The Alder Centre

Support for families, parents & adults

Alder Centre banner image.jpg

Support for families, parents & adults

The Alder Centre offers care and education for anyone affected by the death of a child. For how we support children, click here.

We have a range of support services for bereaved parents and adults:


Alder Centre Counsellors are specially trained in child bereavement, grief and loss. Counselling is offered to parents or bereaved adults anyone affected by the loss of a child, regardless of the age of the child and no matter where that death occurred. This can be provided on a one-to-one basis, as a couple, family or within a group with other bereaved people. Support is provided for as long as is needed. We offer the same range of support to parents and grandparents affected by the death of an adult child. All of our counsellors are registered members of the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists.

Counsellors work closely with The Snowdrop Bereavement Team to provide a continuum of care following the death of a child in the hospital or community.

Additional specialist support is offered to the siblings, cousins and friends of a child that has died in a way which helps them to express their feelings and normalise their loss. This can take place within the family unit, with other children, or on a one-to-one basis. If a child or young person is seen on their own, they are given the choice to invite other family members to join them at the end of their session.

We encourage family groups to attend counselling together so that everyone has the chance to talk and to listen to one another. This helps the family to understand how each member is coping, or not coping, with the loss. Individual family members of all ages will sometimes want to talk to a counsellor on their own and we will, of course, support them to do that.

If a child or young person is seen on their own, they are given the choice whether or not to invite other family members to join the session at the end, but the child decides what is talked about, not the counsellor. Children often benefit from fewer sessions than an adult but they may return for further counselling as their understanding develops and their way of grieving changes.

We also provide resources for parents, schools and other professionals, enabling them to support children and young people who have been bereaved.

For information on support for professionals, see here.

For more information on how we work with bereaved children, see here.

**Covid-19 Update Our face to face sessions are now running again, though online/ telephone sessions are also still available, if required** **

Where will I/ we be seen?

Services are free and normally offered face to face at the Alder Centre. However, since the Covid-19 pandemic, we now also offer either a telephone or online counselling session.

How do I access the service?

Anyone in need of support can contact us on 0151 252 5391 or Our office hours are between the hours of 9am and 5pm but you may leave a message



The Alder Centre recognises that not all those bereaved will want, or benefit from, professional counselling and may prefer the support of a volunteer who is also a bereaved parent themselves and is trained in the skill of ‘befriending’. The befriending service at The Alder Centre aims to provide bereaved adults a 1-2-1 listening ear and peer support for anyone affected by the death of a child of any age. 

Befriending is not counselling but may can be in-addition to counselling and group work, or as an alternative.

Meetings rae arranged by the Centre’s Volunteer Co-ordinator. We can arrange for you to meet via telephone or video call, or face to face with one of our trained bereaved parent volunteers at the Alder Centre.

**Covid-19 Update Our face to face sessions are now running again, though online/ telephone sessions are also still available, if required** **

Therapeutic breaks

Our Therapeutic Breaks run annually and provide a special opportunity for families, individual parents, adults and children to meet with others who are also bereaved.

This therapeutic family break is supported by trained Alder Centre Volunteer, who are themselves bereaved parents. The break is usually over a weekend and includes all transport, accommodation and food. The weekend breaks are paid for from the Alder Centre’s fund-raising activities, with support of The Alder Hey Children’s Charity. **Sadly due to Covid-19 we have been unable to run our Therapeutic break recently **

Check out details of our next planned Therapeutic Break here

Telephone helpline

The Child Death Helpline is run jointly by Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust and Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust. It is a quality Freephone service for anyone affected by the death of a child of any age – whether they are parents, grandparents, siblings, family members, friends or involved professionals. The helpline is delivered by our trained volunteers, all of them bereaved parents who answer all calls, supervised and supported by professional teams at The Alder Centre and Great Ormond Street. The helpline is open every day throughout the year to provide a listening ear.

Call freephone: 0808 800 6019

Monday to Friday: 10.00 – 13.00

Tuesday & Wednesday: 13.00 – 16.00

Every evening: 19.00 – 22.00

An interpreting service is available. For more information please visit the Child Death Helpline website.

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Holistic therapies

At The Alder Centre we are very fortunate to offer a whole range of Holistic Therapies for our child bereaved clients. In our new building we have a purpose built therapy room where treatments can be given in a calm, safe and welcoming environment.

Holistic and Complementary Therapies have been used for centuries to treat a variety of conditions and supporting physical, spiritual and mental wellbeing.  Research shows that treatments can help with grief and provide the tools to cope with conditions such as stress, anxiety and insomnia.

Our clients tell us that, through treatments, they have been able to move through their emotions with more clarity, cope better with difficult emotions and sleep better. Our therapist is skilled and experienced in child loss and while not a trained counsellor, offers a listening ear which clients say they find helpful. Some clients use holistic therapies alongside counselling and other support, but it can also be used alone.

Holistic Therapy appointments are currently offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays, they free due to generous funding through The Alder Hey Children’s Charity.

For more information or to book an appointment, please get in touch.

Contact us on

or 0151 252 5391

We are available on weekdays 9am to 5pm (4.30pm on Fridays).

Find us

Our new Alder Centre building is next to the new Sunflower House building, just off Eaton Road. Face to face sessions are now running again, though online/ telephone sessions are also still available, if required.


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