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Date updated: 8/04/2024

​The death of a loved one at any time can be a challenging and distressing experience for family and friends. In the event of a sudden and unexpected loss, the impact of the loss can be even greater. Anyone experiencing loss, may experience increased trauma and be cut off from their usual support network. Know that you’re not alone.

step-by-step guide on what to do when someone dies including how to register the death and arrange the funeral. This information is also available in other languages. You can also access the Government Tell Us Once service which allows you to inform all the relevant government departments when someone dies.

Notifying Agencies/Organisations When Someone Has Died PDF (300KB)
Date submitted: 11/01/21

If you need help to cope with a bereavement, there is lots of free support available. Here are some of the services available to assist City of London residents.

Bereavement support service (St Joseph's Hospice)

St Joseph’s Hospice provides bereavement support and counselling for:

  • ​bereaved family and friends, including children, of people who have been cared for by St Joseph's, whether in the hospice, at home, or by other hospices.
  • adults (18+) who live in the City and Hackney, or are registered with a City or Hackney GP, who have experienced a bereavement that was not connected to St Joseph's or who are anticipating the death of a close friend or relative from an advanced, terminal illness.

St Joseph's Hospice is also offering support to children, young people and families who have lost a family member, care giver or other significant person due to COVID-19. This support is free and available to children and young people up to the age of 18 who either live in the City of London, or who are registered with a City or Hackney GP.

If you, or a child or young person you are aware of, could benefit from a chance to talk to someone about a death due to COVID-19, please contact the First Contact Team, who will take some initial information about who is being referred and the death that has occurred.

Face-to-face sessions at the Hospice have now resumed. However, telephone and video contacts remain available options for those who do not wish to attend the Hospice in person. Access to interpreters is available, if needed.

To self-refer or to find out more, contact the service via telephone: 0300 303 0400 or email the City and Hackney Bereavement Service​. Visit the City and Hackney Bereavement Service website.​

City and East London Bereavement Service (CELBS)

CELBS provides free counselling to clients living in the City of London whose family member died in a Bart's Trust Hospital. Please note that due to high demand, CELBS is not currently accepting new referrals.

Mind support for suicide loss

Grief in Pieces: Support for Suicide Loss is a suicide bereavement service for residents who has lost someone to suicide. They offer a support group, practical and emotional support, help with accessing local services, one-to-one crisis intervention and family support and an outreach service. Call 0208 525 2337, email Mind or go to Grief in Pieces on Mind's website.

Bamestream Bereavement Support

This free Bereavement Support Service is provided by the BAMEStream alliance member Nafsiyat Intercultural Therapy Centre. They offer therapeutic support in over 20 different languages and is committed to providing COVID-19 bereavement support to people over the age of 18 from Black, Asian and other minority ethnic (BAME) communities, who are registered with a GP in England.

Cruse Bereavement Care

Provides a range of free confidential support for adults and children, as well as a list of organisations and sources of help relating to bereavement, including other telephone hotlines. Visit the Cruse Bereavement Care website.

The Compassionate Friends

Offer support to families after the death of a child of any age and from any cause. Visit The Compassionate Friends website or call 0345 123 2304.

Child Bereavement UK has made a short video explaining how to support a bereaved child.

Peer support via The Good Grief Trust

For more information on services available to support general mental wellbeing, visit our Mental Health page.

There is support available if you need help with the cost of a funeral or need to access bereavement benefits. If you are struggling to pay for a funeral and your only source of funding is the Funeral Expenses Payment (see below), you are advised to tell the funeral director before committing to any arrangements.

  • Government Funeral Expenses Payment (you may be eligible if you receive certain benefits or tax credits and this can either be paid to an individual or directly to the funeral director, though the payment will not usually cover all the costs of the funeral).
  • Advice from the Money Advice Service, which lists alternative options for paying for a funeral.
  • Government Bereavement Support Payment (if you receive or are entitled to Child Benefit you may receive the higher rate).
  • Government Guardian’s Allowance (if you are bringing up a child whose parents have died. If you are a lone surviving parent you may also be eligible).
  • Quaker Social Action support for people struggling with funeral costs. This includes support via a pre-funeral advice line, dealing with a bill post-funeral and other useful resources.
  • Child Funeral Charity
  • Final Farewell
  • Friends of the Elderly
  • Turn2Us provides a range of financial support, including that related to bereavement.
  • City Advice provides free advice on a range of issues, including bereavement support services, to City residents or residents of City Corporation Estates.

Guidance, advice and support to deal with bereavement caused by COVID-19 is available

Information from the Government (below) for families, friends or next of kin who have been bereaved as a result of COVID-19 or otherwise is available on GOV.UK. There is also further guidance from Government on Covid-19-related deaths. This includes advice for the public who identify a death outside of a healthcare setting, for example, at home, and also guidance for communities managing a death (including for those organising a funeral).