Runner up for national bereavement award

News and Blog

St Catherine’s Hospice, in partnership with employee benefits specialists Unum, were thrilled to come runner up for the Bereavement Project of the Year award at the National Council for Palliative Care Awards yesterday (22 February).

Karen Norman, Lead for Patient and Family Support Services at St Catherine’s collected the runner up award at a prestigious awards ceremony, held as part of the National Council for Palliative Care’s 25th anniversary, at the House of Lords. The short listing recognised St Catherine’s and Unum’s joint efforts in developing an innovative bereavement toolkit to help managers feel confident when supporting bereaved colleagues.

For many people, going back to, and coping with work after a bereavement can be an enormous challenge, but many employers don’t feel confident providing people with the vital support that’s needed. St Catherine’s and Unum’s digital toolkit aims to help employers by giving information and advice on the effects of grief and bereavement, how it can impact people’s work and practical things employers can do to help people create a sense of normality, structure and focus which can help their recovery. Since its launch in May 2016, the toolkit has been used by more than 400 people.

Karen Norman said: “It’s fantastic to be nationally recognised for the work we’ve been doing around helping employers manage bereavement. For many of us, the workplace is where we spend most of our time so when you’re bereaved it’s important that your colleagues and managers feel able to support you. We hope lots of businesses will make use of the toolkit, either independently or as part of wider training, to make a positive difference to the support people get when they return to work after a bereavement. This can have a huge impact on their future commitment and loyalty to the company.”

Dr Christopher Schenk, Chief Medical Officer at Unum said: “Our research shows 30 per cent of workers would consider leaving their job if they didn’t feel cared for by their company. As an employee benefits specialist, we work with employers to provide help and support to staff when they need it most and we’re committed to making a difference. It’s been a privilege to work with St Catherine’s.”

To view St Catherine’s and Unum’s toolkit please visit: or to find out more about how St Catherine’s can work with your business please contact Laura Kelly, Corporate Fundraiser on 01293 447365 or click here