Co-op Group launches UK bereavement survey

'We know that talking about death is one of the hardest conversations people have to have'

The Co-op Group is tackling the taboo of death, dying and bereavement by launching the UK’s biggest survey into the subject.

Despite 94% of people having experienced a bereavement, less than a third of the nation is comfortable talking about death (31%), according to the Group. Two thirds (66%) think that this needs to become easier and more ‘normal’.

The new survey, which will gather opinions from consumers, funeral directors, charities and Co-op Group members, aims to uncover what is stopping people talking about the issue. It will also ask for people’s views on death, bereavement and funeral wishes, in an attempt to “drive genuine social change” around how the public approaches the subject of death.

The survey will look into what is stopping people talking about the issues – and will ask for people’s views on death, bereavement and funeral wishes

“We know that talking about death is one of the hardest conversations people have to have,” said Robert MacLachlan, managing director of Co-op Funeralcare and Later Life Planning.

“It’s a huge national issue and that’s why we’re encouraging the nation to get talking about this important subject, as a huge number of us believe the way we approach it needs to change. If we had more open conversations about this topic, just think of the positive outcomes that could be achieved.

“Making arrangements for a loved one’s funeral is a huge responsibility, with everyone having their own personal wishes. No-one likes to think about their own mortality, but having a discussion and planning ahead can have huge benefits in terms of being able to do the right thing for loved ones when the time comes.”

The Group will be working with the government, communities and charities including British Red Cross, Child Bereavement UK, Dying Matters, Remember a Charity, Sue Ryder and The Children’s Funeral Charity to inform the campaign.

Jeff Brazier, presenter and author of The Grief Survival Guide, said: ‘’Having experienced the impact of death and bereavement first hand, I can’t stress enough how important it is to talk about the topic and you’re never too young for it to impact you. The more we talk about it, the less a taboo it becomes – helping us as a nation to become more comfortable with one of life’s inevitabilities.’’

To take part in the survey, visit coop.co.uk/survey.

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