History of TCF

History of The Compassionate Friends

Reverend Father Simon Stephens.

Our Origin

The Compassionate Friends was founded in 1969 in Coventry, England by the families of Billy Henderson and Kenneth Lawley, who both died in the Coventry and Warwickshire Hospital.  One grieving mother sent flowers to the other via the hospital chaplain Reverend Father Simon Stephens, and the parents decided to meet to find ways to help each other survive the loss. 

They, together with other bereaved parents in Coventry asked Reverend Stephens to work with them in the establishment of an organisation which could offer understanding, friendship, support and care to other bereaved parents.

Our Growth

The Compassionate Friends grew throughout the United Kingdom and other countries, with the first opening in the USA in 1972 and in Canada in 1977.

The first Australian TCF commenced in Melbourne in May 1978, founded by Margaret and Lindsay Harmer.

TCF in Queensland started when the Bereaved Parent Support and Information Centre was opened in 1985, and Australia now has a network of branches that can be contacted for support and friendship, please see details on contact us page.