Bereavement is everyone’s business

Communications TeamNews

Helping employers deal with the most difficult and delicate of subjects

A special event is being held next month to help employers of all sizes to better handle bereavement.

According to the bereavement charity, Cruse, one in ten people in the UK is thought to be affected by bereavement at any given time. Whilst most bereaved people will cope reasonably well at work, others struggle to deal with their loss, and this can impact on both productivity and relationships with co-workers.  And what of co-workers and managers – how do you approach a colleague who’s dealing with grief? What do you say, and what should you do? How do you balance their needs with that of the workplace?

To help local employers support all of their staff with this most difficult and delicate of subjects, the Bereavement Team at Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is joining with Cruse Bereavement Care and Dove House Hospice, to host ‘At a Loss for Words’, a dedicated FREE breakfast seminar for businesses on Tuesday 15th May.

Sponsored by Macmillan, the event is free to attend and will take place from 8:30am to 12:30pm at the Mercure Grange Park Hotel in Willerby (free breakfast and registration from 7:30am). Delegates will be able to hear first-hand experiences of managing bereavement from employers and employees, attend workshops, put questions to the expert panel, and receive a bereavement resource pack to take away and use in the workplace. Speakers include John Creasey from Dove House Hospice, who will help delegates to better understand bereavement, and Lizzie Jordan, a mother, widow and award-winning social entrepreneur who will provide a first-hand account of working life after bereavement.

Dr Barbara Payman, Bereavement Counsellor for Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust says:

“Everyone will be affected by bereavement at some stage. Loss and grief can be difficult enough for people to speak about with their loved ones, but for employers, who understandably have to have one eye on their needs of their business, staff bereavement can pose extra challenges.

“Our special breakfast seminar will offer local employers the chance to hear from experts and ask questions which they may previously have been worried about asking. From compassionate leave and sources of bereavement support, right through to  understanding the  employee’s ongoing needs as they  return to work, our experts will give an insight into how best to deal with bereavement in the interests of the employee, co-workers, and the business as a whole.”

The breakfast seminar is suitable for employers of any size who would like assistance with bereavement issues, and is being held to coincide with national Dying Matters Awareness Week.

Dr Payman continues:

“Loss and bereavement can be devastating, and people can find it very awkward just knowing what to say to someone who has lost a loved one, so many people avoid talking about these issues. It can be particularly difficult to know how best to help bereaved people at work.

“By offering appropriate support to bereaved staff and colleagues, we not only help them, but our workplace too –people respond very well to ‘feeling understood and cared about’. Please come to this event to chat to us and learn more about bereavement at work and what we can do to help.”

‘At a Loss for Words’ will take place from 7:30am-12.30pm on Tuesday 15th May at the Mercure Grange Park Hotel in Willerby. It is free to attend but places must be reserved in advance. Click here for a copy of the event flyer and the registration form. To book your place or for more information, contact Angela McLoughlin on 01482 461319 or email