COVID-19: Funeral arrangements and bereavement support

For advice on the arrangement of a funeral during the COVID-19 outbreak, please contact your local funeral director by phone. Information can also be found on the National Association of Funeral Directors website.

For help with funeral costs, Quaker Social Action provide information and advice regarding funerals and the coronavirus outbreak. This information can be found HERE. Their funeral poverty advice line is open and can be reached on 020 8983 5055. They also have a practical guide for organising a funeral during the pandemic which you can read HERE.

Unable to attend the funeral of a person close to you?

Here are a few simple ideas for you to “attend” the funeral in your own way.

At the time of the funeral, before you find a place to sit quietly, you might like to find a photograph of the person who has died. If you don’t have a photo, you could recall a special memory. You may find comfort in playing music – possibly a piece of music that meant a lot to the person you are remembering or is a favourite piece of you own. The lighting of a candle may also give you a feeling of peace and calmness.

If you are able to search on the internet, you will find numerous readings and poems suitable for funerals. You can find both religious and non-religious versions. Alternatively, you may have a prayer book or bible at home or a favourite extract from a book.

You may prefer to simply sit and enjoy the view from your window or sit with your eyes closed and breathe calmly. We all find comfort in different things and doing things in different ways.

Please see the resources below for Reflection Guides from The Church of England and the Liturgy Office of England & Wales

How can I arrange for donations in lieu of sending flowers to go to Dorothy House if family and friends cannot attend the funeral?

Many bereaved people find particular comfort by making a donation in lieu of flowers to the favourite charity of the deceased. This can be arranged in aid of Dorothy House. You can set up a tribute memorial page digitally on www.muchloved.com. The link to your special page can then be circulated to family and friends, donations and messages can be recorded and there is even the option to light a candle.

If you would like to discuss other options or need help setting up your page, please contact our Supporter Care Team on 01225 721480 or via email.

Can I attend a religious service in a church to remember my loved one?

Gatherings and places of worship are suspended until further notice during COVID-19. A very useful website is Interfaith.org.uk

What bereavement support is available?

In these unprecedented times, we want to reach out to all our families to reassure you that while we may not be able to meet with you face to face, the staff and volunteers from the Bereavement Service remain committed to providing support to our newly bereaved families, as best we can.

As soon as we are aware that someone in our care has died, we send a letter to their ‘next of kin’ which explains how to access bereavement support. On the rare occasions where we only have a contact number, we will telephone the next of kin to ask for their address.

Our letter directs you to call our Clinical Coordination Centre number on 0345 0130 555 and to say you are calling specifically to enquire about ‘bereavement support’. You will be offered the next available date for a call back from one of the bereavement team. We are unable to give a specific time slot but we are offering this call back service Monday to Friday.

As we are anticipating a high demand for our services, when we call you back we will be making an ‘initial assessment’ of each person’s individual situation as we will need to prioritise those who are most vulnerable, such as people living alone who have no access to a wider family or social support system in place.

If we are unable to offer regular 1 to 1 telephone support, we may be able to refer you to our Companions Befriending Service or signpost to other bereavement organisations.

At the bottom of the page you will find links to a government document offering further information and advice. You may also find this link helpful.

In the meantime we offer heartfelt thoughts to our families and thank you all for bearing with us in these difficult and challenging times as we all “feel our way…moment by moment”.


Bereavement support for Children and Young People:

HopeAgain.org.uk is the website of Cruse Bereavement Care. It is a safe place where you can learn from other young people, how to cope with grief, and feel less alone. Vlog Pod is part of the HopeAgain website and is a place where you can watch other people’s stories and find out first-hand how they coped when someone they love has died. You can also contribute if you feel up to it.

Rip Rap is for teenagers who have a parent with cancer: pre and post-bereavement. There is also a discussion that can be found HERE

Treehouse Wiltshire provides bereavement support to children and young people under the age of 25 following the loss of a loved one. During covid-19, all face-to-face groups and individual appointments have been cancelled. We will do our best to support families by phone, should they wish us to do so. Email admin@wiltshiretreehouse.org.uk

To make a referral call Child Bereavement UK on 0800 02 888 40 Monday – Friday 9am-5pm. Only accept referrals directly from families, unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Winston’s Wish provide phone, email and online support for children and young people after a death. http://www.winstonswish.org.uk
Freephone helpline 08088 020 021
Email Contact.

Bereavement support for adults:

Bereavement support for men: At A Loss
For men of any age who have lost someone important at any time. We offer support over the phone (and outside of Covid-19, gatherings where men who have experienced bereavement can learn more about the grief journey and encourage one another around good food and enjoyable activities).

Bereavement support for people aged 18 – 30 : At A Loss – GrabLife Guest
Providing activity support weekends (on hold during covid-19) and ongoing peer support for bereaved young adults, helping them identify signs of grief and embrace the future.Email to register interest. Meanwhile use GriefChat

Care for the Family offers a poster of “Dos and don’ts”, explaining what is helpful and what not when someone has been bereaved, this can be found lower down this page or you can contact them on 029 2081 0800. Office opening hours: Monday 10am to 5pm; Tuesday – Thursday 9am to 5pm; Friday – 9:00am to 4.30pm.

Cruse National Helpline provides bereavement support. Open 9.30am-5pm Mondays to Fridays (excluding bank holidays) and until 8pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Freephone 0808 808 1677.

Griefcast is a podcast that examines the human experience of grief and death. In each episode Cariad Lloyd talks to a different guest about their experiences of grief. Together they share their views on the pain, loss and the weirdness that happens when someone dies.

GriefChat provides online chat & webcam counselling. It is a safe space for grieving or bereaved people to be able to share their story, explore their feelings and be supported by a qualified bereavement counsellor. In addition to this, GriefChat can help bereaved people to consider if they need additional support and where to get this from. Free of charge and is open Monday-Friday, 9am-9pm. Tel: 01524 782910. Email: info@griefchat.co.uk

The Good Grief Trust is run by bereaved people for bereaved people. Information, advice and encouraging stories from others to help you in this most difficult of times. Email hello@thegoodgrieftrust.org

The Loss Foundation website is a place where those suffering a loss can gain information about the psychological factors that influence the grieving process, as well as common reactions after a bereavement.