Margaret Torrie started clubs for widows from her home in Richmond called Cruse Clubs Counselling Service for Widows and their Families was registered as a Charity.
On 30th October 1959 the first AGM of the Cruse Clubs was held, chaired by Margaret Torrie.
In 1960, Margaret Torrie chaired the first committee meeting of professionally concerned men and women who supported and encouraged Cruse as a national charity and formed the first Cruse Council. Branches were set up in many places. Then in 1962, The Widows’ Charter was written by Cruse members and sent to 630 MPs; five MPs said they would support it. In 1969 the name of the charity changed to Cruse – the Organisation for Widows and their children
When Margaret Torrie retired in 1976 she was award the MBE by HRH and in 1984 cruse celebrated their Silver Jubilee Year; this was when her Majesty the Queen becomes Patron. A celebration of the work of Cruse was held at the Royal Albert Hall, attended by Her Majesty. Sir John Gielgud, Penelope Keith, Richard Briars, Wayne Sleep, and others performed for volunteers from all over the United Kingdom.
Since 1959 Cruse has grown and now has 135 branches across England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and the Isle of Man. Apart from a core of paid staff, mainly at their central office, services to bereaved clients are provided by trained and skilled volunteers.
Cruse exists to promote the well-being of bereaved people and to enable anyone
Bereaved by death to understand their grief and cope with their loss. The service and support they offer is free. Cruse Bereavement Care is a registered charity which is able to provide support and offers information, advice, education, and training services.
Cruse develops and delivers all its own training, which is bases on highly respect foundation course for bereavement volunteers, Awareness in Bereavement care. This can be accredited independently by ONCNW it gives student the opportunities to continue their development with modules on specialist areas of bereavement
Cruse provides advice, information and support to anyone who has been bereaved, (children, young people and adults), whenever or however the death occurred. Cruse a confidential and free service by full trained experienced volunteers.
They are able to offer not just face to face meeting, but also over the telephone, as well as online support and also group. Regarding group support some bereaved people feel happier find it helpful to talk to others in a similar circumstances. Online support gives information about many aspects of bereavements and other sources of help and support.
Referral & Assessment Procedure
The referral procedure to Cruse can be done with either through your own doctor, by a third party (with your permission) or by yourself, either way is simply to do. On making a referral the client will be asked to complete a confidential referral form, detailing personal details, who has died, the date of the bereavement and cause of bereavement. Also the form asks if there are any children under 18, plus your work commitments, your support system, availability, and do you have any preference on the gender of your counsellor.
Once a form has been a completed a booklet is sent out to the client to read called “After the death of someone very close” It is a very useful little booklet which helps and supports people who have been bereaved, giving helpful and supportive information.
Once the referral form is completed it is past onto a co-ordinator(also trained Counsellors) to contact the client to talk the client through the procedure together with making an assessment to make sure they meet the clients needs and ensuring that cruse is right for the client and not another agency.
Once the assessment has been made the clients details are past onto a volunteer counsellor to contact the client to arrange a mutual time, date and venue, if a client is house bound then home visit are available. If the appointment is for a child fewer than 18 then a consent form will need to be signed by a parent or guardian.
Normally Cruse offer clients 6 50 minute sessions, but this can be flexible, the sessions they are offer are free of charge, however, a session would normally cost ï¿½35.00, and clients can give a donation if they feel they are able.
Once the support has finish the client is asked to complete a questionnaire on how they felt about the support and service from Cruse.
What does cruse offer?
* Offer free information and advice to anyone who has been affected by death
* Provides support and counselling one to one and groups
* Offers education, support, information and publications to anyone supporting bereaved people
* Increases public awareness of the needs of bereaved people through campaigning and information services.
Cruse offers one to one and group counselling. They are able to offer counselling for anyone who has suffered a loss through bereavement and on occasion my include pets. Cruse is currently thinking about counselling support for people involved with the terminal ill. 6 session of 50 minute each are normally offer, but these can be flexible dependant on the clients needs.
Sessions for children under 18 must have a consent form signed by a parent or guardian.
Cruse bereavement care are able to offer help and support via the telephone and web based support is also available.
Areas in which Cruse offer support;
* Supporting the Military family
* Supporting children through grief
* They have a specialist website set up called RD4U
* Information for schools ( for support the death of a pupil)
* Supporting children and young people
All of volunteers are known as bereavement support volunteers, not counsellors. All the volunteers must be members o BACP and abide by their code of ethics, even if the volunteer is a qualified counsellor in their own right they still have to go through the training given b Cruse themselves, this course is call ABC – Awareness of Bereavement Care. The course consists of 60 hours of free training of which 48 hours are with a tutor and 12 hours are portfolio completion. Their portfolios are moderated.
The training is on going through out each year and the volunteer must commit to at least 15 hours over a 12 month period and again this continued training is free. For the first 12 months all volunteers must have undertaken 2 extra modules – traumatic death and a child’s grief.
To be able to do support work with children , volunteers must do an additional course called Children’s ABC, to access this course they must have accrued 100 hours of working with children already for example as a teacher, guider, or maybe Nursery worker etc. If the volunteers decided they wish to work with group they again have to do further training.
I would say that Cruse Bereavement care volunteers work within the person centred frame work, as they are concerned with their client needs and what is best for the client, they show flexibility in how many session the offer and where they can offer the session, In the main session are held at their offices, but if needed they can visit the clients home. Cruse operates a non-discrimination policy offering their services to everyone. Cruse understand that there are many different causes of bereavement and that we all experience our loss very differently, they do no discriminate against anyone and treat everyone with the same respect and support whatever races, age, religion or gender.
Cruse support volunteers work within the person centred ethos using the 3 core conditions:
* No-Judgemental Acceptance
They empower their clients, to build up a relationship thus building up a rapport. They need to be able to meet the clients and listen to the clients needs, by show empathic understanding. Cruse volunteers, help their clients through any stage of their bereavement, they help their clients talk about their loved one and their own special memories, this helps and supports them through their lost.
The purpose of client records is provide and maintain a record of the work being done with an individual client, this can be used by the volunteer, supervisor or manager to assess what has be done to date and to plan future work. To support and implement Cruse child protection and other policies, also to maintain safe guards and for cruse to meet it’s obligation under the data protection act.
Each cruse service is responsible for maintaining confidential client records, which includes a client referral register. The referral form must be kept separately from the case records the only link should be the case number. A personal record book is kept by the volunteer and is taken to supervision. All notes taken are shredded , at the end of the support, along with the referral documents, the only records that are kept for 6 years are the index consisting of the clients name, number and the volunteers name, for the client to resume further support.
There is a standard for supervision – this is a process that all volunteers go through to help then explore all aspects of the client work in order to ensure the needs of their clients are addressed, as well as ensuring their own awareness, skills are being developed, as well as been support through and emotional and physical stress.
Cruse ensures that all their volunteers are insured nationally. Cruse has to abide by the data protection legislation and therefore is not allowed to discuss any of their client’s details with any third parties such as solicitors. Unless they receive a written request is received. Client enquiry & referral form are kept confidential for 6 years whereas other records can be confidentially destroyed after 3 years