Grief Encounter is a leading UK bereavement charity providing free, professional services and support to bereaved children and their families. Our mission is to ensure that every bereaved child and their family in the UK receives the best quality information, advice and counselling to help alleviate the pain caused by the death of a loved one.
Grief Encounter offers free support to around 3,000 bereaved children and their families every year. Direct intervention is delivered through our Family Programme for an average of two years per child/family, by fully qualified and accredited bereavement counsellors, and is designed to enable children and their families to attend a number of services to suit their needs.
We predominantly work in London, but also in Bristol and Essex, and are focused on extending our national reach through our helpline grieftalk and through the distribution of our Grief Relief Kits. We also reach a much wider network of national groups e.g schools, health services and other bereavement organisations with training and specialist resources.
In 2019/2020, Grief Encounter: • delivered 5,661 counselling sessions at our clinical centre and post lockdown, via e-counselling • posted out 638 Grief Relief Kits and Grief Encounter Workbooks to support hundreds of grieving individuals and families across the UK • received 3,025 calls, webchats and emails via grieftalk • Supported 267 families on our family programme – 175 were new families to us that year • And much much more……
Our services are now so different since the COVID-19 outbreak. In March we had to transfer all face to face bereavement services to telephone and online support. Anxiety levels of our most vulnerable bereaved children are at all-time high. Having already experienced the death of one parent, the fear of their remaining parent or a grandparent catching this deadly virus can be overwhelming for them. Our counsellors are working harder than ever, from their own homes, to be there for the children who need them most, supporting them in the best way possible in these unprecedented and hugely difficult times.
In light of the pandemic, our core direct services, such as grief groups, workshops, residentials, fun days and face to face counselling have been suspended. Our national helpline, grieftalk, its instant web chat facility on our website, and our growing e-counselling option have been a critical lifeline for those we support.