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York St John Communities Centre

Bereavement services

Whether it’s our drop in cafés, groups, a listening ear or bereavement counselling, our service will support you.

Everyone grieves in their own way, and the type of support and how much support you might need will differ to someone else.

When thinking about one to one support, not many people need counselling, and one in two people manage well with the support of friends and family.

Others may just need a little reassurance from support groups, drop-in bereavements cafes or a few-one to-one sessions with an experienced listener.

Bereavement services leaflet (PDF, 1.1MB)

Bereavement support information (PDF, 1.8MB)

Bereavement Support Group

Woman talking in a bereavement support group.

A free 20 week online support group for people who are bereaved or experiencing grief.

In the group you will have the opportunity to talk about your feelings and to others who have gone through a similar experience and can relate to your experiences. It's a space for everyone to listen and mutually support each other. It won't take away the pain, but it can help to share it with people who want to listen.

Our weekly group will be held every week on Tuesday, from 4.30pm to 6.00pm, online on Zoom.

If you would like to come to one of our drop-in sessions or become a weekly member, please fill out a referral form.


Download our information leaflet: 

Bereavement Support Group (PDF, 2.9MB)

Little dog sitting beside Christmas tree

Bereavement Café

Starting on Wednesday 13 March, at 1.00pm, we will be running a Café for bereaved people to help them understand what they are going through. When you are bereaved of someone you loved, the emotions you feel can be confusing. Bereavement counsellors and other helpers will be there to listen to people’s stories. Each person’s grief is unique, but we will teach a little about the grief journey most people go through, and you may recognise yourself in what we say.

We also warmly welcome anyone interested in helping family and friends with their grief, as well as anyone interested in learning more about bereavement support. The café will then continue on the second Wednesday in alternate months. You can join us at any point and come for 6 sessions.

The group may not be helpful if your grief is recent, and you know you would be very distressed in public. However, grief can take any of us by surprise. If you do get distressed, don’t worry. One of us will take you to a quiet space to talk.

We've also teamed up with Pets as Therapy, and Nikki our Centre Manager will be bringing along Nola to some of the drop-in sessions! Nola loves a cuddle and meeting with new people, so will be sure to give you a warm welcome if you join one of the sessions and want to say hello to her.

Bereavement Café sessions will be held on Wednesday's from 1.00 to 3.00pm on the following dates:

  • 13 March 2024
  • 8 May 2024
  • 10 July 2024
  • 11 September 2024
  • 13 November 2024
  • 8 January 2025

Bereavement Counselling

Lavender on campus

Grief takes its own time, and never completely goes away. So counselling isn’t about ending your grief, or curing you, because grief isn’t an illness.

Grief is a normal, healthy response to bereavement. We can help you to make sense of what has happened and help you learn to cope without your lost loved-one. Most people end up feeling easier, even though part of them is still grieving.

There are no guarantees in bereavement counselling, but we help most people, from a little to a lot. Bereavement counselling is not about recovering. You will always grieve for someone you will always love, but we can help to make that grief a normal part of your life.

For more information, download our Bereavement services leaflet.

Bereavement services leaflet (PDF, 1.1MB)

How to access our services

To access the bereavement counselling or bereavement group service, you will need to complete an online self-referral form.

Self-referral form

After submitting the form, your referral will be assessed and you will be contacted by a member of the Centre office team to identify next steps.

For information about how we collect, use, store and share your data please read our privacy policy.

The bereavement group and café are free to access, and you can find out more about the bereavement counselling fees and how to pay for sessions on our counselling fees page.

Supporting York St John Communities Centre

Your donation makes a great difference!

Your gift helps cover the cost of providing free services such as our community language school, bereavement group and café's, student suicide support group 'Laurens Ladies' and drop-ins such as the weekly breastfeeding group.

As our income grows, so too does our staff team of receptionists, administrators, co-ordinators, assessors, supervisors, counsellors, coaches, and group facilitators, and your support is needed to ensure they are actively involved in service delivery and are remunerated for their work. Anything that you are able to donate can help support the work we do and the services that we offer to our community.

Make a donation through JustGiving

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