In May we went live with our biggest ever survey into death, dying and bereavement. It’s the first time attitudes towards this subject have been looked at on this scale.
We received over 30,000 responses. 11,000 of those came from members, which is a great level of engagement as 94% of those members have never taken out a funeral with us.
Why we’re taking the lead on this
As the UK’s leading funeral director we believe we should be leading the market on this issue as part of our Stronger Co-op, Stronger Communities ambition.
In our funeral business, we’re increasingly seeing that not being able to properly deal with death has a knock on effect for the bereaved. It can affect mental health and also trigger financial hardship. More needs to be done nationally to tackle this.
The findings will help us understand why death is so difficult for many of us to talk about. But more importantly it means we can work with colleagues, members and national charities including British Red Cross, Child Bereavement UK, Dying Matters, Remember a Charity, Sue Ryder and Cruse to come up with solutions to tackle the taboos surrounding death, and encourage the nation to talk more openly.
What the survey revealed
The survey asked a broad range of questions focused on experiences of bereavement – attitudes towards our own and others’ mortality, trends and barriers in planning for later life, funeral wishes, and dealing with the practical affairs following a bereavement.
Our research highlights that thinking about death and bereavement as taboo subjects is not new. It’s present in every generation, with attitudes often picked up from the previous generation.
We’ve been analysing the results and have produced a report that highlights what the UK really thinks about dying and bereavement. This includes areas where more support would be helpful.
We’re looking for ways this can help us better support our frontline colleagues. If it provokes ideas or suggestions from you on reading it, please let us know. And watch this space for updates on our work to find solutions to help the nation deal better with death, dying and bereavement.
Managing Director, Funeral and Life Planning