Alder Hey in the Park | Alder Hey Children's Hospital

Show Menu

Alder Centre - Bereavement Care Services

The Alder Centre - Care and education for anyone affected by the death of a childThe services we provide to bereaved families include:

Bereavement Care Service

The Bereavement Care Service team provides an immediate response for families, parents and siblings who may be affected by the death of a child at Alder Hey. We offer continued support for as long as you may need with practical and emotional guidance. Our work empowers families ot make their own choices, sensitive to their individual needs and their individual situation immediately after the child has died.

For further information, please contact the Bereavement Care Service team on 0151 252 5117.


Counselling is offered to anyone affected by the loss of a child. Counselling can be provided on a one-to-one basis, as a couple or within a group context. We have a team of counsellors and volunteers who are here to support anyone affected by the death of a child of any age. We work closely with the Bereavement Care team to provide a continuum of support following the death of a child in Alder Hey. Additional support is offered to the brothers and sisters of the dead child in a way which helps them to express their feelings and normalize their loss. This may take place within the family unit, with other children or on a one-to-one basis with an experienced facilitator.

We encourage family groups to attend together so that everyone is given the chance to talk and to listen to one another. In that way each member of the family understands how the others are coping or not coping with their loss. However, individual family members of all ages sometimes need to talk to a counsellor on their own about matters they are unable at present to communicate to the others.

If a child or young person is seen on their own, they are given the choice whether or not to invite other family members to join the session at the end, but the child decides what is talked about, not the counsellor. Children often benefit from fewer sessions than an adult but they may return for further counselling as their understanding develops and their way of grieving changes.

We also provide resources for parents, schools and other professionals, enabling them to support children and young people who have been bereaved.

Where will I be seen?

Services are free and normally offered at the Alder Centre but we can, in certain circumstances, arrange for a Counsellor to meet with clients at an alternative venue.

How do I access the service?

Anyone in need of support can contact us between the hours of 9am and 5pm on 0151 252 5391


The Alder Centre recognises that not all those bereaved will want, or benefit from, professional intervention and may prefer the support of a bereaved volunteer who is trained in the skill of befriending. The Alder Centre is able to offer clients the chance to meet face to face with a bereaved parent volunteer in a befriending arrangement. Meetings are organised by the Centre’s volunteer coordinator and take place at the Alder Centre. Befriending can be an addition to counselling and group work, or an alternative to them.

Therapeutic breaks

These run annually and provide the perfect opportunity for families, individual parents, adults and children to meet with others who are also bereaved. This therapeutic family break is supported by trained Alder Centre Volunteer Befrienders who are themselves bereaved parents, the weekend breaks are paid for from the Alder Centre’s fund-raising activities.

Telephone helpline

The Volunteer Child Death Helpline runs in conjunction with Great Ormond Street Hospital and is a freephone service for all those affected by the death of a child of any age. Trained, supervised and supported bereaved parents answer all calls. The helpline is open every day throughout the year.

Freephone from landlines: 0800 282 986

Freephone from mobiles: 0808 800 6019

  • Monday to Friday: 10.00 – 13.00
  • Tuesday & Wednesday: 13.00 – 16.00
  • Every evening: 19.00 – 22.00

An interpreting service is available. For more information please visit the Child Death Helpline website.

This site uses cookies to enhance your experience. Find out more about our cookies Accept cookies