Leeds Mind is very pleased to announce that we have successfully secured a grant of £16,288 from Co-op Foundation to help young people support each other through bereavement.

We will use the funding to run a programme called ‘Living with my Loss’, through the Leeds Suicide Bereavement Service. The programme will support young people aged 11-16 who have experienced traumatic and sudden bereavement, for example, through murder, suicide or accident, in priority areas in the city.

Co-op Foundation (Co-op’s charity) has partnered with Co-op Funeralcare to launch the grants as part of a £3m extension to its #iwill Fund, a £50m joint investment from the National Lottery Community Fund, using National Lottery funding, and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). The Foundation has already awarded over £3m in grants since it first partnered with the #iwill Fund in 2017.

Findings from Co-op Funeralcare’s ‘biggest ever survey’ into death, dying, and bereavement* found that young people are most likely to bottle up their feelings and be excluded from social arrangements when experiencing bereavement. It is expected that 72 young people in Leeds will be supported through Leeds Mind’s project.

Surinder Rall, Leeds Mind’s Suicide Bereavement Service Team Leader, said: “Traumatic and sudden bereavement can have a long-term impact on young people’s relationships as well as in their social and academic lives. Thanks to Co-op Foundation, we can offer community-based resilience courses to young people aged 11-16 over the next two years. We will use a peer support model, where individuals with lived experience help young people going through similar difficulties, by sharing how to build and maintain the ability to cope with challenges.

“We are so grateful for Co-op Foundation’s support, which is going to make such a difference to the lives and futures of young people in Leeds – we couldn’t deliver this much-needed service without them!”

Jamie Ward-Smith, Chair of Co-op Foundation, said: “Our partnership with the #iwill Fund over the past three years has shown the positive impact young people can have when they are given opportunities to take action on the issues they care about. Losing a close friend or family member is difficult at any age, and it can be particularly tough for young people who might be dealing with other pressures at home, at school or in their social lives.

“Grants announced today will empower young people to help others going through similar experiences to build their confidence, skills and sense of belonging. And by recommending how others can support bereaved young people better, they can make a long-term difference for their peers.”

Sam Tyrer, Managing Director at Co-op Funeralcare said: “At Co-op Funeralcare, we understand how experiencing a bereavement can have a major impact on the life of an individual, and this is even more pronounced when it happens at a young age.

“Bereavement is unique to every person, and everyone chooses to deal with the loss of a loved one in different ways. It’s a long process, but the long-term support of others is essential when trying to overcome the hurdles grief entails. Co-op Funeralcare has seen first-hand the importance of support groups within the community and we are honoured to be part of this crucial initiative.”

The Co-op Foundation will launch further rounds of #iwill Fund grants in 2021, focusing on how learning from across our extended #iwill Fund can be embedded into other community organisations.

Subscribe to the Co-op Foundation blog to find out first when funding applications open: www.coopfoundation.org.uk/blog

Follow @LeedsMind on social media for updates about the ‘Living with my Loss’ programme.

Leeds Mind

Author Leeds Mind

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