Brake's 'I've been there' service


This service enables you to talk over the phone to another bereaved or injured person who is a Brake volunteer. The call will take place at an agreed time, and your details will remain confidential. The volunteer will not talk in detail about their own case, but they will be able to listen to you with a deep understanding of what you are going through, answer any questions you may have about how they coped with different aspects of their experience, and talk to you about how they found it possible to feel happiness again. Please note that this is not a befriender service, and it will not usually be possible to speak to a volunteer more than once.

Calls are facilitated and connected by your Brake helpline officer, and the bereaved or injured person you speak to will not know your full name nor be given your phone number. 

While you are talking to the Brake volunteer, a helpline officer will be listening in, aiming to ensure that the call is meeting your needs and if necessary helping to steer the conversation in a helpful direction (although generally they will be a silent partner in the call).

Brake helpline officers try to 'match' your circumstances to those of the Brake volunteer you speak to. So, for example, if you have suffered the death of a child, they will try to match you with another bereaved parent.

Calls generally last up to an hour, and you are welcome to end the call at any time you feel it is appropriate or if the conversation is not proving helpful to you.

To request this service, please call the helpline on 0808 8000 401 or email

Tags: emotional support support helpline