Family Support Services for Adults

Supporting people experiencing bereavement


Bereavement is something that we will all face in our lifetime and how an individual will respond to this will vary from person to person.   One thing is certain though, seeking help and support when it’s needed, at the right time, can be a lifeline for some people in distress.

Tynedale Hospice at Home provides support, following a diagnosis of a life-limiting illness, or the death of a loved one.  We aim to help those left behind, cope and adapt in their new situation.

This free and confidential service is available to anyone living in the West Northumberland, Tynedale and Ponteland areas who is experiencing bereavement, whether they have been touched by hospice care or not.

How we can help

It doesn’t matter whether the death of a loved one was expected or sudden – it can be a shattering experience.  We are here to help people cope and restore hope for the future.

We offer pre-bereavement and bereavement support with one of our trained bereavement volunteers, either in the comfort of your own home or at our base in Hexham in Northumberland, for as long as you feel you need it.  You can self refer or be referred to us by your GP or another health professional.

And because there is no ‘beginning’ or ‘end’ to bereavement you can seek our services at any time – no matter how long after your loved one has died.  We are here for you whenever you feel you need support.

What people tell us

Everyone has different reactions to bereavement and how a person responds to the death of loved one will vary. This may depend on whether it was an expected or sudden death or whether you have experienced bereavement before.

People tell us they experience a range of emotion, including a sense of shock or numbness, anxiety, anger, panic, despair and isolation.  These feelings can come and go, they are unpredictable and random.  You may cry a lot or not cry at all.

You may experience physical symptoms too, including breathlessness, exhaustion, changes in appetite, changes to sleep patterns, palpitations and physical pain.

The grief can be all-consuming and leave you feeling generally run down and lethargic.

If you are worried about any symptoms, please talk to your GP.

How does the service work?

One to One support

When you request support our qualified Adult Family Support Practitioner will arrange a meeting to discuss your needs with you.  Following this, you will be allocated a trained volunteer who will contact you to arrange an initial appointment.

Our volunteers are all trained in bereavement support and active listening skills.  They can also signpost you to other relevant services. They are offered regular supervision and ongoing training with our Adult Family Support Practitioner.

Please note, however, we cannot provide medical advice, family therapy, counselling, psychotherapy or social work services.

Support Groups

We also run adult support groups, where a small number of people who are experiencing a similar type of bereavement meet together on a regular basis.  We provide a safe, confidential environment with an experienced and trained facilitator where you can share your feelings, learn from each other, and give and receive mutual support. These groups run at regular intervals throughout the year.

Some examples of our adult support groups include people who have experienced the death of a parent and people who have experienced the death of a spouse.

Jemma’s Story

Jemma attended our Family Support Group after her husband died leaving her at just 33 years old, a single parent of three young boys.

She said: “I did genuinely think I was ok but when the chance came up to take part in a fortnightly support group for adults I went along.  Through the sessions I realised that it didn’t matter how your loved one had died – whether it was by cancer, a heart attack or even by suicide – the confusing mix of loss, anger and guilt were the same.  There was no judgement and I realised that all the feelings I was experiencing were normal. It was a relief.”

Useful websites

Tynedale Hospice at Home –  www.tynedalehospiceathome.com

MacMillan Cancer Support  – www.macmillan.org.uk

Cruse Bereavement Care  – www.cruse.org.uk

Lifespan  – www.lifespanteam.org.uk

Other Services

To find out more about our Family Support Services for Adults, please call 01434 600 384.

In addition to our Family Support Services for Adults, Tynedale Hospice at Home also provides Family Support Services for Children and Young People, Nursing Care in the Home and a Hospital Transport Service.

Each year it costs around £900,000 to run our services and 90% of this must be raised through voluntary giving and charitable donations.  To make a donation to support our services or to find out how you can fundraise for Tynedale Hospice at Home, please call our fundraising team on 01434 606 444 or email: fundraising@tynedalehospice.com

What others say about us…

“When I lost my son I thought that was the end. Your volunteers changed all that; we went through our loss together with the help from Tynedale Hospice at Home. The comfort they gave us was very helpful.”

“I can’t thank the Adult Bereavement Service enough for the care they gave to me in the darkest time of my life. This service really is invaluable!”