Sudden’s history and leadership

A brief history of Sudden


Sudden is developed as a project by Brake, the road safety charity, aimed at professionals supporting suddenly bereaved people and designed to share best practice in supporting people bereaved in sudden ways such as by road crashes, suicide or sudden illness. The project was designed to build on, and assist, the work of Brake as a leading provider of care for people bereaved in road crashes.


Sudden launches support literature for people who have been bereaved suddenly, including a book on coping with grief for adults, and a book for children about sudden death and the emotions they might experience.


Sudden expands its online services to provide early intervention information for people who have been bereaved suddenly, as well as for those caring for them.


As the COVID-19 pandemic hits, Sudden further develops its online information to provide help for those bereaved in the pandemic, and for those caring for the bereaved. Sudden receives funding to launch a helpline in the UK for those bereaved by COVID-19 and any other type of sudden death, and to launch a new website including web chat support service.

The Sudden service was awarded vital pandemic funding from the Government, the National Lottery Community Fund and Barclays, in recognition of Brake’s expertise in provision of early intervention care for people bereaved in unexpected and horrific circumstances.

Sudden’s leadership

The service remains hosted by Brake and shares the same leadership team, including Chief Executive Mary Williams OBE, and Board of Trustees.