Freephone Helpline from Cruse Bereavement Care Charity

The Cruse Bereavement Care Freephone National Helpline on 0808 808 1677 is staffed by trained bereavement volunteers, who offer emotional support to anyone affected by bereavement. Alternatively you can email helpline@cruse.org.uk.

The volunteers help you to talk things through. They can also help you find your local Cruse service, or signpost you to other services and useful sources of information.

The helpline is open Monday-Friday 9.30-5pm (excluding bank holidays), with extended hours on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings, when it’s open until 8pm.

Cruse Bereavement Care has been helping bereaved people for 60 years being registered as a charity (No. 208078) in 1959.

The world was a difficult place for widows in 1959. A ‘stiff upper lip’ attitude to grief had developed across two world wars, replacing Victorian public mourning rituals and strong working class traditions. Widows also faced brutal economic hardship, and a society which didn’t prepare women to take on the roles of breadwinner or head of the family. The support which the new Cruse Clubs provided was desperately needed.

Margaret Torrie

Margaret Torrie became concerned with the plight of widows during her work as a social worker and while working with the Citizen’s Advice Service. She saw that the loss of a husband was often a major emotional, social and economic crisis, for the woman and for any children, and she decided to act. Margaret Torrie’s husband, Dr Alfred Torrie, was a psychiatrist and Quaker and served as chairman of Cruse.

In March 2017 Prince William and Prince Harry spoke out about the impact of bereavement on their lives, as they approached the 20th anniversary of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.

Rio Ferdinand also shared his story of bereavement in a TV documentary, and the two events lead to an increase in men calling the helpline to speak about their experiences of bereavement.

Cruse’s Life President Colin Murray Parkes has called grief the price we pay for love. We can’t hope for a world without grief, but the charity continues to strive to meet the vision that everyone who needs support after someone dies will be able to find the help they need.

In a changing and uncertain world Cruse will be there to help people understand their feelings, develop coping strategies, and return to everyday life, while remembering and celebrating the lives of those they have lost.

For more information about 60 years of Cruse visit https://www.cruse.org.uk/about-cruse/60-years-of-cruse

More locally the Calderdale Help In Bereavement Service (CHIBS) can be reached on 0845 0099 220 or 0845 0099 221.

This is a unique, free, befriending service that provides emotional support to bereaved adults living in the Calderdale area. Adult support is offered on a one-to-one basis in your own home or at a mutually agreed venue if preferred. All Befrienders are volunteers who have undergone professional training which is updated regularly. Most have suffered bereavement themselves and can empathise with the many thoughts and feelings that grief can bring. They have also undertaken an enhanced Disclosure Barring Service check (DBS).

They are not a counselling service but if you have suffered the loss of a loved one and would like someone to listen and help you in your loss, then please contact them. You can contact the service yourself or ask another person to do so on your behalf.