New funding launched to help young people going through bereavement

Thursday 20 February 2020

Organisations across the UK can now apply for grants of up to £10,000 for projects that help young people support each other during bereavement. 

Grants are available through the our #iwill Fund. We will make about five grants in total you have until 12pm (noon) on Friday 3 April to apply.

Successful applicants should use funding for social action projects that equip young people with the skills they need to provide peer support. Grants could also help young people to use their experiences as a way to speak up and recommend how local services can help other bereaved young people. 

Co-op Funeralcare is a partner in this latest round of funding. Their involvement is in direct response to findings from its ‘biggest ever survey’, which surveyed over 30,000 people to understand the nation’s experiences and attitudes towards death, dying and bereavement. 

The survey found that 16 to 29-year-olds are the age group most likely to bottle up grief, with just under a quarter (24%) saying they ‘kept it to themselves’ when suffering a bereavement. Young people were also most likely to be left out of social arrangements because of bereavement. 

Jim Cooke, Head of Co-op Foundation, said: “As the Co-op’s charity, we’re delighted to be partnering with Co-op Funeralcare to provide grants through our #iwill Fund. 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.  

“Helping others going through similar experiences is a great way for young people 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.”  

David Collingwood, Director of Funerals for 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.”  

We’ve already supported The Edward’s Trust through our Building Connections Fund to help them expand their work to tackle youth loneliness among bereaved young people.

Yvonne Gilligan, Chief Executive of The Edward’s Trust, said: “Being a bereaved child is a very lonely and isolating place. We ensure that young people have a space to support one another, to care for one another, to share their stories and, most importantly, realise that they’re not alone. Voices of young, bereaved people are not heard; and they need to be.”

The Co-op Foundation’s #iwill Fund supports the aims of the #iwill campaign that wants to make social action a part of life for as many 10 to 20-year-olds as possible. 

The Foundation has already invested £2m into tackling youth loneliness through youth social action. Grants available from today form part of a £3m extension that will also see young people campaign to improve community spaces and support each other during the move from primary to secondary school.  

Funding also supports Co-op’s community plan, Co-operate 2022, which aims to improve communities’ spaces, skills and wellbeing.


The #iwill Fund is a £40 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. Co-op Foundation acts as a match funder. 

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