St Barnabas Bereavement Helpline

Don’t grieve in isolation, call the new St Barnabas Bereavement Helpline

St Barnabas have opened a bereavement helpline for the people of Lincolnshire in response to the coronavirus pandemic. This helpline offers support for those experiencing grief from all bereavement not just the coronavirus. The helpline is open Monday to Friday, 11am to 3pm.

Call: 0300 303 1897

On accessing the bereavement helpline, if it is identified that you would benefit from ongoing one to one support, a referral can be made for you to access either telephone or webcam sessions with one of our trained supportive listening or counselling bereavement volunteers.

A spokesperson from St Barnabas Hospice says:

“ We are delighted that the Lincolnshire Community Foundation, who have received funds from the National Emergency Trust, has awarded St Barnabas Hospice with £6,000 to support the setting up of this helpline. We are extremely grateful for this vital help and support during a difficult time. These are uncertain times and we understand that people will be feeling more emotional and alone than normal. Our aim with this service is to use our expertise to support people when they will need it most. The calls will be taken by trained volunteer counsellors who would usually be working within the community holding group sessions. As these have stopped, we were keen to use their expertise to  support our community as more and more people will be experiencing grief and loss. Although this helpline will offer basic support, if we feel someone needs additional, more regular care we will refer them to the relevant service.”


What are the reasons for calling the Bereavement Helpline?           

There are lots of reasons why people call the Bereavement Helpline. They may be feeling isolated, anxious or lonely, struggling with feelings of grief and loss, feeling overwhelmed by the current situation and how to cope, or simply just need to reach out to someone. When you call the Bereavement Helpline you will get immediate support from one of our trained volunteers. It won’t cost you anything and we can also give you information about other services in Lincolnshire that might be able to help too. No feeling or problem is too big or small.


What can I expect when I call the Bereavement Helpline?

Your call will be put straight through to one of our trained volunteers. You do not need to give any personal details, unless you wish to do so, and you do not wait to get help. The only exception to this will be if the line is busy – and you will be invited to leave a message so that we can call you back, or if you call when the line is closed, again, if you leave a message we will call you back.


Who will answer my call?

A trained bereavement support volunteer will speak with you. Our volunteers have extensive training in talking about bereavement, grief and loss and helping them with a variety of issues. You will be put straight through to a volunteer and won’t need to complete any referral information.


What if I don’t know what to say?

People often find the picking up the phone and speaking to someone they don’t know the most difficult. We want to reassure you that we understand how difficult it can be. We are there to help you and won’t judge or pressure you to speak if you’re finding it difficult.

It’s also important to know that it’s okay to say nothing. Some people lose their confidence when they hear another person, or because they want to see what its like to call and what our volunteers will be like. If it helps you to call and say nothing before hanging up a few times that is fine with us. If you find you put the phone down, and then want to ring again – that is also fine. It can sometimes take a while to find your confidence.


What if I cry or become upset?

We understand that talking about how you are feeling and your current situation can be emotional, and you may want to cry. People often worry that they will cry and might feel embarrassed or self conscious. We want you to know that we understand and you don’t need to be worry – our volunteers are there to listen and offer you their support however you are feeling.


How will it help?

Often just talking to someone can help you to express your feelings, especially if you are on your own, have been keeping things bottled up because you don’t want to upset your friends or family, or just simply don’t know how you’re feeling. Our volunteers will listen to you, offer support, and let you know about different ideas to help you cope. They might also be able to tell you about services near to you that know more about a particular issue or could provide long-term help.


What if more help is needed?

Bereavement Helpline volunteers can refer you to other services if appropriate, and if this is what you want to happen. Recognising that you need help and then asking for it are the first steps towards feeling better.


Virtual bereavement groups

We are reviewing our online bereavement groups and will publish new dates once they are available.

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