Sometimes we manage with the support of family and friends.
At other times we may find it helpful to talk with someone outside of that circle. There are resources and organisations that can help.
When further help is needed
If it has been more than eight weeks since your loved one died and you are finding that your grief is having a significant impact on your daily life, you can self-refer for bereavement support to our Patient and Family Support team.
They will offer you an initial assessment with a member of the team, within 12 weeks of self-referral.
If you live outside of our postcode area, you can make contact with your local hospice; most offer bereavement support to people local in their area, regardless of where their loved one has received support.
You can access a self-referral form for bereavement support here. Physical forms are also available to pick up at the Hospice in Shelford Bottom or the Alan Hudson Day Treatment Centre in Wisbech.
Your first contact with the team will be for a Bereavement Assessment. One of our team will meet with you and ask questions about you and your history.
These sessions can uncover difficult feelings, which you may not have felt able to express with family and friends. The assessment session offers a safe space in which to explore some of these feelings and to balance them with more positive aspects of your memories and life.
We will aim to close the assessment at a balanced point. However, the process can be tiring, and it may be helpful to plan your time after the assessment accordingly.
During these sessions we will determine together whether Arthur Rank Hospice is the organisation best placed to support you. If other services are better placed to support you, we will do all we can to enable you to access these.
What happens next
For some, the one-off assessment session may be enough. For others, it may be helpful to meet again, and we will discuss this with you during the assessment.
We may arrange for you to meet with one of our Bereavement Support Volunteers or a Clinical Psychologist for a one-hour session once a fortnight (usually for up to six sessions).
Alternatively – or as a next step – we may invite you to attend a Bereavement Support Group.
The aim of all of these approaches is to support you through your grieving process.
It may take a few months after your assessment appointment for us to see you again.
I just wanted to say thank you for the support the Group has been able to give. It has been a part of the healing process after their death, and I can say things are much better now than a year ago.
What kind of bereavement support do you offer?
We offer an initial assessment to explore how we can help you. This will allow us to work out whether we are able to support you, or if another service might be better placed to do so.
Our programme of support includes one-to-one and group sessions, and we tailor a programme to suit each individual’s needs. Where other services may be better placed to help you, we discuss this with you and will do everything we can to help you access these.
When and where will sessions take place?
Before the coronavirus pandemic and lock-down, one-to-one sessions took place at the Hospice in the Bradbury Wellness Centre and group sessions were held in our Day Therapy lounge.
However, due to the current situation, individual sessions have moved to telephone and video calls, as have group sessions. If you are referred to us, we will explain where we are up to with these plans and what would work for you, during your initial assessment.
What do I do if I cannot attend an appointment?
If for any reason you cannot attend your appointment, please let us know as soon as possible by telephoning the Patient and Family Support team office on 01223 675770 and leave a message giving your name, telephone number, time of appointment and name of the person you were expecting to see.
We will contact you as soon as we can to reschedule the appointment.
Am I eligible to receive services and how can I be referred?
Bereavement Support is available to the family, friends and loved ones of patients who receive care and support from our Inpatient Unit, Day Therapy and Community Teams.
You can refer yourself: please download the bereavement self-referral form, fill it out and either post or send by email to email@example.com. We will then contact you to arrange an assessment appointment where we will discuss your needs.
For further information, please call the team on 01223 675770.
Are your services really free of charge?
Thanks to the dedication, commitment and generosity of the local community and the hard work of our senior leadership team to secure vital contracts with the NHS, all our services are free of charge.
It will cost £10.5 million this financial year to operate our services. Contracted services from the NHS are budgeted at £6.98 million, meaning that £3.52 million needs to be raised through donations, fundraising activities and trading.
We are extremely grateful to our local community for the continual dedication, commitment and generosity they show in supporting us to meet this target.