News: Total Insight receives Co-op Foundation grant to support bereaved young people

Total Insight Theatre has received a grant of £18,240 from Co-op Foundation to help young people support each other during bereavement.  The charity will use the funding to deliver a national online project for young people bereaved during the Covid-19 pandemic, using the arts to safely explore their experiences and help process the impact of bereavement.

Co-op Foundation is Co-op’s charity. It helps people challenge inequality and co-operate for change so they can share a fairer future.  The Foundation has partnered with Co-op Funeralcare to launch the grants as part of a £3m extension to its #iwill Fund.  The #iwill Fund is a £50 million joint investment from the National Lottery Community Fund, using National Lottery funding, and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to support young people to access high quality social action opportunities. The Co-op Foundation acts as a match funder.  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.  The funding will allow organisations like Total Insight Theatre to run projects to help young people experiencing the challenges of bereavement through peer support.

Adam Tulloch, Chief Executive at Total Insight Theatre, said: “We are grateful for the Co-op Foundation’s funding to help us support bereaved young people through this project, which will equip young people with tools and resources to help them process their bereavement. Using the arts to support mental health has been at the heart of our pandemic programme and we are pleased to be able to continue to do so.”

Jamie Ward-Smith, Chair of Co-op Foundation, commented: “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 added: “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 their #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

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