Coping with bereavement this Mother’s Day

News release

Sadly, a large number of people are about to experience their first Mother’s Day since losing their mum, many to Covid-19.  With this in mind, counsellors at Relate Bradford & Leeds have put together some advice for those grieving on Mother’s Day.

Tina Butler, CEO said: “Losing a parent is a terrible thing to go through at any time, but when numbers allowed at funerals are restricted and you’re unable to see family and friends for support or a hug, it adds a whole new and unwanted dimension to the grieving process.”

“If you’re experiencing your first Mother’s Day without your mum this year, it’s likely to bring back memories of happier times which could be painful to deal with. This is understandable and it’s important to put yourself first: perhaps you’d like to do something to remember your mum or maybe you aren’t ready. Do whatever’s right for you and don’t be afraid to reach out for support should you need it.”

Relate’s advice for coping with your first Mother’s Day after bereavement

Treat yourself with kindness. Think of how you would treat a really good friend in this situation.  You would probably want to look after them and be very caring – you should try to do this for yourself, too.

Do what feels right for you. You may feel like having a quiet day and curling up on the sofa, or you may want to do something specific to remember your mum. Maybe you want to do something active or creative to distract yourself. Go with whatever feels right.  

Know it’s common to experience a range of different feelings. You may have been doing ok and feel you were coming to terms with your loss but suddenly feel extremely sad when you realise what day it is. Perhaps you will have moments of joy and laughter as you remember your mum or other moments where you feel irritable. You may experience anger or guilt. All of this is normal.

Find creative ways to connect. If you feel you would like to be with others but can’t due to restrictions, think about what you can arrange online to remember your mum together.  For example, could you create an online memory book or organise a video call where you share memories? You might want to share something about your feelings on social media, but if seeing other people’s posts about their Mother’s Day experiences is likely to trigger you then step away from your phone and find another way.

Seek support if you need it. A counsellor can help to work through painful feelings and provide a safe space to work through your grief. There are a number of options that may work for you including webcam, phone or email counselling, or a 30 minute WebChat session. Find out more at

To find out more about how Relate Bradford & Leeds can support you, please visit our website: or email us at:


For all media enquiries contact

Notes to editors:

  • Relate Bradford is an independent charity, federated to Relate National
  • Relate champions the importance of strong and healthy relationships for all as the basis of a thriving society.
  • Relate provides impartial and non-judgmental support for people of all ages, gender identities and sexual orientations at all stages of couple, family and social relationships.

Exciting Opportunity…

Chair of Trustees

Due to the impending retirement of the current Chair of Trustees, we are looking for a passionate and committed individual to join the board and take on the role of Chair which, along with all our trustees, is a voluntary unpaid (except for expenses) position.

Relate Bradford & Leeds is a registered charity with over 70 years’ experience in providing specialist relationship support to people across the Bradford district and, since 2019, Leeds.

We are part of the National Relate Federation, however, each Relate Centre is independent and responsible for its own income generation and fundraising. Relate is the country’s largest supplier of relationship support.

Our office is based near to Bradford city centre with a team of 18 members of staff, a number of volunteers and a board of 10 trustees.

The trustees are an active and diverse group with complementary skills which enables us to provide comprehensive leadership to the organisation.

If you are interested, believe you have the appropriate personality and experience to meet the demands of the position and would like to know more please email Tina Butler, CEO at or please download the information pack below.

Approximate Time commitment 

Six board meetings per year plus national meetings

Annual General Meeting – yearly

Overall commitment on top of set meetings: 7 – 12 hours a month

Term is three years and may be extended further

We look forward to hearing from you.

The closing date for expressions of interest is 30th March 2021

Helping people Relate since 1948!

Phone line times…

Our phones lines are staffed during the following times:

Monday: 9.00am- 6.00pm

Tuesday: 10.00am – 5.00pm

Wednesday: 9.00am – 6.30pm

Thursday: 9.15am – 3.45pm

Friday: 9.00am – 3.00pm

We are experiencing a high volume of calls, so if you do experience any difficulty in reaching us by telephone, could you please contact us by email, on

The team look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you.

EMDR – a new service from Relate Bradford…

EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing. It stops difficult memories causing so much distress by helping the brain to reprocess them properly.

When someone feels overwhelmed by an event/experience, their brain may be unable to fully process what is going on. The memory of the event seems to become “stuck” so that it remains very intense and vivid. 

EMDR aims to help the brain “unstick” and reprocess the memory properly so that it is no longer so intense. It also helps to desensitise the person to the emotional impact of the memory, so that they can think about the event without experiencing such strong feelings.

It does this by asking the person to recall the traumatic event while they also move their eyes from side-to-side, hear a sound in each ear alternately, by tapping their hands alternately. These side-to-side sensations seem to effectively stimulate the “stuck” processing system in the brain so that it can reprocess the information more like an ordinary memory, reducing its intensity.

To find out more, please contact the Relate Bradford team, via our contact us section.

Still Here To Help

During COVID-19, we are still here to help and our clinicians are currently providing web counselling and telephone counselling, from 9.00am to 9.00pm Monday to Thursday and 9.00am to 3.00pm on Friday’s.

You can contact us by:


Telephone: 01274 726096

Due to the current situation, our telephones are staffed on reduced hours, on a two weekly rota. Due to holidays over the next two weeks, please see below:

Week commencing 2 November 2020

Monday: 10.00am – 5.00pm 

Tuesday: 10.00am – 2.00pm

Wednesday: 10.00am – 2.00pm

Week commencing 9 November 2020

Monday: 8.30am – 3.30pm 

Wednesday: 8.30am – 3.30pm 

Friday: 8.30am – 3.00pm

Thank you.

A new counselling offer to young people, families and couples from low income households, in Leeds…

Our Relate family are ending the week on a high. For the next 6 months we are providing free telephone/online counselling support to young people, families and couples from low income households across Leeds. Made possible by £32,000 from the Coronavirus Community Support Fund (thank you!)


Please share widely – offer ends 31 March 2020 (subject to availability).

#CommunitiesCan #stillheretohelp #covid19support #relationshipsmatter #NeverMoreNeeded #TheDifferenceWeMake #RelateBradford


Head of Service Delivery and Development, Relate Bradford