Community support through bereavement and loss
People and communities have experienced multiple losses during the pandemic. For people who have been bereaved, COVID restrictions have had an impact on almost every aspect of their experience.
The support of friends, family and the wider community can help people who are grieving, but we don’t always feel confident that we are doing and saying the right thing.
Community Support through bereavement and loss webinars
As part of Compassionate Communities West Sussex, West Sussex County Council are funding a series of webinars to enable people to support others who are experiencing bereavement and loss, by giving them the knowledge, skills, understanding and confidence to have compassionate conversations.
The As You Are Centre are running webinars on bereavement and loss awareness, which are open to anyone who is engaging with people as a key part of their role, including as a volunteer or in their community.
The sessions are free to access, and will help to develop knowledge, skills and understanding around loss and bereavement. When we know someone has been bereaved it can be difficult to know what to say; these online sessions will share theory and understanding around loss and bereavement that can help make difficult conversations a little easier.
St Wilfrid's Hospice is running webinars on bereavement, loss and change during Covid-19 specifically for schools, and organisations working with children and young people. These free sessions will explore strategies and tools to support children and young people who are experiencing change, loss and bereavement and provide an opportunity for discussion.
There are some resources available which can help:
- The Supporting Bereavement leaflet on the Dying Matters website provides some tips about how to have a conversation with someone who has been bereaved, along with some do’s and don’ts.
- The West Sussex Libraries Bereavement Support resource on the West Sussex County Council website brings together links to local and national bereavement services, COVID-19-specific support, library booklists for adults, teens and children, podcasts, wellbeing resources, and digital support.
- The Bereavement Support during Covid-19 guide on the Sussex Health and Care Partnership website.
- The Bereavement Guide on the West Sussex County Council website is a useful source of practical information, including sources of help and support.
- The Invisible Suitcase, a short animation on the Child Bereavement UK website can help bereaved children, young people and adults to understand grief and how to manage it.
- A short video on the Zero Suicide Alliance website can help to give you the skills and confidence to support someone you know who may be feeling isolated or lonely
If you, or someone you know, need someone to talk to, the following organisations can help:
- Cruse West Sussex – helpline 0808 808 1677
- Winston’s Wish – offer support to those supporting bereaved children – helpline 08088 020 021
- Child Bereavement UK – provide support to bereaved children and families and those supporting them – helpline 0800 02 888 40
- Sudden – offer support when someone has died suddenly – helpline 0800 2600 400
- BAMESTREAM - bereavement support for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) adults who have been affected by the death of a loved one due to Covid-19
- Hospice UK’s ‘Just B’ – counselling and trauma helpline 0300 303 4434 – for all NHS, care sector staff and emergency workers
- Samaritans – helpline 116 123