Cruse Bereavement Support has been helping people who are struggling with grief and bereavement for over 60 years.
The “Cruse Clubs Counselling Service for Widows and their Families” was registered as a charity in October 1959. In the years since they have expanded to help widowers, children and eventually all bereaved people, grown a network which includes over 4000 volunteers, and responded to national disasters and tragedies. In 2021 they became Cruse Bereavement Support, and they continue to adapt to meet the needs of those who are grieving in a changing world.
Cruse was founded by Margaret Torrie. She became aware of how much widows were struggling during her work as a social worker and while working with the Citizen’s Advice Service. She saw that the loss of a husband was often a major emotional, social and economic crisis, for the woman and for any children, and she decided to act. Margaret Torrie’s husband, Dr Alfred Torrie, was a psychiatrist and Quaker and served as chairman of Cruse. The on-going effects of their pioneering work have been felt by millions of bereaved people across 60 years.
2020 brought new challenges, with the months of the coronavirus pandemic some of the most challenging in the charity's history. As soon as the pandemic hit they knew that Cruse would be needed more than ever before, with many additional deaths and all bereaved people grieving under traumatic and isolated conditions. Within an amazingly short time they were able to move all their support for bereaved people to phone or online, developed website resources to help those affected, and moved all their training to be delivered remotely. They continue to adapt their services as the situation develops.
In 2021 they relaunched a new website, changed their name to Cruse Bereavement Support and updated their mission and values. They want to live in a world where everyone grieving is supported, respected and understood. After more than 60 years they're still here to educate, equip and empower society to show grieving people the respect and kindness they deserve.