Two organisations have joined forces to offer a new bereavement support service for the community in Epping Forest, Harlow and Uttlesford.

Voluntary Action Epping Forest (VAEF) and West Essex Community Action Network (WECAN) have teamed up together to provide the service which has been commissioned by Essex County Council and offers a range of free support to children, young people and adults who are experiencing grief.

The programme, which will run until April 2023, has been designed to help people at all stages of the grieving process, offering immediate help as well as longer term help on the death of a loved one.

There are four elements of the programme – early days support, home and intervention support, counselling and befriending and community signposting

Early days support provides practical guidance and task assistance during the pre-funeral days of bereavement and home and living intervention support offers practical guidance and intervention in managing day-to-day living tasks.

Epping Forest Guardian:

Coaching to help people cope with the loss of a loved one is also provided by the service. This includes six one-to-one sessions with a trained bereavement coach in person or online for adults and six one-to-one sessions with a trained young person grief support coach for those aged five to 18 years. This can be provided in person, at school, or online.

Also offered by the service is Befriending and Community Signposting which offers companionship and support in accessing community groups, activities and services.

VAEF service manager Nick Robinson said: "We are pleased to have this new local service which offers both practical and emotional support for people who are struggling to come to terms with grief. Now we can offer a quick response from a dedicated and trained team for people that need support at a difficult time. The service will complement some of the great existing local support groups and services, run by St Clare’s Hospice and others across West Essex."

For more information or referral enquiries to the WECAN Bereavement Support service, contact or call 07967 726 851