Bereavement charity excludes dead dads and loving brothers

The UK’s leading bereavement charity has taken the bizarre decision to exclude dead dads and loving brothers from a winter campaign to support children who have lost a parent or a sibling.

Cruse Bereavement Care’s Big Hug campaign aims to support the 1 in 29 kids in the UK to deal with the death of their mum, dad, brother or sister.

But for no apparent reason, the charity has chosen to exclude dads and brothers from its promotional materials – despite the fact that the Cruse helps male and female clients to overcome the death of women and men in their lives.

But in the case of The Big Hug – men don’t get a look in – with the campaign materials stating:

“what these children will miss this winter are the small, yet irreplaceable, comforts of the season: a hug from their mum; opening presents with their big sister on Christmas morning….”

No mention of a hug from dad or opening presents with big brother, the loss of an important man in your life, is not it seems, even worthy of a Big Hug!



Glen Poole is UK co-ordinator for International Men's Day, Director at the consultancy Helping Men and news editor of insideMAN magazine. Follow him on twitter @HelpingMen or find out more about his work at

Posted in NEWS, News From The Men's Network
3 comments on “Bereavement charity excludes dead dads and loving brothers
  1. glenpoole says:

    We had a response from Cruse and interestingly they help nearly 4 times more women than men. This is what they said about their campaign which highlights the loss children feel when losing female relatives like mums and sisters, but not male relatives – but that’s okay cos they referred to ‘mates’……..!!!! Response below;

    Dear Glen

    Many thanks for your email, we take it that you are referring to our ‘Big Hug’ postcard? There was no conscious intention to refer more to women and girls then men or boys: indeed the word ‘mate’ is inherently more male than female so we do not feel that it is innately biased.

    The Big Hug Team

  2. Caroline says:

    From a personal point, I feel it’s unfair that you excluded the fact that two out of three of the case studies on the Big Hug website are male. Furthermore, your post title is highly misleading – Cruse exists to support any bereaved person that wants help, regardless of age or gender.

  3. glenpoole says:

    Thanks for the reply Caroline

    The post above was prompted by a postcard campaign about bereaved children that Cruse produced and chose to exclude dead dads and bereaved brothers from – hence the headline

    I was personally shocked when I read the card – and read it several times to make sure I hadn’t misread it

    The inability of Cruse – to see how this would occur to dad or man who – for whatever reason – has felt ever excluded and isolated in any way – such as separated dad or a bereaved family member – is even more shocking – and might help explain why Cruse is so ineffective at reaching men

    I am pleased you have taken time to respond to our post – we are still waiting for Cruse to tell us what proportion of the children and young people you help are male and female

    in the meantime, could you please tell us why nearly 80% of adults you help are female and why you are four times more successful at reaching grieving women than you are grieving men

    Many Thanks


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