Loss is a universal experience that will affect us all at some point in our lives. Our vision is to create a loss positive culture, that enables us all to accept grief and loss as a part of life and to support each other better.
The Loss Project aims to help people to accept loss as a part of life and provide opportunities for personal reflection and inner work, collective experiences and connection as well as growth spaces to journey through the many faces of grief. Our mission is to challenge the stigma and taboo, cutting through the barriers of difficult conversations and subjects that can often remain unspoken. We always explore the light and share of grief throughout our work recognising the importance of bringing joy and hope as well as being with the painful experiences of loss. We put people with lived experience first, whilst building capacity, awareness, and confidence for us to support ourselves and each other. Through training, workshops, and bespoke creative community programmes, we aim to support communities to become more open and connected.
The Loss Project is creating an archive of insights and learning to help individuals, communities and organisations to acknowledge loss in a healthier way in whatever context. We work with and acknowledge all losses including living losses, such as jobs, relationships, connection etc as well as the loss of loved ones. We are interested to understand the interaction between losses, and how we can create a culture that acknowledges, embraces and even celebrates this complex human experience.
We are also growing a collective of facilitators; academics; designers; artists; technologists; and experts by experience; who collaborate with us to deliver work and to push the boundaries and challenge the status quo of how we support each other with grief and loss. We bring a fresh and creative edge to organisations, communities and others, who are interested to create a ‘loss positive’ culture in society, which is nourishing, accepts loss as a universal experience and a normal part of our life cycles, as well as exploring the transformational potential that grief and loss can catalyse for individuals and wider society.
Our values flow through all of our work.
We recognise every individual’s experience deserves to be heard.
We help people find ways to live with loss.
We challenge the stigma around all sorts of loss.
We create a generative space for dialogue.
We place value on using creativity to express loss and find meaning in it.
We will do no harm to people or planet.
In living into our values, we adopt the following approach:
We aim to be connected and creative in our approach.
We place value on the status quo.
We are inquisitive and curious.
We put honesty and integrity at the centre of the work.
We never knowingly discriminate.
We recognise the strength in each other – doing with and by, rather than to and for.
We are collaborative and build reciprocal partnerships.
We can sit with discomfort.
We welcome all emotions into our spaces.
Our commitment to diversity, and challenging racism and discrimination is really important to us. We want to educate ourselves and learn, be open, and be challenged when we are not getting it right. We also recognise that our core team are all currently white women, and as such only brings a certain set of perspectives. As we are still fairly new, we hope that as we grow, we will build a collective of people who bring a range of perspectives and voices, and our forthcoming action plan will form a basis to progress that. Our diversity manifesto and action plan is a work in progress, but the below outlines our commitments in our work:
We will make conscious and deliberate decisions to ensure that people of colour, women, and other under represented groups are represented positively in our purchasing power, whether through our collaborators, suppliers or team; we seek to work with people who bring a range of perspectives and life experiences.
We will experiment with our governance structures to ensure we create an environment where people from lots of different backgrounds can participate and have a voice in shaping our strategy and direction.
We will seek new members of our freelance collective from communities of colour and other under represented groups. This includes committing to training and development programmes to support with skills and access where needed.
We are careful about the language and imagery we use; ensuring that we do not create work only in our own image.
We actively challenge any institutional structures, language and behaviour that perpetuates racism and discrimination.
We promote our work in places where people of colour and other under represented groups access.
We honour that we are all different, and find ways to celebrate and amplify the voices of others.
We listen deeply, and make changes if we don't get it right, even if it makes us uncomfortable.
Committed to the Cause
Founder and Director
Carly brings a wealth of expertise in the design, development and growth of community-led and volunteering programmes throughout East London and beyond. She set up a community day programme for adults with learning disabilities, and a local befriending service with Outward, a support and care charity, as well as the first Hackney FoodCycle Hub, a community meal rescuing food that was edible but would otherwise normally go to waste.
With the start of her career in the private sector, managing large locum doctor contracts in the NHS, combined with her success in the Third Sector, she brings a wide range of skills and experience to this work.
She also spent six years in the hospice sector, developing an award winning End of Life and social isolation programme and now loves leading The Loss Project, coaching and mentoring and freelancing for special community projects.
Carly completed an MA in Social Entrepreneurship at Goldsmiths University College London in 2020. Her research considered how to grow community approaches in a social enterprise context, and the conditions that might make this successful. She is a lover of pineapples, speaking Spanish, boxing, trying her hand at many creative pursuits, and all things community.
Claire Henry MBE RGN BSc(hons) PGDip
With over 30 years working in clinical, managerial and quality improvement within the NHS and 3rd sector, Claire has an abundance of experience in palliative and end of life care
Claire brings flexibility, energy, humour, creativity and curiosity to all she does focusing on what makes the difference to people in relation to end of life care.
Claire has led national programmes and independent reviews including the NHS End of Life Care Programme which supported the implementation of the National End of Life Care Strategy for England and National Choice offer for end of life care “What’s important to me”.
Claire has been actively involved in community engagement and developments nationally including Dying Matters which she led for 3 years. She was also co- founder of the National Lung Cancer Forum for Nurses.
In 2013 Claire was awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours for her services to improving end-of-life care and in the same year received a lifetime achievement award from the International Journal of Palliative Nursing.
More recently Claire has been working independently supporting health and social care organisations in a variety of aspects relating to palliative and end of life care.
During any free time, Claire has she loves watching rugby and taking long walks with her very lively springer spaniel.
IS THE LOSS PROJECT A CHARITY?
The Loss Project is a Community Interest Company Ltd by Guarantee. As a social enterprise our purpose driven business we use our profits and surplus to reinvest back into our work and our community. So far we have done this in a variety of ways including delivering free creative writing workshops, monthly support groups and free downloadable resources. We also give discounts to people who are not able to afford our services.
WHAT AGE DO I HAVE TO BE TO ACCESS THE LOSS PROJECT?
Our work is aimed at people aged 18 and over but we do work with partners for specific children and young people's projects.
WHAT TYPE OF LOSSES DO YOU WORK WITH?
We work with any type of grief or loss which can make our work broad and niche! A lot of our work is often centred around bereavement but we have also worked with job loss, loss of community, connection, wellbeing and many others. The more we are able to accept grief and loss as a part of life and find ways of being affirmed in who we are, the more we believe we are able to live the lives we choose.
DO YOU OFFER THERAPY AND COUNSELLING?
We do not offer therapy or counselling sessions but we are happy to signpost people if that is what you are looking for. We consult with therapists or counsellors if and when our work requires it but we are not qualified to deliver these kinds of services.
DO YOU OFFER BEFRIENDING?
We don’t offer befriending services but what we do offer brings people together to find connection in different ways. Our group online events offer places for people to connect with each other alongside their experiences as well as our other projects.
HOW DOES THE LOSS PROJECT WORK?
We have a range of training, workshops, community events, free downloads and paid for services and products you can access. We mainly work on a project basis with partners and collaborators to deliver specific projects or pieces of work. We tell people about what we are currently working on through our email newsletter and social media.
WHERE DOES THE LOSS PROJECT WORK?
Carly is based in East London and Claire is based in Rutland but we work across the UK. We are not place based and this means that we always seek local partners if undertaking place based work. We have worked with people all the way from Scotland, Liverpool, Oxford, Norfolk, Reading, London, Exeter and everywhere in between. We have even done some work with a group in Vitoria, Spain. Our extended facilitator network means that we draw upon a wide range of expertise depending on the nature of the project and where it is based.
HOW ARE YOU HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR YOUR WORK?
We produce annual reports that outline our financial situation as well as our work and the impact we’ve created. This is a work in progress and we are also developing a Critical Friends group that will challenge and cheer lead us as well as providing accountability for our work.
WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO ENSURE YOU ARE NOT PERPETUATING DISCRIMINATION?
You can find our commitment to doing our very best in ensuring that our work is not white centric and that we are working with and alongside people from all walks of life on this page. We take this very seriously and whilst it is always in development we are continually educating ourselves and seeking to learn more so that we can get it right.
HOW ARE YOU FUNDED?
We have a blended business model which means we accept contracted and commissioned pieces of work from clients, like delivering projects, consultancy, training or coaching and mentoring. We also offer other products and services; the sales of these help us to ensure we can keep the organisation running on a day to day basis. We also access grants from time to time, but are focused on sales and trading income to ensure we are sustainable for the longer term. We also accept donations via Buy Me A Coffee. As a social enterprise we reinvest our profit or surplus back into the organisation and offering some our products and services for free to those who may not normally be able to afford it.
Ensuring we are transparent
Here we will upload our annual reports. These are really important so that we can share our learnings, highlights, challenges and our future plans. It's also a great way for us to reflect and look back on all we've achieved! If you have any questions about our annual reports, please contact Carly, Founding Director at firstname.lastname@example.org.