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Frequently Asked Questions


What is bereavement support?
Bereavement support is talking with a trained volunteer who listens without judging you. Everything you tell your allocated volunteer will be completely confidential.

How does it help?
It gives an opportunity to talk through your loss and to explore your feelings about it. It also gives you the chance to say things you might not be able to say to friends or family.  Cruse volunteers seek to help you to help yourself.

How long will I need support?
It depends. We have helped people with a ‘one-off' session and there are others who have had our support for longer. Ending support is always a mutually agreed decision and is prepared for. Each individual session last for 50 - 60 minutes.

Who provides the support?
Our volunteers are extensively trained in all aspects of bereavement and loss, as well as how to support those who have suffered a bereavement. Many volunteers are either professionally qualified counsellors or are training to be one.

Where do sessions take place?
Our volunteers see you in your own home, although we can sometimes see you at a separate location.

Do you see children?
Occasionally. We can offer this service to small number of children with their parents’/carers' consent, when we have availability. Children are either seen at home or sometimes at school in a private room.

Do you offer group support?
Yes. We offer group support in the borough when there is demand, usually in South Norwood in the evening.  These are closed groups - you cannot join them part-way through - and you will be expected to attend all eight sessions.

Does my GP or any other agency - or even a family member - need to refer me?
No. We can only accept self-referrals. If you wish us to help you, you will need to make the request yourself. If someone you know needs help, they will have to make the call themselves.

What happens when I call you for help?
Once your call is picked up by member of our Telephone Team  a trained volunteer will call you back to take some details. It may take a couple of days to reach you but we will always try at least three times. Our call will come from a withheld or private number, so you may need to alter your phone settings to allow for this. If you need support, your details will be passed to a volunteer who will come to see you and find out a little more about you and your loss, as well as to conduct an assessment. If Cruse support is appropiate, you will then be allocated a volunteer who will see you, probably on a weekly basis, for around 6 - 8 sessions.

Is there a waiting list?
Unfortunately there is usually a waiting list for assessment and for ongoing support - our service is popular as it is specialist. We will let you know as soon as a volunteer becomes available, and you can call us for support at any time while you wait.

How much do you charge?
All of our services are offered for free. However donations are always welcome, and if you wish you can Gift Aid them, if you are also a UK taxpayer.

I don't live in the Croydon borough. Where can I get help?
We can only see those living in the Croydon borough; this excludes those living in neighbouring boroughs even if they have a Croydon postcode. If you live outside the area, please call the Cruse National Helpline on 0808 808 1677, and you will be given information appropriate to where you live.