Service Update

Due to funding pressures, the Sudden service is now closed.

If you are bereaved and in crisis, please use the resources on our website or call The Samaritans on 116 123.  Please contact your GP directly if you require any immediate support and in case of an emergency, please call 999.

0800 2600 400 

Operating hours: 10am – 4pm Monday – Friday

Sudden is an early intervention service providing emotional and practical support in the first ten weeks following an unexpected bereavement.

We help if someone you love (usually a family member or partner) has died in a way that you consider sudden or shocking. We can also help if you are caring for someone bereaved in this way.

Our service is free. We provide emotional support and help with many practical things.

We give you a named, qualified, friendly and professional caseworker.

We help you whatever the cause of death. We are also here if you are caring for someone bereaved suddenly, and want help and support.

Get in touch with your caseworker using the details at the top of this page.

Your experienced case worker is waiting for you

They give you:

  • a confidential listening ear to say how you are feeling, and help you feel safe, supported and connected, whatever you are going through right now, from day one of your bereavement.
  • access to compassionate help where you live. We connect you with people who care and can help. You might want to talk to someone in your community and get help with immediate practical needs. We find you that help.
  • help with pressing problems. No problem is too big or small for the Sudden team. Whether you need help stopping junk mail arriving, can’t understand a will, or are struggling with lack of income, we are here to help. We get things done for you.

Our call back promise

We aim to help you as soon as we can. If our phone service gives you a waiting time, we are sorry, but we will get back to you when we say we will. If you need help more quickly, you may wish to contact your GP (or emergency services if an emergency).

If you are calling outside our operating hours, talk to our friends at the National Bereavement Partnership between 7am and 10pm on 0800 448 0800 for emotional support.

After a while

Some people find that, after a while, thanks to support they received in the early weeks, their grief remains but the shock of the bereavement is subsiding. These people often want help accessing grief support services and help with arising practical problems. If this is you, we can put you in touch with the right people.

Other people find their shock is not subsiding, and they may benefit from mental health services. This is not uncommon following a sudden bereavement. If this is you, we can help put you in touch with those services.

Helping someone else? We are here for you too

If you are caring for someone bereaved in a way that is sudden or shocking, then you are a community hero. We believe in support being community driven. We are here to listen confidentially, answer questions about sudden bereavement, and to help you help even better. We can help with practical issues and accessing more help in your community.

We work in partnership

We want you to be helped by the best possible combination of services. We believe in:

  • help from your community, whether it is provided by someone down your street, a local group, a GP surgery or some other source
  • help from professionals, if it is clear their help is necessary; for example specialist health practitioners to assess people’s needs if they are feeling mentally unwell, and specialist lawyers to help with legal issues
  • help from charities that have particular remits, for example, to help
    • people where you live
    • people whose loved ones have died in a particular way, for example a road crash, committed suicide or been murdered, or from a particular kind of rapid illness
    • children or young people, or older people, or other groups in society
    • from a faith or spiritual perspective

We love working with, and accessing all these services, together, to get you the combination of support you need.

A bit more about us, and our host charity

Sudden is a charity-run service that aims to protect people’s wellbeing when they are bereaved but they did not expect to be, or when they are caring for someone bereaved in this way. This means helping people to cope. This means ensuring people are safe. Your safety and welfare is our primary concern. Sudden is a charity-run service operated within the charity Brake. Brake is established to help victims of road crashes; but Sudden is here to help people bereaved in any unexpected way. Brake is a member of the Helplines Partnership, which accredits helplines. We know how to run helplines. We came second in the National Helpline Awards 2019 for our helpline for road crash victims. If you have been affected by a death on the road you can call our Brake helpline on 0808 8000 401.