COVID-19 Helpline

Call 0800 2600 400

10am – 4pm Monday-Friday

We help if someone you love has died in a way that you consider sudden or shocking. Whatever you need, as often as you need.

People bereaved in sudden or shocking ways often have many needs, including emotional support but help with practical things too. This is why we give you a named, qualified, friendly and professional case worker.

We are particularly here to help during the first days, weeks and months of your bereavement (but call any time after a death). We help you whether the cause of death was an event or an illness, including COVID-19.

We are also here if you are caring for someone bereaved unexpectedly, and want help and support.

Get in touch with your case worker by calling us on the number above.

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.

You can also talk to us by email at

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. Someone to talk to about your feelings, thoughts, and whatever you are going through right now, from day one of your bereavement or at any time afterwards.
  • 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 such as shopping. You might need help because you are feeling ill or need help with caring for someone in your family. 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, or find someone who can help you better than us. We get things done for you.

Our call back promise

We stay with you, if you want us to. We offer to call you back on days and at times we agree with you, to check if you have received all the help you need, and whether there is any more help we need to find for you.

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 further help accessing grief support services and help with arising practical problems. If this is you, we can help put you in touch with the right people.

Other people find their shock is not subsiding, and they may benefit from health services. 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 also 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.