“I sadly lost my mum in June of this year. When you lose someone, you don’t know where to turn to. Luckily a friend of mine has connections with Rowland Brothers funeral directors, so she referred me to the Foundation in September. I will be forever grateful to her and the team at Rowland Brothers Foundation. I would say that I wasn’t really ready to talk to anyone until after about 3 months after her passing, but I cannot recommend this service enough! They are so easy to talk to. We don’t just talk about my loss, but also about other aspects of my life. They do fantastic work within the community. I don’t know where I’d be now if I didn’t have this weekly telephone support. When I’m able to, I will be giving a donation to this worthy cause that is very close to my heart.” – Helen, South Croydon
“My experience with Justine in bereavement counselling is very positive – I would open up and share in total honesty with her. After a traumatic bereavement, I had very deep rejection issues which I struggled to cope with. It has been a great pleasure to be connected with Justine. Trusting her weekly input and advice, I do not feel so alone anymore.” – May, Croydon
“I first met Christine from Rowland Brothers when I lost my dad. It was a very difficult time but I was keen to speak to someone other than my family or friends, someone who had the experience of helping people like me through a difficult time, as sometimes it’s not easy to talk to those closest to you. Christine was very attentive and understood where I was coming from. She was very easy to talk to and I enjoyed my sessions. After Christine left, she was replaced by Justine. Although i expected it to be a little difficult to start again with someone new, I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to adjust with her and the takeover process went very smoothly. Justine is understanding, patient and friendly and although the loss has been difficult to deal with, I really look forward to our sessions.” – Abbie
“We are particularly grateful for the help that Charles, your counsellor gave us in obtaining financial assistance for the costs and advice on tenancy issues.” – E.M. Croydon
“Your service was exceptional and we are especially grateful for the counselling you provided subsequent to the funeral.” – J.M.N. – Croydon
“Thank you for guiding us through the arrangements and for the lovely funeral service. Thank you too for Charles, your counsellor’s practical help in sourcing financial aid for the expenses.” – A.S. London SE19
Never Alone Online Support Group
“I just wanted to share about the zoom support group; even though I was very nervous, it was extremely helpful. Hearing the honesty and willingness of the other group members to share their own experiences, or just to listen, has been so good. by listening. Looking forward to more and thank you for organizing this.” – Saida
“Thanks so much for your fantastic training session yesterday, what a great team you have. I was amazed at how much you managed to cover in a one hour virtual training session. Bereavement Aftercare is a sensitive subject and the session was perfectly pitched being informative, compassionate and thoroughly engaging.” – Bereavement training session for CVA (Croydon Voluntary Action) staff
“The session was very insightful into the different stages of grief and how these are very personal to every individual who loses someone. It was also a good reminder for the group to recognise that grief does not only come about after the death of a person. Grief can form as a result of ending a marriage or a friendship, or losing a job. Apart from giving a very helpful and relatable anecdote (re: Chris losing his own father and going through his own process of grief), the session also acted as a therapeutic support group of its own. Many individuals wished to speak on their own experiences of loss and it was great to see how many people felt comfortable with being very vulnerable. Chris was very helpful in responding to these individuals and came across as very understanding and non-judgemental, even when he was “challenged” by one of our members in their interpretation and feeling of grief. Again, this highlighted how grief can be very much individual to each person and is not a “straightforward” emotion. Chris was very insightful and gave very helpful answers to those asking about the process of grief. He also gave enough time for people to speak and interact. Overall, it was a great session which our attendees truly enjoyed and benefitted from.” – Young At Heart (Over 60s) – Bereavement support session by Chris Roe
“I found the training very informative and interesting. All three members were very accommodating and easy to listen to. Overall, a very worthwhile experience.” – Martin, Bereavement training for the staff of Golden Leaves funeral plans
“As usual, the training was very comfortable and informative. When you think you may know all there is all to know for our job, the training surprised me again as I had never considered suggesting to any of the families dealing with a death that are financially struggling, advice and contact details for organisations etc. that may be able to help. I look forward to the details coming through from the team.” – Kim , Bereavement training for the staff of Golden Leaves funeral plans
“It was useful to understand different types of grief families have encountered due covid. Also, how to cope with loosing loved ones and the impact it can have on peoples mental health, due to changes over the last 15 months. It has made me rethink the way I conduct myself on telephone calls re: terminology used when speaking to family members when they have lost a loved one. It is very reassuring that after a loved one has passed how many groups are available to help people through difficult times.” – Elizabeth, Bereavement training for the staff of Golden Leaves funeral plans
Child Bereavement Training
“It was a great talk and was very useful especially at the moment… some of the advice could also be applied to children who now have a parent or carer living with the long term effects of COVID or the fear they felt when someone got very ill quickly even if they got better.”
– Meghan, Croydon
“I am the chairman of a thriving weekly community forum called Croydon My Ends. We have significant community involvement from various CEOS, businesses as well as bereaved families, church leaders, politicians, key community charities and many more.
I am writing to thank Chris Roe who has represented the Rowland Brothers on many levels. The impact he has made in the community of Croydon has been so significant that, in a meeting on the 6th November 2020, a key community leader stated that if anything happened to a loved one of theirs, they would not only contact Rowland Brothers to organise the funeral, but that they would also want Chris and his team to be closely involved with their bereavement aftercare.
Many organisations were previously only aware of Rowland Brothers regarding funerals;, but so many people have now become aware of the Rowland Brothers Foundation bereavement aftercare part of the organisation. Bereavement and Trauma support is extremely necessary in these times of COVID 19 and during tragic times of serious youth violence in Croydon. Thanks to Chris’ very effective community networking, Sophie Linden, Deputy Mayor of London, was very keen to know more about the Bereavement Support offered by the Rowland Brothers Foundation, as are many other community organisations and a growing number of churches in the area.
I want to say a massive thank you to Rowland Brothers; at least three parents who have lost their children to knife crime spoke highly of the services offered by yourselves, and have formed trusting relationships with Chris.
Again, I cannot express my appreciation enough.” – Anthony King, Chairman, Croydon My Ends