National Helpline - 08088 020 021 - Winston's Wish

National Helpline

Our helpline is free to call and offers therapeutic advice following a bereavement.

More than 5,000 people called our Helpline in 2015/16

Our Freephone Helpline is a UK-wide national helpline offering support, information and guidance to all those caring for a child or young person who has been bereaved. It is staffed by people with extensive experience, who have up-to-date knowledge of supporting bereaved children and their families.

The line is open from Monday to Friday (except bank Holidays) between 9am and 5pm. Calls are free and confidential.

Who calls?

Everyone and anyone who is supporting a grieving child calls the Freephone Helpline. We have calls from parents, grandparents, step-parents, carers, aunts, uncles, friends, teachers, health visitors, faith leaders, police officers, doctors and almost anyone else you can think of.

About 55% of our calls come from family members and about 45% from professionals seeking advice and guidance.

If a young person you know is finding it hard to cope with their grief, and you want to help them, then give us a call.

Who will answer my call?

Your call will be answered by people with wide knowledge and expertise, who have up-to-date experience of supporting bereaved children and their families. We have all been professionally trained and will:

  • – listen carefully
  • – offer support
  • – provide information
  • – discuss options
  • – make practical suggestions
  • – help you work out how best to support the bereaved child.

Why do people call?

People call to discuss a huge range of concerns and questions from: ‘Why does my daughter keep asking where daddy is when he died two months ago?’ and ‘He wants to attend the funeral but his dad says he’s too young. What do you think?’ to ‘I’m concerned about a child I’m working with. What is the best way to offer support?’

We take the time to listen carefully to your worries and questions and help you to work out how best to support the bereaved young person. We won’t tell you what to do or what not to do.  However, we will share our knowledge of bereavement and our experience of working with bereaved children.  We will give you ideas to think about and maybe try.