13 million struggling with grief this Christmas
Cruse and Co-op are responding to new research showing how many people are battling grief.
Research conducted by YouGov on behalf of Co-op Funeralcare highlights that as many as 13 million UK adults who are battling grief following a recent bereavement are experiencing feelings of loneliness, or dealing with challenges to their mental wellbeing this Christmas.
With over 28 million UK adults (54%) having experienced the loss of a loved one in the last five years, celebrities and MPs have, along with the Co-op and Cruse, offered their advice and support to those struggling after a bereavement in the run up to Christmas and beyond.
The findings come after a report from the UK Bereavement Commission earlier this year which highlighted how important community support is for bereaved people. In response to the report, the essential role community plays in supporting bereaved people was discussed only last month at a Westminster Hall event hosted by Cruse and the Co-op and sponsored by Carolyn Harris MP.
In response to the findings, Co-op is focused on expanding its support to families after the funeral and in partnership with Cruse is bringing communities together to support bereaved people. The Connecting Communities partnership aims to empower individuals to provide support to those in their communities who have experienced bereavement.
Co-op in conjunction with Reach PLC and with Cruse’s help has also in the last month launched a new podcast Let’s Talk About Grief. Celebrities share their experience of grief and loss to help others going through similar feelings.
Podcast host Coleen Nolan, TV personality and singer said: “Despite so many of us having experienced loss (and I have experienced my fair share myself), especially within the past couple of years, death and bereavement are still taboo topics, and there is still such guilt around experiencing grief. Many of us feel like we are placing a heavy burden on those around us when we’re dealing with bereavement, and choose to manage our feelings in silence instead of reaching out for help.”
One podcast guest, TV personality Jake Quickenden, spoke of his own experience of losing his father and brother, saying: “There’s no perfect way to deal with grief, you have got to find your own way of dealing with it. Grief is something that never disappears, and I don’t think it really gets easier, it is such a strong emotion and it changes your mindset. I look at life so differently since losing my Dad and Oliver, some days are more difficult than others but every day is a day that I get to see my family, see friends, make memories and live.”
We are proud to be working in partnership with The Co-op on our Connecting Communities project, to improve grief awareness and support in local areas and ensure bereaved people are not tackling their grief alone. I was delighted to introduce the project to MPs and colleagues from across the bereavement sector at our recent Parliamentary event and we hope that this support continues as the project develops next year.
Our colleagues throughout the country are continuously working with members of their local communities to ensure bereaved families are shown the utmost support during their time of grief. For many the sense of loss can be overwhelming, not least at this time of year, and our research highlights the power of community being supported by others can make all the difference at a time of grief.