Support Services

There are many organisations that offer help and support to bereaved people. Details of some of these are listed below, however there are many more. Please contact the Bereavement Service to find out about other services, or for more information.

Organisations are grouped under the following headings:


NHS Lothian Bereavement Service
Practical advice and information on what to do after a death, as well as help finding bereavement support.
Phone: 0131 242 6995 (9am - 5pm, Monday to Friday)

Cruse Bereavement Care Scotland

A charity offering bereavement information and support, including face-to-face counselling at local offices around Scotland.
Phone: 0845 600 2227 (9.30am - 5pm, Monday to Friday)
For Cruse in England, Wales and Northern Ireland  contact
Helpline: 0844 477 9400
Acorns Bereavement Support Programme
A local bereavement service offering a six-week group support programme at various locations in Edinburgh.
Phone: 0131 208 1882
Support for anyone in a crisis.
Helpline: 08457 90 90 90 (24 hours a day, every day)

Practical and financial issues

DWP Bereavement Service
Department for Work & Pensions helpline to check if you can claim help with funeral costs or any other benefits.
Phone: 0345 606 0265
Textphone: 0345 606 0285
Down to Earth (part of Quaker Social Action)
If you are worried about paying for a funeral, Down to Earth offers free advocacy and practical guidance on finding the most affordable and appropriate funeral. They can also help you to apply for financial assistance.
Phone: 020 8983 5055 (10am - 4pm, Monday - Friday) 
Citizens Advice Bureau
Free, impartial advice on a wide range of issues including money, benefits, legal matters, and housing. You can find details of local branches in the Phone Book or on the Citizens Advice Scotland website
The Money Advice Service
A free, impartial money advice service set up by the UK government.
Phone: 0300 500 5000 (8am - 8pm, Monday to Friday and 9am - 1pm on Saturday)


Child Death Helpline
Support for anyone affected by the death of a child (at any age). Calls are answered by bereaved parents. An interpreting service is available. Open every day 7pm- 10pm, Monday to Friday 10am - 1pm, Tuesdays & Wednesdays 1pm - 4pm.
Helpline: 0800 282 986
Freephone helpline for calls from mobiles: 0808 800 6019  
Child Bereavement UK
A national charity providing support for bereaved families, children and professionals.
Phone: 0800 028 8840
The Compassionate Friends
Support for families (parents, siblings and grandparents) who have experienced the death of a child (at any age).
UK Helpline: 0845 123 2304 (10am - 4pm, 7 - 10pm, every day)
Northern Ireland Helpline: 0288 77 88 016 (10am - 4pm, 7 - 9.30pm, every day) 
SANDS (Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society)
Support for anyone affected by the death of a baby.
Helpline: 020 7436 5881 (9.30am - 5.30pm, Monday to Friday plus 6-10pm, Tuesdays & Thursdays)
SANDS Lothians
A local charity covering Edinburgh and the Lothians offering support, understanding and help to parents who experience the death of a baby.
Phone: 0131 622 6263
The Scottish Cot Death Trust
Provides support and information to people bereaved by cot death (also known as sudden unexpected death in infancy or sudden infant death syndrome).
Phone: 0141 357 3946
Saying Goodbye Services
Memorial services for people who have been affected by the death of a baby in pregnancy, at bith or in infancy. The services are held in various cathedrals across Britain every year, usually including some services in Scotland. See website for further details. 
Phone: 0845 293 8027

Children and young people

Richmond’s Hope
A local charity providing support for bereaved children and young people aged 4 to 18 in Edinburgh and Midlothian.
Phone: 0131 661 6818
Grief Matters
A local bereavement support service based within West Lothian Drug and Alcohol Service for young people aged 12-18 in West Lothian who have been affected by a sudden death (the bereavement does not have to be substance related).
Phone: 01506 446 650
Winston’s Wish
A national charity providing support for bereaved children and young people.
Helpline: 08452 03 04 05 (9am - 5pm, Monday to Friday and 7 - 9.30pm on a Wednesday)
General Enquiries: 01242 515157

Child Bereavement UK
A national charity providing support for bereaved families, children and professionals.
Phone: 0800 028 8840
Hope Again
(Formerly RD4U) Hope Again is the youth website of Cruse Bereavement Care. It is a safe place, where young people who are facing grief can share their stories with others.
Helpline: 0808 808 1677 (9.30am - 5pm, Monday to Friday)
A phone helpline for children and young people in danger or distress. You can also contact ChildLine by email or chat 1-2-1 with a counsellor online.
Helpline (freephone): 0800 11 11 (24 hours a day, every day)


People bereaved by sudden death

Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide
Support and advice for people bereaved by suicide.
Helpline: 0300 111 5065 (9am - 9pm, every day)
PETAL Support (People Experiencing Trauma and Loss)
A Scottish charity supporting families and friends of murder and suicide victims.
Phone: 01698 324502
A charity which supports people bereaved by road crashes.
Helpline:  0808 8000401 (10am - 4pm, Monday to Friday)
A charity which supports people bereaved by road crashes.
Helpline: 0845 4500 355 (9am - 5pm, Monday to Friday)

SUDEP Action
Support for people bereaved by sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP).
Phone: 01235 772852            

People bereaved by the death of a partner or spouse

WAY Widowed and Young
A self-help social and support network for men and women under the age of 50 (and their children) affected by the death of a spouse or partner.
Way Up
A self-help organisation associated with WAY (see above) for people in their 50's and 60's.

Older people

Silver Line Scotland
Silver Line Scotland is the confidential freephone helpline for older people in Scotland, open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. The service is provided by The Silver Line Helpline and Age Scotland working in partnership. Silver Line Scotland provides information. friendship and advice to older people  and those seeking advice on how best to support older friends and family members.
Silver Line Scotland (freephone)*: 0800 4 70 80 90 (24 hours a day)
Textphone:  0845 226 5851 (Monday to Friday, 8am-8pm)
Telephone interpretation is also available
*The freephone number will not be free from most mobiles so, if you are using a mobile phone, call
0300 4 70 80 90 which will either be free or charged at local rate.

Last Reviewed: 16/12/2015