Cruse and Co-op launch new partnership helping communities

A new partnership from Co-op and Cruse Bereavement Support is aiming to help people talk about death and grief more openly.

January 20, 2022

As the nation continues to emerge from the devastating effects of the Coronavirus pandemic, a new partnership from Co-op and Cruse Bereavement Support is aiming to help people talk about death and grief more openly.

New research

YouGov research* out today reveals that half of Brits (49%) who have not experienced a bereavement admit to being unprepared in knowing how to help a bereaved friend or relative and one in eight (12%) have actively gone out of their way to avoid someone who is grieving because they don’t know what to say to them.

Just over four in ten (43%) British adults are worried about saying the wrong thing and a third (32%) don’t know how to start a conversation after a bereavement.

Of those British adults who have experienced the death of a loved one in the last five years, over a third (36%) said that the people they’d come into contact with had relied on cliched phrases of condolence because they didn’t know what else to say and three in ten (30%) had experienced people not referencing their loss at all. Three in five (60%) said their community had not helped them deal with their grief and three in ten (29%) felt that they had not had access to the right support.

In more positive news, three in ten (29%) of UK adults are interested in learning how to better support the bereaved.

A community partnership

To help promote useful conversations, Co-op and Cruse Bereavement Support have joined forces to launch a new partnership which will aim to empower people in their local communities to provide everyday bereavement support to those who have experienced a bereavement.

Funded by Co-op members through the Co-op’s Community Partnership Fund, the campaign launches with a suite of bite-size resources featuring Cruse experts and people in the community, which address important issues such as understanding, normalising and identifying the signs of grief and knowing how the community can provide support.

Freely available for anyone to access at Co-op’s online community hub Co-operate, the new resources will be shared with communities right across the UK.

Later this year, the partnership will roll out on-the-ground bereavement support projects across all four home nations. Local Cruse colleagues will work with local communities to offer face-to-face workshops on how all people they know who are struggling with grief, whilst also showing them how and when to signpost to more formal support.

As the nation continues to emerge from the effects of the pandemic, we feel optimistic that this important initiative can take a big step towards normalising conversations around bereavement and encourage communities to help each other through times of grief.

Andy Langford, Clinical Director at Cruse Bereavement Support

Co-op are delighted to be partnering with Cruse to mobilise communities to support the bereaved. Our research shows the vital role that communities have in supporting the mental wellbeing of those who have been bereaved

Rebecca Birkbeck, Director of Community and Shared Value at Co-op Group

* All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 2264 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 7th – 10th January 2022.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).

I see people every day who tell me how isolated their grief makes them feel. This joint partnership with Cruse and Co-op is a tremendous undertaking as it will help people in communities to have conversations, helping them to provide better practical and emotional support to those that need it in their darkest hour.

Tracey Harriman, a Cruse volunteer and Co-op Funeralcare service arranger