support

 

Our aim is to help anyone in the St Albans District in need of bereavement support. Our services are available to all Adults, Families, Children and Young People. We also offer support and guidance to Professionals working with the bereaved.

 

Every year it is estimated that in the UK:

● 23,200 parents die leaving dependent children
370 in Hertfordshire *

● 40,000 dependent children aged 0-17 are left without a parent
650 in Hertfordshire *

● 6,233 suicides of people aged 15 and over were registered in the UK in 2013
605 in Hertfordshire **

* Childhood Bereavement Network 16.02.2016
** Office for National Statistics 16.02.2016

 

From September 2015 we will be changing and improving the services we offer
and some support will be fee-based.

 

 

how we can help

If you would like to access our counselling, home visiting or buddy service
please call our helpline on ~ 01727-841841.

 

You will need to complete and return our Adult Registration Form : click here

 

Once we have received your completed form, we will contact you to arrange an initial appointment to meet with a member of our qualified team and talk about the support that you may need. Generally these appointments last about 45 minutes.

 


helpline 01727 841841

Our Helpline is a dedicated phone line open from 9am and 1pm Monday to Thursday. Trained volunteers can talk to you about your concerns and explain how to start the process of finding the help and support that is right for you.

 

To access our counselling, telephone support, home visiting or buddy service you will need to complete our registration process and come along for an initial appointment.  This is an opportunity for you to discuss the support you may need with a qualified counsellor, this session will last around 45 minutes.

 

How it works

  • Our dedicated Helpline is open Monday-Thursday (excluding public holidays), from 9am-1pm.

  • You can talk in strict confidence to our volunteers about your concerns, questions and how we can help you.

  • You can call out of hours and leave a message and we will be in touch as soon as we can.

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home visiting & buddy service

 

This is a personalised service offering listening and support in broadening social horizons following bereavement for those aged 55+. If you would like to access our Visiting & Buddy Service you will need to contact our Helpline team who will help you get started with the registration process.
How it works

    • Once you have registered you will be invited to attend an initial appointment.  This will give you the opportunity to discuss the support you may need with a qualified counsellor, this session will last around 45 minutes.  We can then put in place the right support to help you cope with the challenges of bereavement.

    • If the Visiting & Buddy Service is right we will arrange for one of our volunteers will come to visit you for around 50 minutes during the daytime or early evening.

    • When you are ready to broaden their social horizons and build new friendships by attending one of the many clubs or groups that exist in the St Albans area our volunteers will help to identify a suitable club or group in the area.

    • Our volunteer will come along to the first couple of sessions to introduce you to the group/club and help you get settled in.

    • You can be assured that this is a confidential service in a safe, non-judgemental and non-denominational environment.

    • Our visitors & buddies can travel to St Albans, Harpenden, Redbourn, Colney Heath, London Colney, Bricket Wood, and Wheathampstead.

    This service is available to anyone regardless of age, race, creed or culture who is living in the St Albans district

Click here to read our leaflet which gives more details
about our Visiting Service

 

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counselling

 

Our counselling support is a service where you will meet with a qualified counsellor who specialises in supporting those who have been bereaved. Talking to a counsellor can help you cope with difficulties and begin to make changes so you can move forward with your life.   If you would like to access our Counselling Service you will need to contact our Helpline team who will help you get started with the registration process.How it works

  • Once you have registered you will be invited to attend an initial appointment.  This will give you the opportunity to discuss the support you may need with a qualified counsellor, this session will last around 45 minutes.  We can then put in place the right support to help you cope with the challenges of bereavement.

  • If counselling is right for you, a weekly appointment will be booked for you to see one of our counsellors.

  • All our counsellors are professionally qualified and specially trained to work with bereaved clients.

  • You can be assured that this is a confidential service in a safe, non-judgemental and non-denominational environment.

  • Our services are available to anyone regardless of age, race, creed or culture living in the St Albans district.

Click here to read our leaflet which gives more details about our Counselling Service

 

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information & resources

  • We offer a library of leaflets and books to help understand and cope with the bereavement process.

  • Contact our helpline who will be able to advise you further on what information and resources are available.

  • You may also find the following information helpful: How you may feel ~ Understanding bereavement and
    What is grief
    .

 

 

support for GPs, schools & other professionals
working in the community

  • We are able to draw on our knowledge and experience of helping our community understand and deal with bereavement and can advise and support professionals.

  • Please contact our helpline, available Monday-Thursday, between 9am-1pm. You can call out of hours and leave a message and we will be in touch as soon as we can.

    If you would like to make a referral for bereavement support, please complete and return the relevant Registration Form.

    For Professionals click here
    For Schools click here
    For Parents click here

    Once we have received the completed registration form, we will make contact as appropriate to arrange an assessment and appropriate support.


  • You may also find the information: How you may feel, Understanding bereavement and
    What is grief helpful.

We also have information about other local and national organisations available on our useful links web page.

 

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links to each of our brochures

Our Counselling Service
for Adults

 



Click here to download

Our Visiting &
Buddy Service
for Adults

 


Click here to download

Our Children's
Support

Services

 


Click here to download

Bereavement
Matters
Leaflet

 


Click here to download

 

 

how you may feel

A professional definition may be very different from how you are actually feeling. Bereavement or grief are personal to each individual and their circumstances. Here are a few common feelings that may be experienced:

 

 

 

  • Initial shock, disbelief, a sense of unreality

  • That you see or hear the person who has died

  • Depression and despair

  • Loneliness

  • Anger

  • Relief

  • Guilty

  • A desire to escape

 

Even after time has passed, maybe a year later, you may still be affected by your bereavement. These are all very normal emotions and are part of the journey/process most people experience after the loss of a family member or a loved one.

 

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understanding bereavement

To be bereaved usually means losing someone we have loved through death. It results in longing for the dead person and a period of adjustment which may take years. All parts of our being may be affected – emotional, physical, spiritual and social – but the overriding feeling is one of intense pain or grief.

 

 

what is grief

Grief is the name given to the natural reactions we have after the death of someone who has been close to us. Just like a physical injury, the recovery and healing process can take time. This period cannot be rushed and varies from person to person. When we are grieving it is difficult to understand what is happening. Initially we may have feelings of disbelief, panic, confusion, leading to annoyance, anger and guilt. Life has been temporarily upset and it takes time to adjust to the new situation. In time our grieving will ease and gradually life will become more bearable and even pleasurable.

 

 

we are here to help

 
 
 
 
Adults:

We offer a range of services to help and support adults and our qualified team can help you find the support that is right for you. We like to meet and talk to anyone in need of bereavement support or help in moving on with their lives after the loss of a loved one. This personal service ensures that you receive the help and support that is right for you.

 

For more details about our
Helpline, Home Visiting, Counselling, Buddy Service
and Information & Resources follow the links.

 

 

"My counsellor was superb, and made me feel at total ease, and managed to get me to talk about so much that I would not have previously."

 

"I have been greatly helped by the professional attitude and care during the counselling sessions and the advice and concern shown to me. I have felt strengthened and able to draw on the work which we have done as I go forward."  

 

Families:

We offer support to individual family members through our adult, children and young people's services and can advise you on what support would be most beneficial for family members. We can also work with you to help identify other organisations that provide family therapy if that is the right way for you and your family to move forward.


"I cannot tell you how much my sessions helped me –
they got me through basically and helped me make decisions."

 

Children’s Service

We offer a range of age appropriate interventions and activities to help children and young people express their emotions and improve the way they deal with death to help give them increased resilience for the future. 
Our therapeutic model is a child-centred and age-appropriate eclectic approach that is adapted to the needs of the bereaved child or young person. We offer a confidential and non-judgemental space to explore feelings of loss and grief in a safe and boundaried environment.

 

Young People:

We offer a Visiting Service for young people up to the age of 18 living in the St Albans District.

After an initial visit to the family home or school to find out what the needs are, young people may benefit from a series of support sessions, either in the family home or at school. Support will be given by qualified staff and trained volunteers who have been DBS (formally CRB) checked to the enhanced level.

 

"My counsellor got me back to reality and got my emotions out."

(aged 15)

 

 

Children:

We offer a specialist Childhood Bereavement service providing support for bereaved children and their families. The consequences of the death of a close relative are huge for everyone but particularly for children whose lives may be totally disrupted.

 

After an initial visit to the family home or school to find out what the needs are, children may benefit from a series of support sessions, either in the family home or at school. Support will be given by qualified staff and trained volunteers who have been DBS (formally CRB) checked to the enhanced level.

 

"The visits helped me to try to forget about it but I still keep some memories" (aged 9)

 

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understanding children's reactions to bereavement

Death can have devastating effects on all of us and for children it can be particularly overwhelming. The way in which children adjust to losing someone significant in their lives and express their grief is often very different to adults. Many find it hard to express their grief in words and may appear to cope one minute and then get very upset or 'act up' the next. Adults often find it difficult to understand a child's reaction to a death, especially if they are coping with their own feelings.

 

Here are some common reactions children have following the death of someone significant:

 

  • Poor concentration

  • Sleeping problems, bet wetting and nightmares

  • Poor school attendance for some weeks

  • Feelings of isolation and feeling that they are different from their friends

  • Behaviour difficulties eg: anger, hyperactivity or bouts of intense sadness

  • Increased levels of anxiety

  • A lack of trust in themselves and others

  • The resurfacing of their grief as they grow and when they face major change

 

Professionals:

We offer support, advice and guidance to professionals caring for bereaved children or adults. If you work in a school, are a health professional or a social worker we can help you to help others.

 

Please call our Helpline on 01727 841841 (Monday-Thursday: 9:00am-1pm) for support and advice. If you are concerned about an adult or child let us know and our Network Manager will contact you.

 

"We have found the the St Albans & District Bereavement Network team to be highly professional and reliable. Regular contact has been maintained with school and they have been very approachable and on hand to provide advice for managing the children's grief. We are very grateful for the hard work that they have provided and the difference it makes to the children who sadly experience bereavement."(primary school) 

 

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