Grief Encounter

Charity Overview

Because no one should cope with death alone...

Grief Encounter is one of the UK’s leading child bereavement charities providing pioneering support to bereaved children and their families and the best quality information, advice and counselling to alleviate the pain caused by the death of a someone close. Grief Encounter’s fully qualified bereavement counsellors offer free support to thousands of bereaved children and parents every year locally and nationally through their helpline, grieftalk, and their Grief Relief Kits, to help children talk about bereavement. 

Tailored services are delivered for an average of two years per individual/family including one-to-one counselling sessions (including play, drama and art therapy), group therapy, workshops, family fun days and an annual residential weekend. Grief Encounter also provides schools and organisations with bespoke critical incident response packages and a wide range of professional training, consultancy and support services to support those working or supporting bereaved children and families.


Project Summary

Funding from ICAP Charity Day 2019 enabled Grief Encounter to further develop its national helpline ‘grieftalk’, an emotional listening service for anyone affected by bereavement. Grieftalk helpline is open Monday to Friday, 9am –to9pm, offering a confidential space to chat and be heard.  

When my husband died very suddenly during the Pandemic, I called grieftalk to get help on how to explain to my children that Daddy was never coming back home. They listened, understood and offered by invaluable support. They have been a lifeline to me and my family, thank you ICAP.
Helen, grieftalk user

In March 2020, Grief Encounter extended their helpline reach to all frontline key workers, and all those impacted by grief as a result of Covid-19 and has become a lifeline to many people struggling to manage their grief, many of whom have no one else to turn to. With the UK surpassing 100,000 COVID-19 deaths and such strict, social restrictions in place, the scale of loss faced by families, friends and communities, across the UK is unprecedented.

I have been a Nurse for 25 years, but I have never experienced this kind of level of death and trauma. Work is like a War Zone. I heard about grieftalk from a colleague. I didn’t really know why I called, but after the call, I knew it had helped. I felt as if I had off loaded a lot of emotions I’d been bottling up and they knew exactly the right things to say to get me focused again. I would highly recommend this service.
Joan, nurse at London hospital


Thank you ICAP. My mum died 4 years ago. I thought I was coping OK until a friend of mine committed suicide. It brought back feelings and emotions I couldn’t control. My school told me about grieftalk. I didn’t want to talk so I used the webchat facility. Someone responded immediately and it felt like I had a friend who was there for me, who understood and gave me some great advice. I have used the webchat service a few times.
Emily, age 16