Our Story

What We Do

Cruse Bereavement Care Scotland provides support to bereaved adults and children across Scotland. We work with people of all ages, regardless of when the death occurred. Our services are designed to ensure that those needing support receive the right help at the right time, building resilience and improving wellbeing.

Our support is multifaceted: we provide a listening service through our national helpline, self-help materials, early support for those who are just bereaved, webchat, one-to-one grief counselling, specialist support for children, young people and families, and support groups for bereaved adults. 

We also train and educate individuals, schools and organisations to reduce the stigma around grief, improve communication about death and create more compassionate spaces in society.

Who We Are

Cruse Scotland has provided bereavement support in Scotland for over 60 years, initially as part of Cruse Bereavement Care, and since 2001, as an independent Scottish charity.

Our services are delivered by local volunteers, who are coordinated by regional teams throughout Scotland, supported by a small staff team.

Our vision

A compassionate Scotland in which the impact of bereavement, grief and loneliness is properly understood and supported.

Our mission

Building resilience and improving health and wellbeing in grief.

Our purpose

Being the first choice for bereavement support across Scotland, open and accessible to all.

Our values

  • Compassion
  • Integrity
  • Equality & Diversity
  • Partnership
  • Community involvement and inclusion

Why the name Cruse?

A ‘cruse’ is an ancient word for a vessel or jug used in the Biblical story of the widow who looked after the prophet Elijah. As long as they looked after each other, their cruse of oil would never run dry. In 1959, Cruse Bereavement Care was set up on the principle that if we took care of each other, we would always have the resources and resilience for others and for ourselves.

Our Affiliations

Cruse Bereavement Care Scotland is a company limited by guarantee (SC218026) and a registered Scottish charity (SC031600).

We are a member of COSCA, the professional body for Counselling and Psychotherapy in Scotland, and work within the COSCA Statement of Ethics and Code of Practice.

We are also members of the Helpline Partnership and the Child Bereavement Network.

OSCR  Cosca


Cruse Scotland Milestones


COSCA (Scotland’s professional body for counselling and psychotherapy) validated our Specialist Course in Bereavement and Loss. All volunteer counsellors are required to complete the COSCA counselling certificate and our specialist module.


Introduced a new bereavement support service for children and young people. Developed a new training course in partnership with Child Bereavement UK. 


Launched IBACS, Cruse Scotland’s bespoke grief assessment tool based on international research involving Cruse Scotland clients and volunteers.


Introduced formal outcome evaluation of the impact of counselling on the wellbeing of bereaved adults using the Warwick & Edinburgh Universities Mental Wellbeing Scale.


130 personnel from schools and other agencies attended the first conference organised in collaboration with Grampian Child Bereavement Network.


‘Supporting Bereaved Children and Young People after Suicide’ conference in partnership with Samaritans, Child Bereavement UK, Grampian Child Bereavement and Choose Life Aberdeen.


Cruse Scotland model of support validated by five-year longitudinal study published Dr Catherine Newsome and Utrecht University.


Launched Family Support Days, training 20 volunteers and piloting Support Days with five families.


Launched Schools Bereavement Toolkit of eLearning modules and resources developed in collaboration with schools. Delivered training to teaching and support staff in 59 schools. 


In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Cruse Scotland increased capacity and accessibility of helpline and webchat services, and delivered one-to-one and peer support services remotely. Training for volunteers and external partners was digitised and activity increased significantly.