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P-4  Talking about bereavement over & over – enabling communities to support each other through grief
  1. Ian Leech and
  2. Nikki Archer
  1. St Giles Hospice, Lichfield, UK


Through community engagement we are developing compassionate communities where people understand grief and support each other throughout the grieving process. It is in communities that the taboo of talking about death and dying needs to be tackled.

We Are

  • working in partnership with like-minded organisations to provide volunteer-led drop-in Bereavement Help Points where members of the community across our catchment area can access support which is client- centric

  • facilitating workshops that enable organisations to understand how bereavement may affect their staff and clientele

  • working with local college students to help them understand bereavement and in doing so changing the attitudes of a generation.

We AreOn average we support over eighty people per month at our help points at a cost of around £1.50 per person.

We evaluate through written/verbal feedback with volunteers and service users. This helps us understand the needs of individuals and organisations we are working with.

We have

  • enabled people in our communities to access bereavement support through our help points. This has been recognised with a national Bereavement Project of the Year award

  • enabled local organisations within our catchment to understand bereavement and therefore better support their employees and clientele

  • had our Understanding Bereavement in the Workplace workshop used as an integral part of a national Compassionate Employers programme

  • currently engaged with over 100 students with our ‘Understanding Bereavement’ workshops. More have been requested.

Conclusion If we want our communities to develop a compassionate mentality toward the bereaved, it is important they understand how grief affects people and how they can offer support. This area of our work is helping them to achieve that. From supporting those grieving to enabling a new generation to understand how grief affects people, we are helping to break the taboo.

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