Our history

35 years of service to the Manx community

We were formed in 1988 and have been proudly serving the Isle of Man community ever since.

In 2023, we're celebrating our 35th anniversary. Here's a timeline of some of the key events in our history.


The inaugural meeting was held on 5 December 1988 after Barbara Larkin had the idea to start up Cruse support in the Isle of Man and advertised for volunteers in the local press. We were the 150th branch of Cruse in the British Isles at the time. The focus of the charity at the beginning was to support bereaved adults. The original senior team was Jack Corrin as patron, Pat Corrin as president, George Quinn as chairman, Colin Clague as treasurer, Barbara Larkin as organiser, and Pat Pearson and Ken Hamm as trainers.

A scan of an invitation to the inaugural meeting of Cruse Bereavement Care Isle of Man held on 5 December 1988

The front page of the first Cruse Isle of Man newsletter.


Brian Humphries replaced George Quinn as chairman in 1990. In 1994, two of our volunteers, Judy and Viv, attended the fourth International Conference on Grief and Bereavement in Contemporary Society in Stockholm, and in 1996 we were part of a joint children and young people training pilot scheme with Cruse Northern Ireland and Barnado's. We celebrated our 10th anniversary in 1998.


In 2003, we hired our first member of staff to run the service and in 2004 we moved to our office in Village Walk in Onchan. This was the first time we'd had a permanent location instead of working out of our volunteers' living rooms and kitchens. 2006 was a busy year for us. Les Watson replaced Brian Humphries as chairman in 2006 after Brian had served in the role for 16 years, we successfully applied for a small grant from BBC Children in Need which allowed us to start our bereavement support work with children and young people, we were presented with the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service (the MBE for volunteer groups) and we also held our first children's residential weekend at The Venture Centre, and we've held it every year since. In 2007, we were awarded a three-year grant from BBC Children in Need which allowed us to develop our children and young people's service, and this grant has been renewed every three years since then. We celebrated our 21st anniversary in 2009.

The opening party for our first office in Village Walk, Onchan in March 2004


In 2010, we started our monthly social clubs for bereaved children and young people after feedback from the Venture Centre weekend that they would like to meet more often, and this group was named CruzKids in 2010, after the name the group chose to use on a thank you card we sent to The Venture Centre. We celebrated out 25th anniversary in 2013, and in the same year, our CruzKids logos was designed by the CruzKids group themselves. In 2014, one of our founder members - Judy Arnold - was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for voluntary services to Cruse Bereavement Care. Jack and Pat Corrin resigned as president and patron respectively, after 26 years and Geoff Karran MBE TH took over the role of patron. In 2017, Les Watson retired as chairman after 11 years in the role and was replaced by Sam Skelton, and in 2018 we celebrated our 30th anniversary. In 2019, we moved from our office in Onchan which had been our home for 15 years to our current premises in Tromode.

CruzKids logo

Exterior of the premises we moved to in Tromode in January 2019


We had to close our office during the Covid-19 pandemic but our volunteers and staff were able to work from home and continue to help clients with phone and video support sessions. Following the lead from Cruse in the UK, we rebranded from Cruse Bereavement Care Isle of Man to Cruse Bereavement Support Isle of Man in 2023. The word 'support' is more proactive than 'care' and is a better representation of the way we support our clients in a variety of ways.

A graphic showing our old logo compared to the new logo we introduced in 2023.

Why we're here

35 years of service to the Isle of Man community.

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