Dying Matters Week: Support for those who are estranged from/have no family

May 8, 2019, 1:14 p.m.

Most people tend to assume that those going through end of life care have a family to support them. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case for some people for a number of reasons.

Not only is this difficult from an emotional perspective, it can hinder the person’s routine. For example, friends and family can help run errands and book appointments - especially if the individual has chosen end-of-life care at home. 


So, for Dying Matters Week, we thought we’d round up some of the very best charities who do an amazing job in supporting those going through end of life care but are estranged from, or do not have, family or friends. 



Dying Matters

We’ll start withthe lead charity for Dying Matters Week...Dying Mattersthemselves! The charity holds a wealth of information and hosts a useful directory of nationwide services for those going through palliative care. 


Marie Curie Helper Service

As we mentioned above, having friends and family around can be helpful when it comes to everyday life things such as shopping, errands, administering treatments, booking appointments and getting to and from appointments. The Marie Curie Helper Serviceis a wonderful offering from the nationwide charity. Helpers are volunteers that can provide companionship, emotional support and practical help. This includes transport to and from appointments, running errands, finding the right services for you (gardener, cleaners and so on), as well as just being there to keep you company. 


Contact the Elderly

If you’re going through palliative care but miss socialising with others, then Contact the Elderly is especially great for older people. The charity organises get-togethers for “fun, friendship, tea and cake.” There are over 800 groups all over the UK - from Cornwall all the way up to Invergordon in Scotland. Find your nearest group here!



Age UK

Age UK is perhaps one of the most well-known charities in the UK - and for a very good reason! They offer so many different services such as a Telephone Befriending Servicewhere you get a “friendship call” every week, an Advice Servicewhere you can discuss any benefits you may be able to claim as well as any potential worries you have with regards to hospital visits and Day Centres. The Day Centre’s in particular are a fantastic way to meet new people and join in with lots of fun activities such as singing, music, gentle exercise, day trips and arts and crafts.



If you’re going through palliative care without the support of friends or family, then it’s even more important to look after your mental health. The Samaritans are always there to lend an ear should you feel depressed. Just give them a call on 116 123 or email


Pet Care Services

We can’t forget about our furry friends! If you’re worried about what will happen to your cat or dog after you die, then there are services out there designed to help your four-legged friend. The Canine Care Cardfrom the Dog’s Trust is a free service where your canine companion is taken to their nearest Dog’s Trust home. They will be checked over by a vet, cared for and rehomed to a place that suits their lifestyle. Cat’s Protection also runs a similar service called Cat Guardians. Your cat will be taken to the nearest Cats Protection Centre where they will be looked after until they’re rehomed! 




huunuu is a free life and funeral planning platform where you can express your funeral wishes, as well as plan some bucket list activities before you die. We work with hospices around the UK to make sure people going through palliative care can make sure their wishes are considered and shared. We also provide will writing, LPAs and an Online Assets tool with huunuu Legal. Find out more about our End of Life Services here.