South Yorkshire Fire, Road and Water-related Trauma Support for Families

HOPE is a charity that was set up to fill a gap in specialist bereavement support. We provide person-centred wrap around support for people who have suffered a sudden traumatic bereavement (specifically through a fire, road traffic collision or drowning), who feel their lives have been destroyed and can see no way forward. We offer one to one trauma informed support through visits, telephone calls and monthly peer support groups. We help people to become stronger, develop healthier relationships and start to reconnect with family, friends and access other support.

HOPE was set up in 2007 by volunteers, who had been bereaved or had witnessed a traumatic incident. The founder of HOPE set up the group after struggling to find help for a family member who was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from witnessing the deaths of young children in a house fire. The lack of specialist, long term mental health provision led her to seek help from South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue, initially to find out if any trauma support was available, and then working alongside them to set up HOPE.

HOPE has since become an independent charity and currently employs 2 people.

We currently receive referrals from South Yorkshire Police Family Liaison Officers, SY Fire & Rescue, other bereavement support charities as well as self-referrals. We are currently the only organisation in South Yorkshire providing trauma bereavement support for this type of loss.

Monthly peer support groups in Sheffield and Barnsley have been suspended during the current Coronavirus pandemic, but support continues through telephone calls and online.

Having a peer support group come together allows for the sharing of grief, loss, anger, sadness and unwavering unacceptance of traumatic loss. Through shared experience, families are able to express emotions in a safe holistic environment, which allows for the tiny steps of healing to start.

Young people and children can make memory boxes, art pictures, write journals, and others can speak about their weeks and days since the last meeting, in a way that cannot be shared anywhere else.

We find that families want to attend the meetings. They find solace, comfort and a sense of there “is a tomorrow” and maybe, just maybe, a future, albeit a different future, one they never envisaged or wanted, but one where they can see that they can live on. This is even more poignant if they have other children to care for.

With HOPE’s support, which is there for however long a person or family need it, a sense of healing and future is supported. This can take months or years to actually come to fruition.

Because of increasing demand for our services, we plan to recruit a specialist mental health peer support worker on a part – time basis to assist with running both monthly support groups and take referrals for the outreach support.

Contact details:

Telephone: 0114 227 0105

Calls are responded to within 24 hours if no-one available to take the call immediately.

Email: [email protected]



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