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Equitable bereavement care for all

What is the purpose of this study?

Bereavement and grief can have a serious impact on your overall health and well-being. Some people get support from their families, friends and local communities, other people can benefit from more formal support from bereavement support services. These services can offer practical and emotional bereavement support. Often people are not told about what support is available to help cope with grief or the support is not provided in the way that is needed. Support services reach less than 1 in 20 people who come from an ethnically diverse community. It is important to understand why support services are not reaching these individuals, and what services can do better. The ethnically diverse people we are focusing on include those who self-identify as being from any ethnically diverse community and may include Arabs, Asian or Asian British people, Black, Black Carribean or Black British people, people of mixed heritage and Roma, Gypsies and Travellers.

How will we do this?

We aim to do this by:

  • Speaking with people from ethnically diverse communities who have been bereaved. This will help us to understand better their grief experiences, support needs and how bereavement services can improve.
  • Speaking with people working at and with bereavement support services. This will help us to understand what they are doing to improve access and meet the needs of people from ethnically diverse communities.
  • Identifying ways to improve support. We will bring these findings together to develop ways to improve support for bereaved people.

How can I take part?

If you are someone who has been bereaved and are from an ethnically diverse background, you can take part in a one-to-one interview with a researcher or be part of a group discussion. During the interview or group discussion, the researcher will ask about your experience of bereavement and the support you may have received from your family, community, and other services, such as your GP or bereavement services. The researcher will also ask for your opinions on support services and how they could be improved. You can choose to share as much or as little information as you want, and you are free to decline to answer certain questions if you do not feel comfortable doing so.

If you work at a bereavement service and would like to tell us about how you include and support ethnically diverse communities, you can fill in this short survey ( We may then follow up with you about taking part in an interview and your organisation being included as a case study.

Funder: The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). This study has been reviewed and given favourable opinion by King’s College London Ethics Committee (Reference number: HR/DP-23/24-39898).

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I take part in the study if I live outside England? No, you would not be able to take part if you live outside England as the approval we have is limited to England.

How can I take part in this study? Please email if you wish to take part.

Will I receive payment for taking part? Yes, bereaved people will receive a £20 voucher for taking part. You will be reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses (e.g., travel) related to taking part in the study.

Will my taking part in this study make a difference? This study has been commissioned by the Department of Health and Social Care. Findings from this study will directly feed into government policy recommendations which will be jointly developed with the Department of Health. We will also develop other resources to maximise impact from this research. This will include a film (including actors describing the bereavement experiences) and online and face-to-face events for members of the public, bereavement support providers and policy makers.

Where can I receive bereavement support? The Grief Support Guide provides information on the variety of bereavement support that is available in the UK, from self-help resources and helplines to peer support groups and grief counselling. The Guide also includes details of support for specific groups of bereaved people, e.g. widow(er)s, children, cultural and faith groups and people bereaved by particular types of death. The free guide is available in ten languages and can be downloaded on the National Bereavement Alliance website


Working with people who have been bereaved and bereavement support services, we will bring our findings together to develop ways to improve support for those who are bereaved. We will have extensive input from community organisations and people from ethnically diverse communities who have been bereaved. We will produce scientific publications and hold two engagement events. We will produce a short film that includes real-life quotes and stories of bereaved people, maximising the impact of our research.

Our Partners

University of Bedfordshire logo

University of Bedfordshire

University of Hull logo

University of Hull

Cardiff University

Cardiff University

University of Bristol

University of Bristol

University of Leicester logo

University of Leicester

Project status: Ongoing

Principal Investigators


Funding Body: NIHR Policy Research Programme (PRP)

Amount: £414,891.96

Period: September 2023 - March 2025