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Project information

Support for Traumatic Bereavement

To sustain a vital, specialist service. Every day in the news we see terrible stories of sudden, tragic death such as suicides, accidents or the loss of a child. The families of those left behind are shattered in a second. Our service helps those people using specialist talking therapies.

January 2018 - January 2019

Charity information: The Bereavement Counselling Service

The Bereavement Counselling Service logo
  • Need


    To sustain and continue to improve the provision of specialist bereavement counselling. To ensure that every person referred to us receives the help that they need, free of charge. Traumatic Bereavement and Complex Grief can have a profound effect on physical health. It can lead to depression, suicidal thoughts, phobias and anxieties. People referred to us often report being unable to work or to maintain healthy relationships. No other service in our area meets this specific need.


    By providing dedicated support through delivery of specialist counselling. A team of highly trained and qualified volunteer counsellors will deliver around 600 hours of specialist therapy per year. Because our referral criteria is quite specific (we do not see people who are grieving 'normally'), we are able to see people quickly when they need us most. Early intervention is vital in the case of traumatic bereavement. Following counselling, clients report a huge improvement in their well-being.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To support those adults referred to us, enabling them to return to fully functioning lives.


    » Carry out in-depth assessments for all referrals. Provide free specialist counselling. Monitor our performance to ensure quality of care.
    » Recruit and train additional qualified counsellors to meet ongoing demand for service. Provide continued professional development for counsellors.

    What success will look like

    Our services are measurable. We will use assessment tools to demonstrate clinical outcomes. Client feedback and monthly statistics will be used to monitor our performance.

    Aim 2

    Develop our service.


    » Introduce support groups for traumatic loss. (Following our pilot project starting in September) Publicise service to raise awareness of our work.

    What success will look like

    We will monitor the impact of this project through numbers of referrals, increase in donations and in volunteers.

  • Impact


    The impact of our work is wide-reaching.
    Our clients get the help that they need, for free. They report being able to return to work, reduce their prescription medication and live fully functioning lives. This also brings benefits to the wider family.
    By filling a gap in services we are also supporting other health providers such as GPs and Mental Health Practitioners.
    We provide volunteering opportunities for trained counsellors and give them in-depth experience of complex grief work.


    Funding is always a risk for our service but we have good reserves in place should the worst happen.
    We are forward thinking and are pro-actively applying for grants to meet the gap in our funding. Donations have increased dramatically in the last 12 months due to the work we are doing in promoting our service.


    We can keep donors informed via our quarterly newsletter and can provide copies of our annual report. We communicate updates on our Facebook and Twitter accounts and via our website.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £37,694

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £19,826 Staff Wages Staff Wages and Volunteer Expenses
      £7,966 Office Costs Office and Counselling Room Costs
      £1,902 Admin Costs Insurance, Stationery, Printing
      £5,000 Training and Recruitment Volunteer and Staff Training/Recruitment
      £2,000 Promotion New publicity
      £1,000 Supervision External supervision costs

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Western Locality Clinical Commissioning Group £17,395 Guaranteed
  • Background


    Our funding restricts us to the locations of the City of Plymouth and an area of Devon known as the South Hams. With additional funding we would like to extend our location further.

    Many parts of Plymouth have the highest levels of deprivation in The South West. This means that clients are already struggling with a number of factors before they come to us.


    100 adults aged 18 and above who have symptoms of complex grief or whom have suffered a traumatic bereavement. Each will receive one to one support from a specialist, Bereavement Counsellor.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We were established 23 years ago and have a fantastic reputation in the medical profession. Our type of support is not provided by anyone else in our area. Without our counselling, clients will not get the specialist help that they need.

    Many of our volunteer counsellors have been with us since the start and have such vast experience in bereavement.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Our Team

    We employ two paid staff. We have 31 wonderful volunteers. These are our assessors, counsellors, supervisors, trustees and in-house trainers.

Bereavement Counselling has saved my life. For many months after (the death) I did not care if I lived or died. It is only recently that I have felt myself coming back to life after just existing before. Recently my family see me wanting to participate in life instead of not caring about anything.

Client A