good life, good death, good grief

This award celebrates a campaign or policy that that will improve experiences of living with illness, dying or bereavement in Scotland.

Award Shortlist

Childhood Bereavement Network: Cohabiting parents and bereavement benefits

After more than a decade of campaigning, a recent win for the Childhood Bereavement Network and many partner organisations has seen eligibility to bereavement benefits extended, meaning cohabiting parents and their children can now get financial support.

Getting to this point has involved the full playbook of public campaigning, strategic litigation, parliamentary lobbying and working with officials. Since 2011, the Childhood Bereavement Network has co-ordinated activity to try and influence the government to make this change, through proposing amendments to legislation, meeting with ministers and officials, and gathering and analysing evidence for the Work and Pensions Select Committee.

Key to all of this has been the tireless work of parent campaigners, particularly Georgia Elms and Vicky Anning at WAY Widowed and Young, many of whose members have been affected by this injustice. Parents Siobhan McLaughlin, Kevin Simpson and James Jackson were brave enough to appeal the decisions to deny benefits to them and their children – their court victories paved the way for change. Laura Rudd set up a public petition that quickly gathered over 100,000 signatures from people calling for the rules to be amended.

Read more here: Childhood Bereavement Network: Cohabiting parents and bereavement benefits

Social Security Scotland - Funeral Support Payment and Benefits Assessment for Special Rules in Scotland (BASRiS) BaSRiS

From summer 2019 funeral support payments replaced social fund funeral payments in Scotland. In another development new eligibility criteria for terminal illness benefits (BASRiS) ditched the rigid “6 months or less to live” rule and instead gave clinicians the power to decide based on a more sophisticated, flexible and inclusive assessment, which would fast track access at the higher band of payment.

The team at Social Security Scotland have shown dedication and perseverance in turning political intentions into effectively implemented systems for delivering the funeral support payments and terminal illness benefits. Where possible Social Security Scotland took a co-design approach to developing the new systems. They have made real efforts to share information about the new systems with the people who need it, have developed materials to support promotion by other stakeholders, and have produced a range of public-facing information about the funeral payment and BASRiS, for different audiences and in different languages: Read more here: Social Security Scotland

Marie Curie No-one should die in poverty campaign

Marie Curie is calling on the UK Government to:

  • Give dying people their state pension
  • Protect dying people from soaring energy bills
  • Support dying parents and their children

The campaign is based on Marie Curie research that indicates working age people are almost twice as likely to fall into poverty if they're diagnosed with a terminal illness than people claiming their State Pension. Forced to quit work just as their expenses skyrocket, more than one in four will spend their final days in poverty. Find out more here: Marie Curie No-one should die in poverty campaign

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Before I die I want to ...
Bereavement Charter for Scotland