2023: a year in review

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2023 was an amazing year for Let’s Talk About Loss, with plenty of opportunities to talk about loss and grief. Here’s just a few headlines of the year!

Organisational capacity

I – Beth – was delighted to increase my hours this year, meaning I was able to dedicate two working days a week to Let’s Talk About Loss. We also hired an exceptional freelance Social Media Manager, Chrissie, who has been transforming our socials, and we’ve worked with over 80 volunteers to deliver grief support across the UK.

I’d also like to thank the Trustees of Let’s Talk About Loss. For the first time ever, we met up in person this year, and it was very exciting. Here’s a photo of us together:

This year, Debbie Bradley and Bekki Field stepped down from our Board of Trustees – thank you both for your hard work and dedication. We welcomed Latoya Laryea and Elisha Matthews as new Trustees, both with excellent skills and buckets of enthusiasm!

Meet ups

We ran 155 meet ups this year, which included 4 themed meet-ups, 8 Students Talk About Loss meet ups, and 143 location-based meet ups. For the first time, we recorded the type of meet ups, and we found that meeting for dinner, a catch up in a cafe, a walk / ramble outdoors and an online Zoom meeting were the most popular meet up types.

We’d love you to join us at a meet up in 2024. Sometimes we meet for a pub quiz, in the summer we often organise picnics, and we have been known to meet for a dessert – yum!

Core projects

We run lots of other projects, as well as our meet ups. Our Creative Writing About Loss group has 236 members and is a great place to explore how writing can help you process grief. The group is facilitated by Bridget, who would love to welcome you.

Our Bereavement Book Club met 5 times this year, and there are 240 members in the Facebook group! If you like reading books about grief, we would love to see you there.

Emma, our Blogs Assistant, edited 16 blogs this year. You can read them here! If you would like to share your story for our blog, please email us on blog@letstalkaboutloss.org.

Increasing our inclusivity and accessibility

A key focus for 2023 has been diversity, equity and inclusion work. Taz Rasul, a consultant in this space, has been working with us all year to help us identify gaps and areas we need to improve. Taz created an inclusion guide entitled ‘Doing justice to young grievers in minority and marginalised groups’ and has identified five underserved communities at LTAL:

  • Disabled young grievers
  • Minority ethnic young grievers
  • Young grievers of faith
  • LGBTQ+ young grievers
  • Young grievers who are men

We’re delighted to have secured funding for 2024 which will allow us to continue working with Taz and our Advisory Boards on this important work.

In November 2023 we held our first ever Men Talk About Loss event. We had 21 guys attend at the Lucky Saint pub in London to hear a panel discussion with Ben West and Shocka. The feedback was overwhelming positive, with lots of chat and connection. We’re already planning the next event!

Big achievements

Finally, here’s a few exciting things that happened in 2023!

  1. We won a British Podcast Award! Persevering: Grief as Told by Young People, won the Editor’s Choice Specialist Award at the BPAs, with Jess the Project Lead and members of the Youth Board who created the podcast going along to the ceremony to collect their award. After the win, the podcast was featured on the Spotify homepage for a while, which led to a spike in listeners!
  2. Three new groups started, taking us to 38 groups in total! Visit the pages for the new groups: Portsmouth, Halifax and Newquay.
  3. We were selected as the charity partner for the short film Good Boy, which follows a young man as he grapples with grief. The main character is played by Ben Whishaw, and the film has recently been longlisted for an Oscar, which is so exciting.
  4. We started a weekly email update with meet up details – another way for people to stay updated on our activities. You can subscribe here.

Thank you to everyone who has been part of Let’s Talk About Loss this year. We’ve had such a great year and we are so thankful for all your support.

Beth French, Director

If you’d like to make a donation to support our work in 2024, we’d really appreciate it. As a small charity, our work relies on kind, generous donors! Thank you.