Connecting Communities Parliament event

Cruse and Co-op held a Parliamentary reception on Monday 28th November to raise awareness of the need for bereavement support in the community.

December 2, 2022

A number of MPs and Lords attended a reception alongside staff and volunteers including many from Connecting Communities, a partnership between Cruse Bereavement Support, Cruse Scotland and Co-op.

Those attending heard how the project is working hard to find out how to better support local communities cope with grief and bereavement.

Rosena Allin-Kahn, shadow Minister for Mental Health, who couldn’t attend, sent this message:

“There is no one size fits all approach to bereavement. Experiencing the death of a loved one is one of the hardest things a person will go through, and unfortunately, the last couple of years has made this an all too stark reality for too many people.

“The pandemic robbed so many families of the opportunity to say a final goodbye. The mental health impact of this is enormous, with around one-in-ten people bereaved suffering from prolonged grief disorder, resulting in severe mental health conditions, such as PTSD.

“There needs to be a clear strategy from the Government that tackles the social isolation and loneliness that people experience after a death.

“I’m proud to support the work of Co-op and Cruse Bereavement Support to empower people in their local communities to provide everyday bereavement support to those in need. Only by working together can we get each other through our darkest days.”

Why the project is needed

Our research shows:

  • Many people are not finding the support they need after someone dies.
  • People don’t know where to find help following a bereavement, and communities lack resources.
  • People are not confident having conversations about grief, but they want to learn.

The recent UK Bereavement Commission’s report emphasises the critical role communities can play in providing comfort and connection through grief.

What the project is doing

Connecting Communities is setting up hubs in five communities across the UK. In each location we’re:

  • Offering information and signposting to sources of help
  • Setting up a grief library hosting books, podcasts and printed resources
  • Running training and workshops to help community members learn how to start and hold supportive conversations about grief.

Thank you to our partners, the Co-op for supporting today’s event and of course supporting our Connecting Communities project. As the UKs leading bereavement charity and the UKs largest funeral provider it is right that we work together. When people have networks of support, it makes a huge difference, and that is the reason why Cruse, our sister organisation Cruse Scotland and the Co-op have come together to set up Connecting Communities across five deprived communities across the UK so that local people can receive the support and compassion they so desperately need.

Steven Wibberley, Cruse Chief Executive


Pictures below: MP Carolyn Harris, MP Ruth Cadbury, Cruse CEO Steven Wibberley addresses the event, Co-op Funeralcare COO Gill Stewart.

Gill Stewart