National Friendly announce charity partnership with Cruse Bereavement Support

Bristol-based mutual insurer, National Friendly and the Cruse Bereavement Support charity have joined forces to develop a partnership which aims to help people through one of the most painful times in life – the loss of a loved one. National Friendly will lend its support though sharing content and helping Cruse’s fundraising campaigns.

Cruse Bereavement Support are the UK’s leading bereavement charity, their local Bristol & District Branch consists of volunteers who provide services in the local community and were nominated by National Friendly staff members.

According to National Bereavement Alliance’s 2019 report, “Manifesto for better bereavement support”, 72% of people have been bereaved in the last five years and almost all of us will be affected by the death of someone close at some point.

The number of bereaved people is likely to increase over the next five years, with the population both growing and ageing, the number of deaths in England is predicted to increase by 10%.

During the past few years, we have seen something completely unprecedented which has impacted people’s lives. Loved ones died during the pandemic and there was no opportunity to attend funerals, or grieve in the usual way. According to Cruse, there has also been an increase in the amount of traumatic deaths people have experienced which come with their own complications.

Due to Covid-19, Cruse had to adapt and expand its services so that they could continue to provide support to bereaved people by offering a hybrid service where the client can choose to meet in person, online or on the telephone.

Claire Horrex, Community Fundraising & Engagement Manager at Cruse says, “We are just going back to face to face sessions and have a drop-in session in Portishead once a month. We also have a walking group in Clevedon and our website has a lot of useful information such as articles and videos and CruseChat which is an online chat function with a bereavement volunteer to talk to.”

Neil, an employee at National Friendly who has been a volunteer for nearly nine years at Cruse said, “We believe that everyone should receive support when someone dies. Cruse provide this support, free of charge to anyone, at any time in their grief journey and we want to be able to help everyone who needs us. At National Friendly, staff are encouraged to get involved with their community and raise funds for good causes, with funds raised matched by the business.”

National Friendly have an award-winning collaborative approach to community work, acting as a bridge between local organisations. The mutual insurer can point proudly to a long track record of supporting Bristol charities large and small. These include Children’s Hospice South West, SW Cystic Fibrosis, St Mungo’s and Southmead Hospital Charity, raising substantial amounts of money over the years for each.

Graham Singleton, CEO at National Friendly says “We have a 150-year history of insuring people and providing them with health & protection cover. Our partnership with Cruse is important to us, as we want to support those within our local community suffering with grief and loneliness. Our charitable and community work has a simple objective, to make a fundamental difference to local lives, both today and tomorrow. It’s important that we continue to raise awareness of the free services available to people which will enable us to deal with all kinds of grief as well as the way that we deliver those services.”

Claire ends, “Looking after those around us is in the very roots of who we are. We are constantly looking for ways to support the community we serve. We are so happy to have been chosen by National Friendly as their charity of the year and we look forward to working with them. Cruse shares a lot of the same values as the organisation, which continues to demonstrate through deeds that they really care about people within our local community.”

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