Looking back on 2023

December 2023


We want to say a HUGE thank you to everyone that fundraised/donated/supported WAY and our members in 2023. It means so much to us.

Let's take a look back on just a small selection of incredible highlights from the past year...

Supporting each other

Sharing tips

Looking after your mental health, coping with grief during the holidays, self care, dating, returning to work and more. Our members shared their experience and offered tips to support others to navigate life after death.

WAY's Annual Big Picnic

The sun came out for WAY’s Big Picnic weekend, enticing more than 400 WAY members, friends and family to roll out their picnic blankets at 38 picturesque picnic locations from North Wales to Norfolk and from Jersey to Aberdeen.

Check out photos from some of the yummy picnics that were held.


Group of people looking out over the coast taking photos

Weekends aWAY

More than 60 WAY members and children headed to PGL Caythorpe Court near Grantham for a weekend of adventure.It was a great opportunity for WAY members and their families to spend some time in the company of other people who understood what they’re going through. Watch videos from the weekend here.

WAY returned to the Pembrokeshire Coast for the second year in early May: it was an action-packed couple of days and members had the chance to enjoy the amazing countryside and do something completely different, while finding support and friendship. Find out what they got up to.

Specific resources for those who have been widowed young

WAY aims to provide peer-to-peer emotional and practical support to ALL young widowed people –married or not, with or without children, inclusive of sexual orientation, gender, race and religion.


Trans man holding WAY branded pride flag at a Pride event

This year we launched a new section on our website offering specific resources. This included support for those widowed within the LGBTQIA+ community, the military community and cultural and ethnically diverse communities.

We will continue to add more resources and stories from members to support others in 2024 with plans to expand this section in big ways!

Find this support

Partnerships

We were thrilled to announce two partnerships with the child bereavement charity Winston's Wish and Irwin Mitchell Solicitors. 

Together, WAY and Winston’s Wish can provide full circle support for the whole family following a bereavement. 

As part of the partnership with Irwin Mitchell, they took over the financial and legal helpline for WAY members and will be offering clinics, podcasts and webinars.

Find out more about what these partnerships will offer to those who have been widowed young.

 

Campaign Success


Mum and young child smiling

Campaigning for Bereaved Cohabiting Couples

After a decade-long campaign cohabiting parents with dependent children who need support following the death of their partner were finally able to apply for bereavement benefits.

We asked some of our members what this change in the legislation means to them. Read their stories here...

Our work here isn't over - there is an estimated 21,000 bereaved families who may be entitiled to backpayments before the deadline of 9 February 2024.  Help us to #FindThe21k

Find how you can apply for this support

Bereavement Policies

We supported Hospice UK’s #DyingMatters campaign to encourage everyone to come together and talk about death, dying and grief in the workplace. We shared the importance of workplaces having a bereavement policy in place and offered a template for employers who are looking to implement one.


Mum and young child smiling

Blank Space

Currently, women who are widowed and unmarried have to undergo a traumatic and extremely unclear (and often costly) court process to register their partner’s name on their baby’s birth certificate. We want to change this.

We don’t believe it’s fair that some babies have a Blank Space on their birth certificate where their father’s name should be… Find out more about our latest campaign.

Fundraisers

No matter how big or small your fundraising challenge may be, WAY is incredibly grateful for all your support in 2023 to raise much-needed funds to help our members. This year we had it all - head shaves, beard dyes, cycling, running, mountain treks and aquatic adventures. From the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU!

  • Despite the rainy weather CrossCountry Trains Regional Director John Robson and the amazing team that came together to raise money for WAY this week by walking 14 miles between Lichfield Trent Valley Station and Hednesford along the Heart of England Way. They raised an incredible ​​​​​​ £4127.75! Find out more about their challenge.
  • When Carol spotted the opportunity to take part in the RideLondon cycle challenge at the end of May, she realised she wanted to do something to give back to the charity that has been her lifeline over the past three years.  Read why Carol decided to take part...
  • Two teams of intrepid WAY members – joined by another team of enthusiastic supporters from the law firm Irwin Mitchell – went head to head at the Kingston Upon Thames Dragon Boat Race last Sunday to help support young widows and widowers across the UK. See who came out on top.
  • 18 colleagues from the Walsall-based company Mainstay Recruitment took on an epic Snowdon challenge to raise funds and awareness for WAY Widowed and Young.
    It’s an impressive feat to get to the top of Mount Snowdon at all, particularly in challenging weather conditions. And some of the team managed to reach the summit THREE times in one day! Read about their challenge.
  • Speaking of epic challenges.... WAY supporter Matt ran a gruelling seven marathons over seven days in memory of his brother-in-law Clax. That’s like running from London to Sheffield – a staggering 295,000 strides! He shared a daily diary about his challenge.

WAY Members Hub


Our AGM was the perfect opportunity to unveil our brand new Members Hub that launched earlier this year. Thank you to all our volunteers who've worked incredibly hard behind the scenes to make this happen. 
The Members Hub offers a safe space to connect with other members who understand your grief and loss and can support each other with this. There are events posted across the UK and lots of groups to join so you can chat with likeminded people. Choose from groups based on locations, hobbies, interests, identity and types of bereavement.