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Grief Companion Scheme


One to One Peer support for newly bereaved parents

Grieving for a child can be a lonely path. The whole philosophy behind The Compassionate Friends (TCF) is putting bereaved parents in touch with each other for peer-to-peer support.

A grief companion is another bereaved parent volunteer who will provide one-to-one contact for parents who are in their first or second year of bereavement and who have lost a child from 1 month old up to an adult child. Grief companion support is provided for up to 12 months. Your grief companion will normally be expected to be 4 years or more bereaved.

Our grief companions will offer you informal support and friendship. They are not counsellors and nor are they formally trained, but they will offer you an opportunity to share your grief and experiences. They will 'walk alongside' you and be a listening ear and an understanding friend.

Please be aware that grief companions can be from anywhere in the UK, rather than someone who is local to you. Therefore the contact you have with your grief companion may be by phone, email or online media - whatever suits you both.

How do I apply?

All requests for a grief companion need to go through our Helpline team. They will be able to advise you about the different avenues of support available to you from TCF, both nationally and locally, depending on your circumstances and the nature of your loss. Generally a grief companion will be offered if there is no other support local to you.

Contact our Helpline on 0345 123 2304 or email helpline@tcf.org.uk

The Helpline will ask you for your contact details and the circumstances of your loss. These details will be given to Shirley, our Grief Companion Scheme Manager who will contact you to gather some additional information and to discuss what you are looking for in a grief companion. Shirley will then search for a suitable ‘match’ for you. Sometimes this can take some time so please be patient while we find the right person to support you.

Please note that if you are in the first 3 months of your loss, it may be too soon to connect you with a grief companion. In these very early days, for example, before your child’s funeral has taken place, if you are very distressed or while you are needing immediate/frequent support, it will be more appropriate to contact our Helpline on 0345 123 2304 or email helpline@tcf.org.uk for their empathic support. Your call will be answered by trained volunteers who are all bereaved parents.

Would you like offer your support to others and become a grief companion?

This can be a lovely way to start to volunteer with TCF and to honour your child, if you are ideally 4 or more years past your own loss.

You can read more and complete the online application here.





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