It’s a fact of life that we will all be affected by the loss of a loved one. That doesn’t make it any easier though, does it? Often we don’t feel prepared and struggle to know where to turn to for support and help. Sadly lives, young and old are lost prematurely and sometimes with little or no warning.
Wirral’s Local Offer Communication Officer, Sally Tittle has been invited to join the newly launched Wirral Bereavement Advisory Group. Sally knows from talking to parents, carers and the young people themselves that their number one worry is ‘What will happen to my child if I die?’, ‘How will I cope if my parents/carers die?’
Sally has found that there is a whole range of support services out there to help us here in Wirral. In this section we will outline the range of bereavement related support.
What do we mean by a terminal illness?
Terminal Illness is an illness that cannot be cured or treated and that is expected to result in the death of the patient within a short period of time and eventually ends the life of the sufferer. Again, there are lots of support groups to help families through these difficult times. Here’s a few:
Is an award winning, youth led support available to anybody aged 11-25 when a close family member is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness – such as cancer. Telephone: 01989 566317 Facebook, Twitter and Instagram make accessing this service easier for young people.http://www.hopesupport.org.uk/
Listening Ear Butterflies
Have recently developed a new service called Lunar, a therapeutic pathway for children and young people aged 4 to 25 who have a parent diagnosed with a life limiting illness. https://www.listening-ear.co.uk/pages/search.aspx?q=lunar
To access specific terminal illness support https://www.supportline.org.uk/problems/terminal_illness.php
The Dove Service
The Dove Service is one of the UK’s leading bereavement and loss counselling charities and provides counselling and support to children & young people over the age of four and their families. Telephone: 01782 683155 https://www.thedoveservice.org.uk/
Macmillan Cancer Support is one of the largest British charities and provides specialist health care, information and financial support to people affected by cancer. Telephone: 0808 808 00 00 Monday to Friday from 9am to 8pm https://www.macmillan.org.uk/
Wirral Hospice St John’s
This Hospice is for adults (remember the Local Offer signposts services for young people and their families with SEND from birth to the age of 25) and provides free care and support to patients with life-limiting illnesses including cancer, heart, liver and kidney disease, respiratory and neurological conditions. http://www.wirralhospice.org/
The Samaritans is a registered charity. It provides emotional support to anyone in emotional distress, struggling to cope, or at risk of suicide throughout the UK and Ireland. They have highly trained people at the end of a phone to and many people access support via their telephone helpline. You don’t have to give your real name or any personal information if you don’t want to. The quickest way to contact them and get a response is by phone on 116 123, this number is FREE to call any time of the day or night. Here’s their website.https://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help-you
Childline is a free 24-hour counselling service for children and young people up to their 19th birthday in the UK and is provided by the NSPCC. Childline can support with any issue causing distress or concern. https://www.childline.org.uk/child
Funeral Arrangements – when the time comes…
Here in Wirral we have several funeral homes specialising in guiding bereaved families through the funeral arrangements
Co-op Funeral Care
There are 9 branches dotted around the area. Their teams of professionals are on hand to listen, advise and guide you through all your options.Woodchurch 82 Hoole Road, Woodchurch Wirral CH49 8EG Telephone: 0151 606 1309 Oxton 95 Woodchurch Road, Oxton Birkenhead CH42 9LJ Telephone: 0151 652 4974 Birkenhead 100 Laird Street, Birkenhead, CH41 8EN Telephone: 0151 653 7773 Moreton 262 Hoylake Road, Moreton Wirral CH46 6AF Telephone: 0151 677 2342 Birkenhead 73 Argyle Street, Birkenhead CH41 6AB Telephone: 0151 647 8861 HeswallGrange House, 87 Pensby Road, Heswall Wirral CH60 7RB Telephone: 0151 342 3339 New Ferry Unit 2, 100 New Chester Road, New Ferry Wirral CH62 5AG Telephone: 0151 645 8133 Wallasey 56 Liscard Road, Wallasey CH44 9AF Telephone: 0151 6385665 Hoylake 6 The Row, Market Street, Hoylake Wirral CH47 3BB Telephone: 0151 632 4777 https://funeralcare.coop.co.uk/finder/wirral?gclid=CND9ydzuktYCFcyw7QodA1oLWA
Kenna and Turner
Kenna and Turner are funeral directors based in Wallasey. They are a family run firm, with over 100 years’ experience of providing sympathetic and professional funeral services. Address: 31 Rowson Street, Wallasey, Wirral CH45 5AR Telephone: 0151 638 4444http://www.kennaandturner.co.uk/arranging-funerals-location?location=Wirral&gclid=CLOs-ufuktYCFQe17QodS-APmw
Family run business based at Castle House Funeral Home, 86 Teehey Lane, Bebington, Wirral CH63 8QU Telephone number: 0151 608 8503http://www.laurencejones.org/
Frequently Asked Questions – after a person has died…
Question: Who can register a death?
Answer: If the death occurred at home or in hospital the following people can register the death:
- Any relative, (usually a near relative, next of kin)
- The person making the Funeral Arrangements
- An occupant of the house
- Someone who was present at the death
Question: Am I entitled to a Government contribution towards the Funeral expenses?
Answer: The person paying the Funeral expenses may be entitled to some help towards the cost of the funeral, depending on what state benefits he/she receives.
- Income Support
- Housing Benefit
- Council Tax Benefit
- (Income based) Job seekers allowance
- Disabled persons Tax Credit
- Working Family’s Tax Credit
You should contact your local Benefits Agency for more information about this.
Any Funeral payment paid out will have to be paid back from any estate of the deceased person. The estate means any money, property, savings and insurance policies that the deceased person owned. A house or personal possessions that are left to a Widow, Widower or surviving Civil Partner do not count as part of the estate.
Question: Is there a Bereavement Service helpline?
Answer: Yes. Telephone number 0845 606 0265
Writing a Will
Here are a few links to organisations that can help you:
Citizen’s Advice Bureau
Counselling and Support
Child Bereavement UK
Child Bereavement UK is a fantastic resource. Whether you’re a family, a young person, a Professional or a Nursery/School Child Bereavement can help you. Their website is clear to understand and signposts us to the help we need when we need it the most. They provide training, counselling, have lots of user friendly videos and their tutorials are comforting yet informative. Why not take a look at the areas they can help with? https://childbereavementuk.org/
Child Bereavement UK have put together a new web page and a couple of new resources to help families support bereaved children through the impact of coronavirus:
There’s a new short guidance film and Information Sheet Supporting bereaved children through difficult times on this page.