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Co-operative Funeralcare

Co-operative funeralcare is the UK,s largest funeral director-we have over 900 funeral homes across the UK and employ more than 4,000 people. We arrange more than 100,000 funerals every year. All our staff are professionally trained to the highest standards and understand the needs and feelings of the bereaved and the importance of spending time helping families to plan a funeral that truly reflects the life of an individual. In order for us to maintain the highest level of quality care and to continue improving our services, we have created ‘Our Promise’ which has 5 commitments that we will follow rigorously and strive to live up to. Our five key commitments as a service are: 1. Here for you We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so you’ll always have someone to talk to. We also have a national network of funeral homes, as well as local knowledge, so we can help no matter where you need us to be 2. Guiding you through Every step of the way, we’ll explain all the options available to you. We’ll give you all the time you need to feel confident about making the right choices for you. 3. A unique tribute to a unique life Together we can create a completely unique and personalised service – the way you want it to be. We will listen carefully to what you and your family want and offer a complete choice and flexibility in your arrangements 4. Making it clear Throughout, we’ll keep you fully informed of exactly what you can expect from us. All our documentation will be written in plain language and our estimate will outline charges in a fair and straightforward way. 5. Caring professionals We know our service can only be as good as the people who look after you and your family. Our dementia activity is part of this commitment

8 June 2015
Yorkshire and Humber
Local Alliances:
Yorkshire & Humber Dementia Action Alliance, East Riding Dementia Action Alliance

1. Action Plan

1. The National Dementia Declaration lists seven outcomes that the DAA are seeking to achieve for people with dementia and their carers. How would you describe your organisation’s role in delivering better outcomes for people with dementia and their carers?

In 2014 a number of our colleagues attended a Dementia Champions training course. They were so inspired by this training and the insight it gave into people living with dementia, that they wanted to find a way of cascading this out to the wider Co-operative Funeralcare workforce.

To this end they gained the support of management and started a programme of ‘friends’ awareness sessions in funeral homes around Yorkshire. During November & December 2014 they took 73 staff through the Dementia Friends session.

The feedback received from the staff has been almost universally positive; staff have been genuinely grateful for the sessions and have said they feel more prepared both personally and professionally.

The sessions have gone some way to removing the stigma and fear associated with dementia and have enabled colleagues to understand and be more supportive when they are dealing with families/carers who are living with dementia.

We are looking at ways to extend this programme, to involve many more staff and we will be encouraging and supporting Funeralcare staff in the different regions to also adopt this programme of activity.

We will also be considering widening out our sessions to include crematorium staff and other related services.    

2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?

One of the main challenges has been that we have had only 3 main Dementia Champions, who are able to deliver the friends sessions; this has meant that those 3 have had to do many hours of preparation and delivery.

Member website


2. Actions

  • Dementia Champions training sessions

    We will set up further Dementia Champions training sessions to give us a greater pool of in house trainers

  • Raising Awareness

    We will use the opportunities of the friends sessions to cascade knowledge out across our business and to other regions. A film ‘Good with People’ has been made of the awareness raising sessions which we will use to promote further activity. 

  • Engage with wider community

    Working on Dementia activity has put us in contact with many groups in the community who are supporting people living with dementia. We will build on these links going forward and continue to encourage Funeralcare staff to become active members of their communities.