I'm experiencing a bereavement or loss

It's a fact that most of us will experience the death of someone close at some time in our life.

What happens when someone dies, however, is not something we usually talk about - so it's easy to feel lost when it happens to you.

While feeling grief is a natural response to a distressing experience and not a mental health condition itself - many people go through a range of difficult and overwhelming emotions that can have a significant impact on their wellbeing.

This section can help you to understand more about the grieving process and where to turn to for support, or just someone to listen, if you need to talk things through. You can also find information here about experiencing other kinds of loss such as the end of a relationship, job or career - which can all have a deep effect on how you are feeling in a way that is similar to bereavement.

What is grief and what's ‘normal’?

Grief is an emotional reaction to loss, particularly to the death of someone who played an important part in your life or with whom you had a close 'bond'.

Many people who are grieving question if what they are feeling is 'normal'.

There is no right or wrong way to grieve and everyone is different.

In the hours, days, weeks, months and years following a bereavement people can react in many different ways. It's quite common and normal to experience some of these different responses (or even experience a number of different reactions in one day):

  • Overwhelming sadness - cry a lot and feel deep emotional pain and distress.
  • Shock - feel 'dazed' and have trouble taking in what's happened.
  • Numbness or lack of emotion - some people may not cry initially and appear calm. They may be feeling the impact internally, or, may experience strong emotions later on. It's also common to put off showing your feelings by keeping busy with the immediate tasks that need doing.
  • Denial - feel disbelief and a sense that it's not really happening - 'it can't be true'. Some people keep thinking that there loved one is still here - even though they 'know' that they have gone and may have a strong sense of their presence days after they have died.
  • Helplessness - some people struggle and need lots of help to carry out the practical things that need to be done.
  • Anger - and want to blame someone or something, whether the person who has died for leaving, yourself for 'not doing enough', another family member or people involved in your loved one's care or treatment.
  • Guilt - about things you did or didn't say or do. Or guilt that you didn't manage to 'save' your loved one and that you will have to go on living without them.
  • Relief - that your loved one isn't suffering anymore or that a difficult time in your life has ended.
  • Confusion - find it hard making decisions and concentrating. Some people may seem disorientated and have problems with their memory. You may find you have done something odd like put your keys in the fridge - it's normal for your thoughts to be somewhere else at this time.
  • Anxiety - for some time it can feel like the life you knew it has been shattered or 'blown apart' and that the death of your loved one has left a big hole in your world. It's not surprising that many people feel very agitated and can start to feel anxious about a range of worries. You're also likely to experience the physical symptoms of anxiety - such as a rapid heartbeat, dizziness, aching limbs, tight chest, dry mouth and irregular breathing. It's also a time when you may have difficulty eating and sleeping properly, feel tired, lack energy and pick up more colds and infections than usual. You may also find it harder to cope when small things go wrong and feel more vulnerable to pressures that wouldn't normally affect you. You can watch an animation about the stress bucket in the stress section.
  • Fear - some people start to think about their own mortality and feel fear for the wellbeing of other people who are close to them. It's also common to experience panic attacks.
  • Loneliness - feel low, empty or lost and lack a sense of 'purpose' sometimes.

This resource can help you explore different common reactions to bereavement.

What are 'normal' reactions to a bereavement?

What is the grieving process and how long should it take to ‘recover’ from a bereavement?

You may be familiar with an early model of grief (the Kubler-Ross grief model) which suggested that someone experiencing a bereavement goes through different stages such as shock, denial and anger, in a particular order, until they finally accept or 'get over' their loss.

Our ideas about the grieving process have now changed - life is much more messy and complicated than that and you are likely to have many ups and downs, good days and bad.

There are now a number of different models which can be explored. Every bereavement is different and there isn't one model which describes everyone's experience but some people may find one or more of the following models useful in helping them to better understand their own individual journey.

The Four Challenges of Grief Model

The Two-Way Grief Model

The Stages of Grief Model

There is no timeframe for how long the grieving process should last and everyone is different.

Some people may start to feel better in a few weeks or months - other people may take one to two years or more. As a general rule - the intensity of someone's grief usually reflects:

  • The importance of their loss.
  • The nature of their relationship with the person who has died.
  • The circumstances of the death.

So, while the grieving process is likely to be more difficult and go on for longer for someone who is grieving for a partner or close relative - someone may also grieve very deeply for a friend, neighbour or school teacher with whom they had developed an important 'bond'. Likewise, someone's feelings for losing a close relative maybe complicated or conflicted if the relationship was difficult or estranged.

Other factors can also affect how someone grieves, as well, such as:

  • The way they have grieved for earlier losses.
  • Lack of social support or someone to talk to.
  • Other life stresses.
  • Problems with their mental or physical health.
  • Further losses which have come as the result of the bereavement - such as the loss of a role like being a mother, partner or daughter, for example, or the loss of other relationships or family ties connected to the person who died.

Unfortunately, there is no short-cut to grieving. Be patient with yourself. Don't expect too much too soon. It is important to slowly work through your emotions because grief is the process by which we start to come to terms with loss.

Starting to adapt and re-adjust to life as it is now - does not mean that you have 'got over' losing the person who died or that you have forgotten them. It is important not to feel guilty if you are beginning to put energy into rebuilding your life following a death. It is quite normal to start to look forward and is in no way disloyal to the memory of the person who has died. Life will never be exactly the same again. As time goes by you are still likely to experience deep emotions when you remember them - especially at important times like birthdays, Christmas, special family events and anniversaries.

Trying to avoid your grief, turning to work as a distraction or trying to appear 'brave' and 'strong' can disrupt this process. Men, in particular, may think it will be a sign of weakness to show their emotions or to cry in public. Someone who doesn't feel able to grieve properly, release their pain and process their feelings may start to experience emotional problems, resort to unhelpful ways of coping like drinking too much or may find there are times when they are taken by surprise and feel overwhelmed by their emotions.

What are the practical things that need to be done when someone dies?

Read this quick and easy guide to sorting out the practical things that need to be done in the days following a death.

What are the practical things that need to be done when someone dies?

You can find support for practical issues following the death of a friend or relative in the Leeds Bereavement Forum directory, including:

Bereavement Advice Centre which supports and advises people on the practical things that need to be done after a death. Call 0800 6349494, Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm. Website has a range of helpful resources.

National Bereavement Service which offers a website to guide you through the practical side of bereavement and provide you with a clear understanding what those steps are from arranging a funeral to dealing with the legal and financial issues that need to take place. They have a team of trained bereavement experts on hand to talk to you about your circumstances and we will help and guide you through any questions or queries you have. Call 0800 0246 121.

The UK Care Guide has created a useful and straightforward guide to the key issues that that people need to deal with following a death. It breaks down, in simple terms, all the steps that someone needs to go through when they have lost a loved one.

When should I ask for help or support?

Grief is a natural response to experiencing a serious loss and not a mental health problem. It will take time to work through feelings of loss after the death of a loved one and that's quite normal. Talking to family and friends, when you need to, about how you are feeling and taking care of yourself can help you through this difficult process.

You should think about talking to your GP (or seek professional help), if you are:

  • Feeling very low and struggling to cope with day-to-day life or to take care of yourself.
  • Finding it hard to go out, return to work or withdrawing from friends and family.
  • Struggling to cope with a loss which was sudden, traumatic or particularly distressing - such as in the case of a suicide, an accidental death, a homicide, a missing person or the death of a child, for example.
  • Having difficulties getting enough sleep.
  • Experiencing distressing memories or flashbacks about what happened.
  • Feeling 'stuck' in an intense state of grieving which is not starting to ease over time (or is getting worse).
  • Having difficulty accepting and re-adjusting to new your situation.
  • Feeling like you are 'frozen' or unable to grieve.
  • Starting to question if life has meaning.

Leeds Bereavement Forum is a small charity which works to develop and improve bereavement services in the city. If you have lost someone and need to find the right support Leeds Bereavement Forum can signpost you to the most appropriate local bereavement services in the city. The Forum also runs a range of events about bereavement including Death Cafés where people can share experiences. You can also find a full directory of local bereavement services on the Forum website. Call 0113 225 3975.

Cruse Bereavement Care - Leeds provide support for bereaved people aged over 18 to help them understand their grief and cope with their loss. Call 0113 2344150.

Leeds Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) supports people experiencing common mental health problems. Leeds IAPT is run by Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust and provides assessments and a range of talking treatments for people with problems such as anxiety, depression and stress. You can self-refer to IAPT using an online form.

If you are feeling distressed and need to talk to someone now, you can contact:

  • The Connect helpline on 0808 800 1212 (freephone) which gives emotional support and information to people in Leeds every night of the year (6pm-2am).
  • Dial House an out-of-hours service in Leeds for people in crisis. Dial House is open Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday - 6pm-2am. If it's your first visit, you can just turn up from 6pm. If you've been before please ring 0113 2609328 or text 07922 249452 from 6pm on the night you want to request a visit (it's best to ring before 7.30pm if you can). 12 Chapel Street, Halton, Leeds, LS15 7RW.
  • The Samaritans on 116 123 (freephone) - open 24 hours a day to talk through anything you are going through.

Can anti-depressants and sleeping tablets help?

In some situations, a GP may offer anti-depressants or tranquilisers to someone who is going through the very difficult early days of a bereavement. They can make you feel calmer and may help to manage feelings of intense distress in the short-term. However, tablets, of course, cannot treat or have any effect on the cause of someone's grief which is the loss itself.

A GP may also offer sleeping tablets to someone who is struggling to get enough rest following a bereavement but again - taking medication is only a short-term measure. If you are having problems sleeping - explore the MindWell 'I'm finding it hard to sleep' section.

Where can I find support for a very sudden or traumatic bereavement (including suicide)?

The grieving process can often be more intense, complex and take longer to resolve in the case of a traumatic loss which is sudden and unexpected. This can include a death by:

  • Suicide.
  • Accident.
  • Homicide or act of violence.
  • Sudden ill health like a heart attack or allergic reaction.
  • Cot death or still birth.
  • A natural disaster like a flood, hurricane or earthquake.
  • Act of war.
  • Terrorist attack.

Such losses give family and friends no opportunity to prepare for, or, to say good-bye to their loved one. A sudden loss can also make no sense and can be very difficult to accept or process, leaving family to question 'why?' Experiencing such a shocking bereavement can make people start to question the safety of the world we live in and start to feel deep fear and anxiety that other disasters might happen. If those grieving were involved in the disaster themselves, they may experience distressing memories or flashbacks and feel some 'guilt' for why they survived, and others didn't. They may also need to go over the events that happened many times as they try to make sense of the events that happened.

The grieving process maybe further delayed if:

  • There is a police investigation, trial, inquest or legal/financial affairs which take months to complete.
  • There is intrusive media interest.
  • No one is found to be responsible in the case of a homicide, terrorist act or where the death is due to some negligence - leaving feelings of anger unresolved.
  • The loved one left unfinished business (such as work-related business or property) which needs to be sorted.
  • A missing person is presumed dead but hasn't been found (leaving family and friends to search for their loved one and continue to hope).

Losing someone through suicide often comes as an earth-shattering shock::

  • Relatives and friends may initially appear dazed, disorientated or numb but may later be overcome by a range of confusing emotions including deep sadness, anger, guilt, rejection and shame.
  • Some people may also show signs of trauma including mood swings, nightmares and flashbacks.
  • It's common for close family and friends to keep going over the things that happened before the death of their loved one. They are also likely to ask difficult questions which sometimes feel impossible to answer: 'Why did they take their own life?', 'Could I have done something to prevent it?', “Why have they left me?"
  • Many people who are bereaved by suicide can feel isolated. Their friends and colleagues may not know what to say or how to react and hold back from making contact. The stigma that can sometimes surround suicide can also mean that they feel less willing to seek help or mix much with other people for fear of questions like “how did he die?".
  • Family tensions and conflict can also surface - family members can sometimes blame each other and the circumstances of the death may be concealed from children or not spoken about which can then affect family relationships.
  • There may be police visits, investigations and in some cases media interest - making it harder to grieve in private. Family and friends can feel very exposed and vulnerable at a time of deep distress.
  • Many practical issues may also need to be dealt with as well including unfinished business (could be work-related or property), sorting out legal and financial affairs and closing social media accounts.

Some people who experience a sudden bereavement can feel very high levels of distress and become 'stuck' on the traumatic nature of their bereavement - in such cases it can help to have professional counselling or therapy to help process the loss.

You can find support for a sudden death and for a death by suicide in the Leeds Bereavement Forum directory. You can also find support for a child affected by suicide in the directory.

Leeds Suicide Bereavement Service (LSBS) - offers compassionate support for people in Leeds bereaved by suicide. Run by Leeds Mind and Leeds Survivor Led Crisis Service LSBS provides group or individual support, practical information and one-to-one counselling. LSBS can support you whoever you have lost - whether a friend, colleague or relative - and whether your bereavement was a few days ago or many years. You can access support as an individual, work place or family (including families with children). Call 0113 305 5803 or complete their self-referral form online.

Leeds IAPT (Improving access to Psychological Therapies) can offer help with a single event trauma.

It may not seem a priority but looking after yourself during this traumatic and difficult time is important. Download some self-help information with ways to take care of yourself during a bereavement.

Ways of taking care of yourself during a bereavement

Where can I find support for the loss of my child or baby or for a miscarriage?

Losing a child is the most devastating experience a parent can face. Such a loss is unimaginable. You will not only be grieving for the loss of their life and but also for the hopes and dreams you had for them and for your future life together.

  • You will go through many difficult emotions such as deep sorrow, anger, disbelief and guilt - it is important to experience these feelings. Blocking your grief can disrupt the grieving process.
  • There is no timetable for grieving for a child and everyone is different. Be patient with yourself.
  • Wanting to blame someone or something after the death of a loved one is a natural reaction - a grieving parent may want to blame themselves, their partner or people involved in their child's care or death. It's common to keep thinking 'if only I had'.
  • Couples may find that they have different ways of grieving and different ways of coping. Grief can put huge pressure on a relationship - it's important to understand that your partner may have different ways of expressing their pain.
  • Parents with other children will need to 'carry on' with normal day-to-day activities - which can put the natural grieving process 'on hold'. Make sure you take time to work through your feelings. Ask family and friends to help out at home if necessary.
  • Many parents who have lost a child experience numbness in the first year. This is a natural defence which protects people from overwhelming pain. Feelings will return with time.
  • Sometimes the loss of a child can bring parents closer to their remaining children but it can also make them more distant and the needs of other children can sometimes be overlooked. A remaining child can feel lost in a confusing situation in which their parents' attention may be focused on their own grief. Even very small child can feel loss and will know that something is happening. They may even blame themselves if they don't understand why their sibling died. Be honest and open with other children and let them know that it's OK to feel sad and angry and to talk about their lost sibling. Encourage them to keep memories alive and let them know it's still alright to be a kid and do things they enjoy. Try to take some space and go out as a family and do normal things sometimes.
  • Parents who have lost children are likely to experience anxiety. This can involve worrying and being overprotective about their remaining children or feeling more anxious that other bad things might happen. It is also common to experience the physical symptoms of anxiety such as shallow breathing, rapid heartbeat, dizziness, aching limbs and panic attacks.
  • Some parents can experience symptoms of trauma - including mood swings, nightmares or flashbacks - especially in such cases as an accidental death, homicide or a missing child.
  • Parents who have lost a child can feel isolated - their friends may feel uncomfortable talking to them and not know what to say or do. Friends with children of their own may not want to face the reality that sometimes children can die. Join a local support group so you can chat and share your experiences with other parents who have had similar experiences.
  • Some parents may want to go back to work quite quickly to distract their attention from what has happened; others may find the thought of returning unbearable. Check your company's bereavement policy and return to work when you're ready.

You can find support for the death of a child or baby in the Leeds Bereavement Forum directory.

If you have experienced a miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy or the loss of a baby in the first week of life you can find more information about support here.

It may not seem a priority but looking after yourself during this difficult time is important. Download some self-help information with ways to take care of yourself during a bereavement.

Ways of taking care of yourself during a bereavement

How can I prepare for the certain death of a loved one?

Receiving the news that a loved one has only a short time to live is devastating. But it can also give you the opportunity to spend precious time with them and prepare in advance for their passing.

Say all the things you want to say to them. And if it is alright with them, discuss such things as funeral arrangements (consider a funeral plan), finances (sort out a will and pension if necessary) and talk about any practical jobs you will need to take over.

Caring for someone who is very ill or dying can be full of ups and downs and can be very emotional and draining. If possible ask for help from family and friends with the day-to-day chores that still need to be done.

Ways of taking care of yourself during a bereavement

You can find support for organising end of life care and support for the death of a child in the Leeds Bereavement Forum directory.

Marie Curie offers care and support for people living with any terminal illness, and their families. They offer expert care, information, guidance and support to help people get the most from the time they have left. You can call the Marie Cure Support Line if you need emotional support, information about everything from day-to-day care to sorting out money matters, or if you just need someone to talk to. Call 0800 090 2309 Monday-Friday 8am-6pm, Saturday 11am-5pm.

Macmillan supports people and their families who have been affected by cancer. Macmillan are there to listen if you need a chat and can give help with money worries and advice about work. Call 0808 808 000, Monday-Friday 9am-8pm.

Hospices UK - can help you find a hospice and provides information about hospice care. Hospices can provide free high-quality end-of-life care and support - they often offer bereavement support to families as well.

Leeds Palliative Care Network has information for people who need palliative or end-of-life care, or their family and loved ones. This includes details of services in Leeds and where to find support for carers.

How can I support someone (including a child or young person) who is experiencing a bereavement?

Many people feel awkward and unsure what to say or do when someone they care about is grieving. There are many ways to help a grieving friend or family member - this resource can help you to support them:

How can I support someone who is experiencing a bereavement?

Even very young children feel the pain of bereavement and will need time and support to grieve and re-adjust to how their life has changed.

How can I support a child or young person who is experiencing a bereavement?

You can find support for a bereaved child or young person in the Leeds Bereavement Forum directory.

Is it OK to grieve for my pet?

As with any bereavement the death of a much-loved pet can be very upsetting and an enormous loss. To many, a pet becomes a member of the family, a companion and a special friend. If you were close to your pet, it is normal to have the same reactions to its loss that you may experience in the death of person. It's likely you will feel shock, overwhelming sadness, pain and guilt. This is because the depth of grief that someone feels usually reflects the significance of the loss - your pet will have been around you every day and you will have built up a very strong relationship. So, its loss will be felt very deeply.

It can sometimes be hard for others to understand the extent to which the loss of your beloved pet may be affecting you and it's not uncommon to hear “it was only a dog" or “you can easily get another one". As with any bereavement it is important for you to have someone to talk to who understands what the loss of your pet has meant to you.

It may be particularly difficult if you were in the position of having to have your pet put to sleep and that is a heartrending decision to have to make. However, making that decision shows the enormous amount of love you had for your pet and the ability you had to put your pet's care and wellbeing before your own thoughts of loss. When a pet we love is ill and suffering, there is no other choice but making the decision to have their live ended with dignity and humanely to end any suffering.

Give yourself time to grieve and remember your pet in whichever way helps - talking, writing, looking at photos or put together a 'memory box' - create a special box and put together a collection of mementos (such as their lead and collar) and photos which you can keep to open and look at, whenever you want to, for years to come.

Some people find in time that they want to get another pet but do not rush into this as you need time to come to terms with your loss or it may be something you regret doing too quickly. If you have a lot of love to give to another pet and can give them a good and loving home that would be a wonderful thing to do - when the time is right for you. Do not allow yourself to be pressured into having another pet until you are ready - if you are ready - that is your choice.

You can find support for pet bereavement in the Leeds Bereavement Forum directory.

Why am I grieving for a kind of ‘living loss’ like divorce or retirement?

Experiencing loss is part of life. We all know the feeling of panic that raises we lose our purse, train ticket, keys or a special memento. We usually associate grief and sadness with the death of a person we loved but any kind of big change or serious loss, can cause a kind of grieving process, including:

  • Divorce, the breakdown of a relationship or the end of a friendship.
  • The end of a job (such as redundancy) or career (including retirement).
  • Selling your home and/or moving away.
  • Children leaving home.
  • Leaving home or college and saying good-bye to your old life and friends.
  • The loss of good health, energy, mobility or the loss of a limb.
  • An accident, diagnosis of ill health or financial problems.
  • The end of a dream or future hopes/plans for yourself or someone else - 'what might have been' - this could be anything from the dream of having a child to youthful ambitions to be a vet or football player.

This is known as 'living loss'. If you are facing the ending of something that was important to you - it's normal to feel deep sadness and pain. This is because the depth of grief that someone feels usually reflects the significance of the loss to that person.

It's important not to feel any guilt or shame about how you are feeling or think that's your grief is not appropriate. Any form of loss will need a time of re-adjustment. This could mean making new friends after a divorce or a move, finding new interests after retirement, building confidence again after an illness or forming new dreams and goals for the future. Download this resource which can help you to understand how people react and re-adjust to living loss.

Coping with living loss

If you need to talk to someone now - you can find help in I need help now

Find support

Leeds Bereavement Forum is a small charity which works to develop and improve bereavement services in the city. If you have lost someone and need to find the right support Leeds Bereavement Forum offers information about bereavement and grief, and can signpost you to the most appropriate local bereavement services in the city. Leeds Bereavement Forum also runs a range of events about bereavement including Deaf Cafés where people can share experiences. You can find a full directory of local bereavement services on the Forum website. Call 0113 225 3975.

Cruse Bereavement Service - Leeds provide support for bereaved people aged over 18 to help them understand their grief and cope with their loss. Call 0113 2344150. Cruse run a drop-in on the first and third Wednesday of every month 4.30pm-6.15pm at Robert Ogden Centre, St James Beckett Street Leeds LS9 7TF. Call the office to find out more.

Cruse Bereavement Care Helpline is a national helpline offering emotional support after the death of someone close. Call 0808 808 1677 (free phone).

Leeds Suicide Bereavement Service (LSBS) - offers compassionate support for people in Leeds bereaved by suicide. Run by Leeds Mind and Leeds Survivor Led Crisis Service the service provides group or individual support, practical information and one-to-one counselling. LSBS can support you whoever you have lost - whether a friend, colleague or relative - and whether your bereavement was a few days ago or many years. You can access support as an individual, work place or family (including families with children). Call 0113 305 5803 or complete their self-referral form online.

Dying Matters aims to help people talk more openly about dying, death and bereavement, and to make plans for the end of life. Call 08000 21 44 66.

If you need to talk to someone more urgently, you can contact:

  • The Connect helpline on 0808 800 1212 (freephone) which gives emotional support and information to people in Leeds every night of the year (6pm-2am).
  • Dial House - an out-of-hours service in Leeds for people in crisis. Dial House is open Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday - 6pm-2am. If it's your first visit, you can just turn up from 6pm. If you've been before please ring 0113 2609328 or text 07922 249452 from 6pm on the night you want to request a visit (it's best to ring before 7.30pm if you can). !2 Chapel Street, Halton, Leeds, LS15 7RW.
  • The Samaritans on 116 123 (freephone) - open 24 hours a day to talk through anything you are going through.

You can find information about counselling and support in the Leeds Bereavement Forum directory, including:

Support for Carers

Carers Leeds is the organisation that supports unpaid carers in Leeds. If you were looking after or caring for the person who died you can ask for help from Carers Leeds. It doesn't matter if you didn't think of yourself as a carer before the person died. Losing the person you were caring for can be devastating. As well as experiencing feelings of loss and grief - you may be feeling a bit lost now that you are no longer caring for your loved one. You may also be dealing with other more practical issues such as changes to your benefits, money and housing worries and having to look for work, for example. Carers Leeds can make home visits if necessary. Find out about support for bereaved carers including the Support After Loss group on the Carers Leeds website. Call the Carers Advice Line on 0113 380 4300. Carers Leeds has a Care Support Worker with BSL skills to support Deaf carers. You can also find more information about experiencing bereavement as a carer on the Carers Trust website.

Support for LGBT communities

Yorkshire Mesmac offer a range of services, including counselling, to LGBT communities. Call 0113 244 4209.

Support for people who have lost their partner

WAY is a national charity in the UK for men and women aged 50 or under when their partner died. It's a peer-to-peer support group run by a network of volunteers who have been bereaved at a young age themselves, so they understand what other members maybe going through.

Yorkshire Widowed Social Group is a small social support group which meets in Leeds and is run by widows for all widowed people in the Yorkshire area. At present their member's ages range from 50+ to 80+. At anyone, male or female, who is the surviving partner of a relationship is eligible to join.

Support for veterans and their families

Veterans Bereavement Support Service provides a specialist bereavement support network for both those who serve and have served, and also their family in times of need. They provide a tailored service for families needing assistance with bereavement and support, including advice on funeral care, 365 days a year. Their comprehensive range of services support people, not just after they have lost someone special, but also before, so that the support is available and they can plan ahead. Call 0345 222 1525.

Support for families of missing people

Missing People is a charity that supports the families of missing people providing both emotional and practical support. Call 11600.

Support for older people

Neighbourhood Network Schemes are voluntary sector organisations that provide a range of services, activities and opportunities promoting the independence, health and wellbeing of older people throughout Leeds.

Time to Shine Leeds runs a range of projects connecting older people in Leeds.

Age UK run a befriending scheme - where a volunteer can visit or talk to an older person once a week in their own home.

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