Annual General Meeting 2023
Dec 7: If you weren't able to join us, you can now listen to a recording of our Annual General Meeting held on Saturday 25 November 2023. We heard from our co-Chairs of Trustees, our Trustee Treasurer, and Chief Executive Officer. Our guest speaker was bereaved parent, Maria Ahern, who shared with us her helpful and hopeful thoughts on her grief journey for her son James over the years.
The Big Give - November 28th - December 5th
Nov 14: Thanks to your amazing generosity we have hit our target. Thank you so much. Don't worry you can still give until midday December 5th, but donations won't be doubled now. Please do keep sharing as we want to support even more bereaved parents and siblings. Can we make it to £20,000?
Sign up to one of our fundraising events in 2024!
Oct 31: Drumroll please! All our active fundraising events for 2024 are now live so if you want to plan ahead . So if you want to take on a 5k in Edinburgh, a 10k in London or go for the full marathon in Manchester have a look now.
"I had the booking information open on my phone for months"
Sep 22: "I had the booking information for this retreat open on my phone for months – reluctant to book it; reluctant to go anywhere and talk about this pain that was stuck in my throat and suffocating me since I lost my wonderful son in October 2021 aged 24. He was my only child and my meaning for life...I really did not want to talk about anything to do with my son and my loss; it was my private pain".
AGM 2023 - 25th November
Aug 31: All are welcome to The Compassionate Friends AGM on Saturday 25th November at 2.15 pm in London the venue is the Friends Meeting House which is almost directly opposite Euston station - so really easy to get to. It's a lovely opportunity to meet up together, as well as hear all that The Compassionate Friends has been involved in this last year. It is also a chance for you to meet our Trustees and help to shape the future direction and activities of the charity.
Where were all the men?
Jul 30: I am a bereaved father. My wife and I are grieving for our youngest son who ended his life in August 2018. I decided to write that short piece about my experiences of my first retreat with TCF, particularly in the hope of encouraging more men to attend. I would thoroughly recommend it.
National Bereaved Parents Day 2023
Jun 22: To mark #NationalBereavedParentsDay on July 3rd we are sharing stories from grieving parents and launching a week long look at the support we offer here at The Compassionate Friends.#YouAreNotAlone #NBPD2023
TCF 2.5 Challenge
May 4: This weekend is the TCF 2.5 Challenge! You have come up with walks, sponsored silences, a waterfall trek, teas and an amazing chocolate raffle (yum). There's still time to join in. Think of a challenge including the numbers 2 and 5 to celebrate our 250 volunteers without whom we would just not be able to offer the incredible peer to peer support for bereaved parents and siblings.
Woman & Home magazine showcases peer support
May 3: In the June issue of Woman & Home (out now), Compassionate Friends support group facilitator in Bath, Adelle, shares how she found support at our charity after after the death of her daughter, Celia, and how now she has gone on to support others by volunteering.
Alexander, Seth and Tristan are running the London Marathon - £3k raised so far!
Apr 17: Wow what a trio! We have 3 people running the London Marathon this Sunday in memory of their brothers or cousin. First Alexander Ehmann who's running in memory of his brother, Oliver who died in 2017. He describes The Compassionate Friends as a lifeline for his mother.
Awareness campaign launches
Feb 25: We are delighted to announce that The Compassionate Friends has teamed up with the world's largest outdoor advertising company, JC Decaux, and advertising and branding agency, The Raised Eyebrow Society, to launch our first campaign raising awareness of parental bereavement.
Why not join a TCF Walk ?
Feb 14: For those who have never joined one of our walks before, or perhaps, any form of TCF support, please come along on 22nd April or 20th May if you can. You will find yourselves in what I call, “ the best company “, where there are no awkward conversations. If you come on your own, you will soon find yourself welcomed by others in the group and find the support offered by our walking community.
The TCF 2.5 Challenge is back on May 20th - 21st
Jan 31: The TCF 2.5 Challenge is our annual fundraiser and gives you the chance to get involved in doing something challenging, fun or silly to raise funds for us to run the Helpline, support groups and retreats.
Auction of Lizzie's Nissan Figaro
Jan 11: Kirk Mawer, bereaved father of Lizzie, contacted us to let us know they intend to sell her Nissan Figaro and, with real generosity, donate the proceeds of the sale to The Compassionate Friends.
2023 breaks for bereaved parents in France
Dec 7: One of the most difficult things for us to do after the death of a son or daughter is to go away on holiday...having to see all those 'complete' families can be just unbearable. So in 2022, TCF were very pleased to form a new relationship with Jack and Margaret Reckitt who have a holiday and retreats business, Manoir Mouret, in SW France. In 2023 they are offering TCF three weeks for TCF members to have a break, at no charge.
Giving Tuesday - 29th November 2022
Nov 28: Giving Tuesday is taking place on 29th November 2022. A global day of giving, Giving Tuesday encourages people to donate to their favourite causes and charities. We at The Compassionate Friends are asking people to consider donating on Giving Tuesday towards the costs of our induction of and training and support for our volunteers.
Our runners triumph at the Royal Parks Half Marathon
Oct 26: On a beautiful sunny day 9 runners ran in memory of their children, relatives or friends. Katie Hobbs running for her dear niece, Ryleigh; friends Lucy, Jennie, Luke and Ben running in memory of Denver, Jonah Weiss running for his sister, Emily and RBC Inspire winner, Catherine Blodwell running in memory of Noah and Archie with Vicky Blodwell and Lindsay Long.
Jun 26: Do you have passion, skills and expertise that could help The Compassionate Friends (TCF) to continue to develop? The voluntary role of Trustee with our charity is both rewarding and fulfilling. Our current Trustees invite interested applicants who are at least 3 years past their bereavement to apply to serve on the Trustee Board by standing for election.
Breaks for bereaved parents in France
Jun 5: The Compassionate Friends is building a new relationship to provide bereaved parents an opportunity to have a break in France. Our first week will be from 27 August to 3 September 2022. Tap here to find out more.
Scottish Gathering returns
May 15: "It was my first TCF gathering. I made the right decision to meet our compassionate friends. Everyone is so kind, supportive, I’m ever so grateful for the comfort and support on this painful journey".
Amazing weekend...exactly what I needed
May 11: "I spent last weekend with The Compassionate Friends for a bereaved siblings' retreat...It lasted 24h but the deep bonds formed within that short space of time meant it felt like I'd been there weeks. I can't wait for the next one".
Thank you to all our incredible fundraisers of 2021!
Mar 31: The Compassionate Friends wishes to thank everyone who supported our work this year, including those who made donations, who raised funds in memory of their child or sibling, and who celebrated their birthday via Facebook.
New support day in Glasgow
Mar 14: "On Saturday 5 March, 2022, I spent the day with a roomful of strangers, but we all had one thing in common. We were parents who had lost a child to suicide or substance use. I was nervous as I drove to the event and had all these thoughts going round in my head..."
Finally back at a weekend retreat
Mar 9: In February 2022, we ran our first weekend retreat for bereaved parents for 2 years. The pandemic meant that we were not able to run any supportive weekends - it was absolutely brilliant to get back to supporting in person again.
TCF walks are back!
Jan 25: We’ve turned the corner of this winter but still have a little way to go. As we look forward to Spring, TCF will be organising a series of monthly walks through to the Autumn.
Join our staff team
Nov 9: Our charity is looking for two wonderful people to help us in our national office, based in Kilburn, London NW6. Come and join our small, but growing, and hugely dedicated staff team.
One man cycling!
Oct 31: On 28 September 2021, 4 years after the death of his son Stevie, Gary Goodwin set off on his epic challenge - to cycle the length of the United Kingdom.
Back in person - bereavement support days
Oct 5: "I would recommend giving a day away with TCF a try, it’s last place you want to be, right? Yes and no, it’s the best place to be if you’re a bereaved parent".
We are hiring!
May 27: Find out more about an exciting opportunity to join our small team as our new Events & Community Fundraiser - and make a real difference to the growth of The Compassionate Friends.
Bearing The Unbearable with Dr Joanne Cacciatore
May 8: Join bereaved mother and traumatic grief expert, Dr Joanne Cacciatore, as she shares her reflections on love, loss and the heartbreaking path of grief after the death of a child.
Upright With Knickers On
Mar 17: Three bereaved mums - Kelly, Anne and Jill; three dads - Terry, Andrew and Graham; and a bereaved sibling - Rachael, spoke movingly and with huge courage and honesty about what has helped them survive and find meaning and hope again after the death of their child or sibling.
My Champion, Me - Let's Talk Self-compassion with Sangeeta Mahajan
Feb 18: Dr Sangeeta Majahan lost her only son to suicide over 6 years ago. In her second online talk for TCF she shares with us her reflections around the themes of loss, grief and self-compassion.
Legacies from Grief
Jan 27: A new book has just been published with contributions from many members of The Compassionate Friends, offering hope to bereaved families after the death of a child.
YouTube Channel launched
Jan 7: The Compassionate Friends UK have a YouTube channel! You can view, watch and listen again to our autumn series of talks, a beautiful December candle lighting event, our short film, Say Their Name, and much more.
UK Worldwide Candle Lighting 2020
Dec 15: The Compassionate Friends, UK Worldwide Candle Lighting on 13 December 2020 is available to view on YouTube on The Compassionate Friends UK channel.
2020 Book of Remembrance
Dec 8: Throughout December, you can post a message of remembrance in our 2020 Book for your son or daughter, brother or sister, or grandchild. You can also include a photograph with your message if you wish.
Hope of finding the mourning light through the mist of grief
Nov 13: Andrea Corrie, author of Into The Mourning Light, and also Living In The Mourning Light, spoke to a full house at a gathering of bereaved parents online on the evening of the 11th of November 2020.
Grenades and Guillotines with Cathy Rentzenbrink
Oct 16: Listen to author Cathy Rentzenbrink speak movingly and with huge honesty about the unpredictability of grief and the impact the early loss of her brother Matty had on her life and her family.
A Good Mourning
Sep 4: Join Maria Ahern for her wise, honest, moving and inspiring words as she shares her personal perspectives and reflections since the loss of her only child, her son James, and how she has found ways to have a 'good mourning'
Trustee Election 2020
Personal Reflections on Finding Meaning
Aug 6: There were so many beautiful thoughts in Sangeeta’s presentation, that I would recommend you seek out the video recording and let them all wash over you. The reactions from the watching audience were coming in waves as each person responded individually to an image or thought that resonated with them personally.
Finding Meaning After Loss
Compassion magazine - now in new flipping book format!
Grieving in isolation - stories from bereaved parents and siblings
Join us...one-off specialist virtual support groups.
Staying connected - update
Thoughts from our new Chair of Trustees
New Derbyshire bereavement support day
‘We keep him close, always’: how I survived the loss of my teenage son'
Sharing Grief, Finding Hope at 50th Anniversary
Impact Report Just Published
Launch of online newsletter for bereaved siblings
Remembering our Child – NEW leaflet and handbook just published
New advice published for professionals supporting bereaved parents and families
Just published...50th Anniversary commemorative edition of Compassion
Death of Joan Henderson, founder parent of The Compassionate Friends
"I've found a community where I can truly open up"
Scottish Gathering "emotional but there's lots of laughter too..."
Join us for Tea & Cake at Fifty
NEW - stunning butterfly design cards for any occasion
Booking opens for 50th Anniversary Gathering
Jan 23: Join us for this very special weekend of support, understanding and friendship
Book of Remembrance
Thoughts from the Chair of TCF as we approach Christmas
Fundraising concert a huge success
Singer George Shelley finds comfort at TCF retreat
New leaflets for bereaved parents and families
“The wound is where the light enters you”. Third supportive weekend for parents bereaved by suicide or substance use
Summer 2018 publications - now out
Memorial garden unveiled at Scottish Gathering
"I couldn’t imagine feeling joy like I feel today..."
"I did the unthinkable..." Overnight retreat for bereaved siblings
"If you've not been to one of these events, please go, you won't regret it".
Spring 2018 editions of TCF publications - out now
New private Facebook for parents who have suffered loss of a baby, toddler or pre-school child
New fact sheets - making a complaint to or about the NHS
Worldwide Candle Lighting 2017 - love, light and remembrance
Gathering in Northamptonshire 'bursting with positive'.
Would you like a grief companion/befriender?
At the end of the day I felt 'lighter'...support day in Hampshire
Could you be a TCF Trustee?
"I didn't want to leave. We could've stayed all week!!"
Stories of grief, hope and resilience in feature documentary
Royal mourners attend funeral of TCF President and Patron Countess Mountbatten
Death announced of Countess Mountbatten, passionate supporter of The Compassionate Friends
Charity place available in 2018 London Marathon
"Wonderful memories of a beautiful weekend filled with warmth, laughter and hope".
Supportive weekend for adult bereaved siblings
Spring editions of our publications - out now.
Help our charity to improve and develop
Making connections, finding support - retreat weekend January 2017
New private Facebook group for bereaved dads
Winter 2016/7 editions of our publications - out now.
Worldwide Candle Lighting 2016
Packed AGM spellbound by author of The Sad Book
A powerful, searingly honest account of loss at this year's National Gathering
Trustee Election Update
Stunning new look for TCF publications
We are recruiting!
Sep 14: Advert for Volunteer Coordinator role.
Notice of Trustee Election
Aug 10: Trustee election notice and nomination form
A message from the TCF Trustees
Jul 28: Message from TCF Trustees - new CEO, two new positions to be recruited, office move
New 3 day retreat offers parents support and comfort
Jul 21: Feedback from retreat for parents bereaved by suicide, addiction or substance use.
New range of TCF merchandise launched
Jun 29: New range of TCF merchandise launched
Sad news of the death Joe Lawley
Jun 13: The death of Joe Lawley, one of the Founder parents of TCF.
London Marathon runner presents cheque
Jun 13: London Marathon runner, Marcus Hunt, presents cheque to The Compassionate Friends.
Bookings for our supportive National Gathering are now open …
Jun 8: 'Continuing Love – Regaining Hope' is the theme for the National Gathering in Northampton from 7th-9th October.
Loss of a Child – New UK Facebook page
Mar 13: The Compassionate Friends UK has a new private Facebook group for any parent whose son or daughter has died at any age, and from any cause.
New Retreat for parents bereaved by suicide, addiction or substance use
‘I returned with a heightened sense of freedom – permission to grieve as I need.’