Leeds Hospitals Charity helps fund Helen’s role as a Bereavement Nurse. She supports inpatients, relatives, and friends of patients, as well as staff within Leeds Teaching Hospitals.

"When somebody dies, people often don’t know what to do with themselves. It's not something that we talk openly about in our society. There’s such a lot of emotion that people can experience; they can feel angry, as well as bereft. It can have a physical effect too.

I reassure them that it’s okay to feel what they feel. Each bereavement is not going to be the same. Grief is different for everybody. It's completely individual. I listen and check in with how they are. Often people find it easier talking to a stranger than a family member or friend, as they don’t have to worry about my feelings.

Here in the Leeds Cancer Centre, grieving relatives are often referred to me. I help facilitate any questions they have when things feel overwhelming. I can arrange for consultants to speak to loved ones who are struggling to understand what’s happened. In Leeds, we’re very lucky to offer a good range of bereavement support. Leeds Hospitals Charity does fantastic work helping us provide that extra bit of care for staff, patients and their loved ones, which makes such a difference."

We get a lot of positive feedback about the extra care they’ve had. Relatives want to donate to the charity, which says everything about how we’ve looked after them at such a difficult time.