Nilufar Anwar has been a Trustee for Cruse Bereavement Care for nearly two years. She believes that everyone who has been bereaved should have access to bereavement support and feels passionate about the work Cruse does, ensuring everyone has somewhere to turn when someone they love dies.
Nilufar, says: “I am fortunate to belong to a large family (at least 65 cousins) who live within a five mile radius and so our lives have been entwined since birth. Over recent years I have suffered the loss of nine close family members. I have felt that I have always had somewhere to turn following each death, being able to receive support from family, friends and the community; for whom I am eternally grateful. I see people with similar support systems and likewise I have seen how some are without access to any form of support which deeply saddens me as I don’t feel this should be the case. I believe with a passion that every person who deals with the death of another should feel they know they have access to bereavement support to help them through difficult times. This is why the vision of Cruse resonates and the role of Trustee provides an opportunity for me to help ensure bereaved people have access to support. Also to help people feel comfortable with talking death, dying and bereavement, enabling everyone to be able to support each other.
“I love working alongside our Board who are all deeply passionate about supporting bereaved people not just on an individual level but also making a real change in society to ensure bereaved people are offered the time and support they may need from the government and their workplace. As a Board member, I’m in a privileged position to help steer the ship in a challenging but worthwhile direction (the work we do isn’t easy!), and watch with admiration how the staff and volunteers work with gusto to keep the charity’s strategy on track, all with the intention of wanting to ensure every bereaved person in the country has the support they need.
“I’m really excited about Cruse’s digital transformation. At Cruse we appreciate that in order for our services to be truly inclusive, we need to ensure we’re providing services in diverse ways to reach a diverse audience. As such, we’ve now got a strong social media offering. For me personally, seeing Cruse’s posts on Instagram feels like a little empathetic hug in my day. We’re also revamping our online offering given we know that a majority of people will benefit from reading material online, not just face to face bereavement support. I’m also very excited by the digital transformation taking place at an operational level, so we can be a more time-efficient, cost-efficient, transparent, and better connected with our staff, volunteers, supporters and clients.
“My most memorable moments are hearing stories from people who have been supported by Cruse. Each story is deeply touching and reminds me of how we are all one and the same – at our core we are humans experiencing the joys and struggles of life, needing a little love, compassion and empathy. I adore hearing how Cruse has been a balm to help sooth people’s difficulties. People have told me that Cruse saved their life in moments of feeling utter despair to the point of suicide; that a volunteer from Cruse has helped save marriages following the loss of a child – incredible stories. The empathy, support, care and friendships that are built in those times stay a lifetime. Hearing from people how Cruse has supported them is so touching and human; and makes me grateful that I can support the charity in reaching more people that would benefit from Cruse.
“Since the beginning of Cruse, the charity has never shied away from talking about death, dying and grief. I find this inspirational – to talk openly about topics that are seen as taboo. Through doing so, Cruse has enabled the bereaved to better understand their feelings and appreciate the variety of ways that people experience grief, i.e. that there is no ‘normal’ way to feel grief and grieve. It’s enabled society to understand it better as a whole so that neighbours, colleagues and friends feel confident that they can talk to a bereaved person about their loss. Cruse continues to do this through its online presence, social media, and journals – providing words that help people express themselves, to themselves and to others.”
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