Family and Bereavement Support

Family and Bereavement Support Team:

Our specially trained Family and Bereavement Support Team is made up of a Palliative Care Social Worker, Family Support Coordinator and Family & Bereavement Support Worker, along with a team of highly trained and supervised volunteers.

 Who is the service for?

Our Support Service is available to anyone over the age of 18 who is experiencing loss, irrespective of time lapsed, cause or relationship. There is also no requirement to have had previous contact with the hospice services

We understand that life-shortening illnesses affect not only the patient, but also their network of family, friends and carers. Our Family and Bereavement Support Service provides psychological, emotional and spiritual support for patients throughout their illness and for their families and carers, leading up to and following bereavement. People may need varying levels of help at any given time, and we respect this, so the support we offer is tailored to meet individual needs wherever possible. We work to support you through all the varied and often confusing feelings you may experience.

What support is available?

We offer a range of different support options including:

One to One Support

Many people find it helpful to talk with someone other than a member of their family or a close friend. After an initial assessment, you will be offered confidential one to one emotional support with a trained and supervised support volunteer by telephone or face to face whichever you prefer. You will be offered up to ten support sessions with dates and times flexible to your needs and availability.

What kinds of things do people talk about?

Different people talk about different things, it depends on their situation. There is no right or wrong subject to talk about. You might wish to talk about how you are feeling: guilt, regret, pain, relief, sadness, happiness and anger are just a few feelings you may experience before or after a death. Talking about them can help reduce their intensity and help you make sense of why you feel the way you do.

Make, Do and Mend Workshop

Our Make, Do and Mend upcycling workshop is based within our Furniture Warehouse at our Living Well Centre at 299 to 301 Duke St, Barrow in Furness. The workshop provides a chance for bereaved men and women, those caring for their partner or loved one or those living with their own life-shortening illness to come together to share experiences, ideas and enthusiasm , and ultimately, to help each other through loss.

The workshops are held throughout the year on either a Wednesday morning

(9:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon) or Wednesday afternoon (13:00 p.m. to 15:30 p.m.)

The workshop offers an opportunity for people to pursue practical interests and projects such as recycling furniture, either as a group or on their own.

Bereavement Craft Group

Throughout the year we hold 6 week bereavement craft groups at our Living Well Centre at 299 to 301 Duke St, Barrow in Furness. These groups aim to give people the chance to meet people in a similar position to themselves through being creative.

The aims of the craft group are to:

  • Restore self-esteem and develop a sense of self-worth
  • Encourage relaxation and minimise anxiety/ stress
  • Sharpen concentration

Online Bereavement Group

In July 2017 we set up a closed Facebook page to support people digitally recognising that evenings and weekends can often be the most difficult times. Our online support group provides a safe platform for people to share experiences, ask questions and chat to people who maybe in a similar position and who support each other.

Monthly informal coffee evenings are held for our online group members. These are held in the Orangery café at St Mary’s Hospice in Ulverston on the last Thursday of each month. (18:00 p.m. to 19::30 pm.). Some members of our support team will be there to chat with you and answer any questions you may have.

Bereavement Café

The aim of the bereavement café is to provide a drop-in session for those coping with bereavement. The drop-in is not designed to be a counselling session; it is a supportive environment for reflection and conversation, a place where people will be able to find mutual support and encouragement when they need it most.

The café takes place on the first Thursday of each month at the Café in Asda, Barrow-in-Furness (10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon).

All sessions will be overseen by Hospice staff and volunteers who will be able to offer further advice and guidance.

Support for children

Although we do not directly support children we can support parents and grandparents to support the children in their family circle. We also work very closely with Child Bereavement UK who hold drop-in sessions at St Mary’s Hospice, Family Support Room on the 2nd Thursday of each month (9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.)

How do I make contact?

You can refer yourself or a family member (with their consent) by phoning the hospice on

01229 580305 (when prompted select option 6). Ask for the Family Support Team. If you prefer, you can ask another health professional to refer you.

We are also at Barrow Library every Monday morning (10 a.m. to 12 noon)

Please feel free to drop in and see us there.