2021- Communities of support
Communities are a vital source of support to those who are grieving. Cruse is working to help communities become more supportive and resilient.
Grief is an individual thing, but recent research is showing just how important communities are. They are important as a way to reach people who might not know how to get help, and can also be an important source of support to those who are grieving.
A number of recent Cruse projects are looking at how we can help communities in places like schools, prisons or retirement villages. We also want to help communities of people affected in ways which bring their own unique challenges, such as those bereaved by or with dementia, and those serving in the military and their families.
Together with The ExtraCare Charitable Trust our Bereavement Supporter Project aimed to help retirement communities support themselves following loss and bereavement. We also wanted to open up more conversations about death, dying and bereavement with the older generations.
Residents in ExtraCare retirement villages were trained to be Bereavement Supporters who provide listening support to bereaved people in their retirement village. This enabled bereaved older people to access the support they need, at the right time and from within their own community.
I think that I have encouraged people to talk a bit more even when they seem to be ok. I feel much more confident about discussing bereavement with Residents. I have felt more confident to offer my support and empathy to anyone either in the village or around me suffering a bereavement.
We don’t have the answers, but we can stand or sit alongside others… The fallout [from Covid-19] is immense throughout the Village and it’s good to share that sense of loss of holidays, special birthday celebrations and short breaks. Being able to talk things through and share stories with others has been helpful.