Cruse was founded on October 5th 1959 by Margaret Torrie in response to
the fact that there was very little support for widows. Placing an
advert in a local paper brought an immediate response of twenty six
young widows and so a group was formed. From such small beginnings
cruse has grown to become the largest bereavement counselling charity in
The group wanted a name that would reflect the positive and outward
looking ethos of the new organisation and the word 'Cruse' comes from a
story in the Old Testament. It was an earthenware vessel for holding oil
and in the story a widow who shared her last jar of oil with the
Elijah found that by sharing she always had more.
Over the years further branches opened in areas where local committees
could be set up. In 1974 cruse received its first government grant in
recognition of the value of the work in the community and in the field
of preventive medicine.
In 1980 the service was extended to widowers.
In 1986 the service was opened up to all bereaved people.
Cruse North Wales area is part of Cruse Bereavement Care the national organisation - the headquarters being in Richmond, Surrey.