National UK Helpline 0345 123 2304 helpline@tcf.org.uk
Open every day (10 am - 4 pm and 7 -10 pm).
The line is always answered by a bereaved parent who is there to listen and support.
A Good Mourning
Join Maria as she talks honestly and with humour about her two constant companions, her son and her grief, and how the three of them walk side by side.
Guest speaker Maria Ahern
Wednesday 2 September, 7- 8 pm
Online via Zoom
When Maria lost her only child, her son, James, the world had turned upside down and she didn’t have a clue how to navigate it without him.

Maria knew that she would mourn her son for the rest of her life but how? What would life look like without James and did she even want to contemplate it? Could James continue to be a part of her life even though he wasn’t here physically?

Finding Meaning After Loss
In early August, an audience of 170 joined online to listen to our guest speaker Dr Sangeeta Mahajan. In her honest, moving and inspring talk, Sangeeta offered us her personal perspectives on the importance and possibility of finding meaning after deep loss. 

“The talk was so kind & resonated so well with my own thoughts that it helped me feel that maybe I am on a journey that will be ok eventually. Today I was able to get up with just a bit more lightness”
E, TCF member

Grenades & Guillotines
Navigating Grief and Finding Hope
This is the third online event from The Compassionate Friends offering an opportunity to hear inspiring speakers with their own perspectives on deep loss.
Guest Speaker: Cathy Rentzenbrink
Tuesday 13 October, 7 - 8 pm
Online via Zoom
Cathy Rentzenbrink was 17 when her younger brother, Matty, was knocked over by a car on a lonely, dark road about a mile from where they lived in Yorkshire.

She has described how she was often unable to control the way her distress burst out and her feelings of being a pariah. She felt like someone had taken an axe to her heart.

Join Cathy online to hear how she has endured this most terrible pain and how she survives. She will share with us the ways she found to make life meaningful and learned to weave some joy in with the pain.

Support Groups and Supportive Weekends
At present we are unable to get back to meeting in-person as we did before the pandemic - either at our local support group, bereavement support days, or weekend retreats.

Sadly we will not be running any weekend gatherings during 2020 but we hope very much to be back in 2021 with a wonderful programme of supportive retreats for you.

Some local groups are beginning to meet in small numbers outside observing social distance, but we appreciate that some of our volunteers or group members may be in the vulnerable category and/or shielding and will therefore make individual decisions on meeting up in this way. Please bear with your local volunteer and our charity if your group is not meeting at the moment - our priority and that of our volunteer facilitators must be to keep everyone safe.
Thank you to the many fantastic TCF volunteers who are offering local and specialist support groups online or keeping in touch with you by phone, e-mail and other messaging services.

We have continued our programme of online specialist groups over the summer months. Coming up in August are groups for parents:

*without surviving children * bereaved of an older son or daughter (35 years+) * bereaved by suicide
The autumn programme of online specialist groups will be announced shortly. Please keep an eye on your email, on our website and also Facebook and Twitter posts for details and how to book for forthcoming groups.
Trustee Election 2020 and AGM
Do you have passion, skills and expertise that could help The Compassionate Friends to continue to improve and develop in the coming years?

The voluntary role of Trustee with our charity is both rewarding and fulfilling and our current Board of Trustees would like to invite other interested applicants to apply to help run our charity.

The Board would be particularly assisted by individuals with skills and experience in areas such as
* Human Resources * Equality, Diversity and Inclusion * Communications/Marketing * Health Services/Mental Health Services * Digital Marketing/Social Media * Training

We are highly committed to widening the diversity of the Board and warmly encourage applications from a broad and deep range of backgrounds and experiences.

Date for your diary...

Annual General Meeting of The Compassionate Friends
Saturday 21 November, 2.15 pm
Online via Zoom

Join us this year online to hear about the activities of our charity and help us to shape the future of our support and services for bereaved parents and their families. We would love to see you there.

The Police and Bereaved Parents
A new guide, written by bereaved parents, for police officers offering advice and suggestions to manage the difficult task of informing parents of the death of their child.

All our leaflets are free to read and download for bereaved parents and their families. View them here. To order printed copies email us.
Could you volunteer as...
...a support group facilitator?

Why not come along and find out more at our ONLINE Training and Information event running over two Saturday mornings on 3 and 10 October 2020.

If you think you would like to volunteer to run/co-run a group - a safe, supportive, inclusive and compassionate place - where parents or siblings can share with others their grief, strategies for surviving and ways of finding some sort of hope again - then please get in touch. We offer a friendly, practical training event over two mornings with lots of ideas and tips for running a peer support group. Those already running a TCF group or volunteering in any other capacity may find this online training helpful as a refresher.

Feedback from previous participants:
"The programme offered what I needed to gain confidence and awareness. Each area was covered in a way that was engaging and effective. The handouts are excellent and will be helpful to refer back to. The content is clear, tried and tested, providing a format to follow. The scenarios also provided important food for thought, recognising that facilitating will be challenging as well as rewarding".

"The sessions were well structured and planned and covered the topics needed for setting up a support group. Including discussing self-care and care of participants and things to consider practically. The sessions flowed well and gave time for questions and reflection as well as being highly informative and helpful. I would recommend this training to others who are interested in becoming a bereavement group facilitator or co-facilitator". 

To join us you should be a bereaved parent or sibling and we recommend you are at least 2 years past your own bereavement. Facilitating a support group can a really rewarding volunteering role - find out more information here.

More info or to reserve a place by emailing or phone 0345 120 3785 (please leave a message and we will get back to you).
...a supporter for bereaved parents who cared for a child with disabilities or special needs?

Are you bereaved of a son or daughter who had special needs or disabilities? Could you offer support, understanding and hope to others who have suffered the loss of child in this way?

We are looking for volunteers, who have been bereaved more than 3+ years, based anywhere in the UK to offer initial peer support and understanding to parents whose child with special needs or disabilities has died. This may involve taking calls and answering emails from newly bereaved parents referred to you via our Helpline, as well as helping these parents to access TCF’s range of other support. We hope to form a small support team of at least 3 volunteers to enable support across the UK and so that you as team members will feel supported too.

...online webchat supporter?
After a successful pilot, we are looking for volunteers able to commit to one evening a month to offer support via our webchat messaging service.

if you are * more than 2 years past your loss * emotionally resilient so you can support others * an empathic, compassionate listener * non-judgmental, respectful of others’ attitudes and beliefs * trustworthy and reliable * computer literate with an ability to type at good speed and can convey empathy and compassion in words ... please get in touch with us at helpline@tcf.org.uk
Ways you can help
TCF’s fundraising income is down this year in line with many charities as nearly all challenge events have been cancelled and people are faced with their own economic challenges. So, if you can, please consider supporting TCF.  
Do you shop in John Lewis and/or Waitrose? If so, please go to the customer services desk in store to complete a Community Matters form on TCF’s behalf. The companies are not using green tokens at the moment. Instead three charities are chosen each quarter who will receive an equal amount at the end of the quarter. In the case of Waitrose, the three charities receive an equal share of £1,000 a quarter, and for John Lewis a share of £3,000. For help completing the form email Stephen.

Support TCF via the Co-op’s Membership Fund till October 2020.

If you feel up to having friends round, especially in the warmer weather, maybe consider a coffee morning or afternoon tea in the garden. People love a few cakes and an opportunity to meet in person on a socially distanced basis! Any monies raised most welcome! Just stay safe!

Shop at AmazonSmile - it's exactly the same as shopping at Amazon with all their usual books and products - and supports TCF at no cost to you.

Sign up to easyfundraising.com and donate every time you shop at over 4000 online stores - it costs you nothing.


If you’re thinking about making your will, please do consider leaving a lasting gift to TCF via legacy. More information here.
For more information on support and services for bereaved parents, siblings and grandparents see our website at the buttons below.