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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.

Several people having a discussion.

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.

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Information and support resources

Bereavement Services Leaflet (PDF, 1 MB)

Our Bereavement Services Leaflet includes an introduction from John Wilson (Director of Bereavement Services), explains the bereavement services we provide, and answers some questions you may have about seeking out bereavement support.

Bereavement support information (PDF, 1.8MB)

Our Bereavement Support Information leaflet shares information about the process of grief, with some additional answers to questions you might have.

Support and Signposting Leaflet (PDF, 6 MB)

Our Support and Signposting leaflet which shares external support and resources and includes several other organisations that provide different bereavement support.

Woman talking in a bereavement support group.

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.

The Bereavement Support Group is free to join. If you would like to join the group, please fill out a 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.

Download our information leaflet: Bereavement Support Group (PDF, 2.9MB)

Little dog sitting beside Christmas tree

Bereavement Cafe

Our Bereavement Cafe supports people in helping them understand what they are going through. When you are bereaved of someone you loved, the emotions you feel can be confusing. Each person's grief is unique, and we will teach a little about the grief journey most people go through, and you may recognise yourself in what we say. Counsellors and other helpers will be there to listen to people's stories.

We warmly welcome anyone interested in helping family and friends with their grief, as well as anyone interested in learning more about bereavement support. The cafe is held on the second Wednesday in alternate months, and you can drop-in and join us at any point.

We've teamed up with Pets as Therapy, and Nikki our Centre Manager will bring 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.

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.

Dates and times

Bereavement Cafe sessions are held on Wednesdays from 1.00pm to 3.00pm. Our current scheduled dates are:

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

How to find us

The entrance is at the rear of the building, which backs onto the University campus. Follow the road into the University by 30 Clarence Street and turn left towards Brook Street. The City of York Council car parks Union Terrace and Lord Mayor's Walk are available nearby. 

For directions, use our Communities Centre pin on Google Maps.

Lavender on campus

Bereavement counselling

Grief takes its own time, and never completely goes away. 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 counselling, but we help most people, from a little to a lot. You will always grieve for someone you will always love, but we can help to make that grief a normal part of your life.

Accessing the service

To access counselling or our bereavement support group, 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.


Find out more about the bereavement counselling fees and how to pay for sessions on our counselling fees page.

Counselling fees and how to pay

Supporting York St John Communities Centre

As a not for profit organisation with charitable status, your contribution to York St John Communities Centre plays a vital role in helping us continue our mission of serving the community.

Whether you're interested in volunteering your time, making a donation, or spreading the word about our cause, there are lots of ways you can get involved and make a difference. You can explore the different ways to support us on our Supporting the Centre page and help us in continuing to create positive change in our community.

Supporting the Centre    One-off or regular donation (JustGiving)