Annual Report 2023

Having compassionate conversations

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  • Case Study
Unfortunately, bereavement is something we all experience and discussing grief isn’t easy. But through our charity partnership with Hospice UK, we’ve created online learning to help with this.

Setting the scene

Hospice UK, one of our PwC Foundation charities, is the national charity for hospice and end of life care. They work to ensure everyone affected by death, dying and bereavement gets the care and support they need, when they need it.

As part of our partnership, we support them in marking Dying Awareness Matters Week in the UK, a campaign which aims to normalise conversations about death and grief within communities and workplaces.

This year we took an action-based approach. Not only did we raise awareness; we also used our skills-based volunteering programme, supported with funding and input from our Community Engagement team.

How we helped

Research from Hospice UK shows that 57% of employees in the UK have experienced bereavement in the last five years. And yet, only 17% of managers feel very confident in being able to support someone who's grieving.

So when Hospice UK asked us for assistance in developing and launching a learning tool related to having conversations about grief, we wanted to help. In this case, it was our UK Academy team, (responsible for developing the firm’s learning experiences), who felt they could really make a difference to this project through their experience in learning design. 

Over a period of six months the team was supported to work on this with PwC Foundation funding and their volunteering hours - a key part of our community engagement programme, which offers all of our people up to six volunteering days per year.

With input from other specialist PwC teams on elements such as accessibility, visual design and development, they created a sensitive, interactive online learning tool: ‘Compassionate Bereavement Conversations’. This tool provides learners with the chance to develop and practise skills in how to support someone who's grieving.

“We’d been wanting to find a way for our team to use our learning design skills and volunteering time to do something that has a positive social impact at scale. We were really lucky to be connected with the Hospice UK team to create a tool that will make a big difference to people during a difficult time in their lives.”

Rossana Espinoza
Senior Learning Experience Designer

Making a difference

The training features principles and case studies based on real experiences shared by bereaved employees, including PwC colleagues, giving learners a safe space to learn from first hand examples of dealing with grief in the workplace.

As well as making this training available to our own people, the tool is also part of Hospice UK's Compassionate Employers programme which they offer to organisations to help them support and look after their employees through grief, dying and caring. 

Together, we've already made this training available to over 43,000 people.

Contact us

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Corporate Affairs, PwC United Kingdom

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