Free bereavement counselling in Portsmouth and surrounding areas

Trained counsellors are there to help people who have suffered a lossTrained counsellors are there to help people who have suffered a loss
Trained counsellors are there to help people who have suffered a loss
As Baby Loss Awareness Week draws near, a bereavement service is offering free counselling to anyone in the area who needs it

Funded by The Co-operative Funeralcare, it’s not just available for its clients. Instead, anyone who has suffered a loss – recently, or in the past – can access free one-to-one or group sessions to help them process their feelings.

The service has helped over 60,000 people in the area since 2000, and you can access support via the website or by asking for a guidance from any of Southern Co-op’s Funeralcare branches along the south coast, including Portsmouth, Bognor, Waterlooville, Andover, Farnborough and the Isle of Wight.

Baby Loss Awareness Week runs from October 9 to 15, and offers bereaved parents and others the chance to be part of a community of people touched by pregnancy and baby loss. Counsellors will be available to help during this week, but also in the months and years to come.

Ali Davison, one of the co-ordinators of the scheme, said: “We offer year-round access to services for everyone. You don’t have to have been a Co-operative Funeralcare client, past or present; if you have experienced a loss, we are here to help.”

With full-time staff co-ordinating the bereavement service, and qualified counsellors standing by to help, this free service has been a boon for people when they need it.

“Similar services are available through the NHS,” said Ali, “but people sometimes find they are on a waiting list for months, or even longer. If you call our service, in most instances we can have you talking to someone within days.”

Often people use the service after a sudden bereavement, or if they have complicated emotions after a long-drawn out illness ending in the loss of a loved one. This can involve a partner, sibling, child or friend.

However, the counselling service is not just there for people who have suffered a bereavement. For others, their grief is over the loss of a pet, a job or a relationship which has broken down.

“For our counsellors, a loss is a loss, and they are there to help you whatever your situation is.”

The trained counsellors can help people work through their feelings, and hopefully find a way to live with grief and anxiety. They offer emotional, practical and social support.

Find out more about the free service at