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The Compassionate Friends is the UK's only national charity that provides peer support from bereaved parents to other parents more recently bereaved by the death from any cause of a son or daughter of any age. All support is offered by trained volunteers who are themselves bereaved parents. Support includes:
* National helpline
* Online community forum
* Weekend retreats and bereavement support days
* Local support groups
* 11 x Private Facebook support groups
* Online support groups (held every six weeks) for parents' different circumstances or by cause of child's death
* Grief Companions scheme
* Postal bereavement library
* Over 35 leaflets and publications on all aspects of child loss
* Informative website
Over 35000 bereaved parents are supported every year all by other bereaved parents.
Bereaved parents may struggle with the loss of their child out of the natural order; their grief can be devastating and overwhelming. The loss may be so painful and that it changes their lives forever in a multitude of ways. The premature loss of a child commonly brings deep and complex feelings, including anguish, heartbreak, guilt, remorse, constant yearning, utter hopelessness and despair. In addition, bereaved parents can feel stigma, isolation, loneliness, depression, lack of hope for the future. The situation may be exacerbated by a lack of appropriate information or support services, especially for parents who have experienced the sudden or violent death of their child. A sudden or traumatic death may also result in long-lasting symptom of acute trauma.