my deceased children. I cannot believe it myself!

I am never quite sure if it is the right thing to attend but each time has brought new friends, new perspectives, an opportunity to receive love and more importantly, to give it away. It requires I step out of my comfort zone. Such devastating losses shake your confidence challenging everything you thought you knew about yourself and life. Finding a new normal takes time, patience, and a lot of soul searching. My friend, Liz, talked me into joining the little voluntary choir. I have not sung in a choir since before Rachel died. Initially I was reluctant, but something brought a change of heart and I agreed. As it turns out this was the highlight of my weekend. We practiced a couple of times, with a lot of laughter, and sang our song for the whole group at the closing on Sunday. Singing in this small but enthusiastic group filled me with such peace and unexpected joy. Somewhere over these past years I had forgotten how to sing. I found my voice again.

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