St Barnabas Hospice Lincolnshire
35th Birthday

Family Support Service

St Barnabas Family Support Service is a free service providing emotional and psychological support to patients, their families and carers, together with support for those who have experienced bereavement.

The service consists of two Family Support Service Officers, an Administrator, and approximately eighty volunteers who work throughout the county. Our volunteers all receive our department’s training and we have a team of fifteen fully qualified and some trainee counsellors.

The bereavement service facilitates 56 bereavement groups a month throughout Lincolnshire. The purpose of these groups is to enable bereaved people to meet with each other in a safe and comfortable place with trained, experienced volunteer help at hand.

Support can also be offered according to need on an individual face to face or telephone basis from one of our trained listeners or by a member of our counselling team.

Groups are structured to enable support to be provided relevant to the individual and members are encouraged to move through from bereavement to friendship to companion groups at appropriate stages. Support is available through these groups for as short or as long a time as is required.

Bereavement Support Group

This is our initial support group which runs weekly. It is a structured group for those in early stages of grief, and is available for 12 sessions.

Friendship Group

You are invited to attend the Friendship Groups after 6 sessions in the support group. These are usually held fortnightly and are more social and less structured. This group is available for two years.


You may decide to join Companions, which is a self run independent group for those who wish to continue meeting on a social basis. You are invited to join this group after 6 months in the Friendship Group. This Group is available indefinitely.

Frequently Asked Questions

Referrals to the Family Support Service can be made directly by contacting 01522 518225 or can be made on your behalf with your permission by a family member, carer, friend or other care professional.

If you feel that you may require this service please phone to discuss your needs.

Once a referral is received we will discuss with you what your needs are and aim to place you in a group nearest to you.

Each group has ‘ground rules’ agreeing that conversations are confidential within the room.

Bereavement support is available for 12 weeks, but you are welcome to move on for further social support into the Friendship and Companion groups.

Our office is open 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday to take referrals and our groups operate throughout the county at various times and locations.

Messages left on the answer machine are responded to throughout the working day.