PRESS RELEASE: Tackling the taboo

We launch the biggest ever survey into views on death

Today (3rd May) we've launched the biggest ever survey into death, dying and bereavement. We need your help to uncover what stops people from talking about these important topics and how we can help to tackle this taboo.

Supported by a number of national charities linked to death and later life such as British Red Cross, Child Bereavement UK, Dying Matters, Remember a Charity, Sue Ryder and The Children’s Funeral Charity, we're aiming to reach tens of thousands of people across the UK, gathering the views of consumers, funeral directors, charities and Co-op members – via

  • Our initial research showed that on average, Brits will suffer their first loss at the young age of 21 years old,
  • And of the people we asked, 41% admitted feeling unable to talk about and express their emotions at the time of this loss,
  • With more than half believing that more open conversations about death, dying and bereavement would have helped them to cope with their loss.
  • Over two two-thirds of people we spoke to also thought that talking about death and dying needs to be easier and become more ‘normal’.   

So, as a result of these findings, we've commisioned this survey and are looking to get the nation talking about these very important, but widely avoided subjects. 

Get involved and win!

The survey is easy to complete, taking around 10 minutes and will close on Thursday 14th June.

At the end of the survey there will be the opportunity to enter into a prize draw. This will be for a chance to win one of 10 prizes, including an iPad, four £50 Co-op Vouchers or five £20 Co-op Vouchers.

Terms and Conditions for the prize draw are available here.

Robert MacLachlan, Managing Director of Co-op Funeralcare and Later Life Planning, said: "We know that talking about death is one of the hardest conversations people have to have. It’s a huge national issue and that’s why we’re encouraging the nation to get talking about this important subject, as a huge number of us believe the way we approach it needs to change. If we had more open conversations about this topic, just think of the positive outcomes that could be achieved.

"Making arrangements for a loved one’s funeral is a huge responsibility, with everyone having their own personal wishes. No-one likes to think about their own mortality, but having a discussion and planning ahead can have huge benefits in terms of being able to do the right thing for loved ones when the time comes."

Jeff Brazier, Presenter and author of The Grief Survival Guide, commented: "Everyone’s personal relationship with grief is completely unique, however, it’s so important to know that you’re not alone in what you’re going through.    

"Having experienced the impact of death and bereavement first hand, I can’t stress enough how important it is to talk about the topic and you’re never too young for it to impact you. The more we talk about it, the less a taboo it becomes – helping us as a nation to become more comfortable with one of life’s inevitabilities."

Jeff Brazier is in the studio today with our Director of Funerals, David Collingwood talking about the launch.

For further information contact

Lauren Pogson

Senior PR Manager

Alexandra Wilson

Press and Media Relations Manager

Sarah Pyatt

Press Officer