Coles hosts first virtual coffee morning

Human connection – it’s a powerful thing. Over the last few months, we’ve all recognised how isolating it can feel without face-to-face contact or a hug from our loved ones when we need it most. We know how important it is to stay in touch, using whatever digital means possible, and throughout the pandemic, we’ve been working hard to stay connected to our community. As the latest in our community outreach, last week, we hosted our very first virtual coffee morning.

Hosted by our own Francesca Coles, we sat down with a cup of coffee to talk about things that are impacting our community, our charity partners and to share a little bit of an update around what’s happening at Coles. Here are some of the main things we talked about:

Coping with post-lockdown anxiety

When the UK went into lockdown in March, it seemed like our world had been turned upside down. Far away from the typical hustle and bustle of our every day, it forced us to press pause and step out of our usual routines, something that caused a lot of discomfort and feelings of isolation. Yet, now that lockdown restrictions are starting to ease, this seems to be causing a lot of anxiety across the UK and within our community too. Although the change and uncertainty have been difficult to deal with, together we can get through it.

We loved these tips from Country Living Magazine and we thought we just had to share…

  • Talk to loved ones around you – it’s one of the best things you can do for your mental health. If you’re worried about things going back to ‘normal’, say it. Reach out to those around you that you can trust whether it’s friends, family or even your employer.
  • Plan to do the things you love – nothing makes us happier than planning in an activity that we enjoy. Now that restrictions have eased, make time for those things you haven’t been able to do over the last few months whether that’s visiting your favourite restaurant, visiting friends or hitting the gym. But don’t push yourself out of your comfort zone if you aren’t ready.
  • Review your priorities – when times get tough, you realise what’s important you. Reflect on where you were and the things you want to carry forward beyond lockdown.
  • Be careful where you read your news – stay informed but beware of overconsumption of news. Try to limit your intake and only read credible news sources – no one needs scaremongering stories, especially at this time.
  • Remember things will take a while to adjust – it will take a little while before things return to true normality, especially as many people are still shielding. But taking a phased approach may also mean that it has less of an impact on your mental health. We don’t have to rush back to our old routines. Slowly, slowly…


Our charity partners

We couldn’t host a coffee morning without paying tribute to our fantastic charity partners, 2 Wish Upon a Star and City Hospice. Charities are finding this period particularly difficult. They’ve not been able to fundraise in the same way over the last few months but have both continued to do some fantastic, vital work to support the local Cardiff community throughout the pandemic. It’s important that we remember them during this time and beyond.

That leads us on nicely onto our upcoming charity event. On 11 October (Francesca’s 40th birthday!), Team Coles is sponsoring a charity abseil at the Newport Transporter Bridge with 2 Wish Upon a Star with the aim of raising over £6,000. Crossing the River Usk, we’re encouraging our community to task part as we sail down the river and raise some funds for a fantastic cause. If you’d like to learn more, sponsor us or take part, click here>>>


Growing the Coles team

We have had a lot going on over the last few months, and we’ve been working hard to ensure our families get the support that they need during this incredibly difficult time. Naturally, this has meant growing our team. So, we’ve welcomed Joe, Libby and Andrea to our Family Support Team to help our customers through the funeral process and their grief journey. We also welcomed Ross to our Funeral Operatives Team, and he will be part of the team supporting our families on the day of the funeral. Welcome to all – we’re thrilled to have you on board.


The Coles Education Programme

You may have already heard, but as part of the Coles Bereavement Hub, we launched our Education Programme, helping children to learn about death, dying and bereavement starting with Birchgrove Primary School. We would love to see this in schools across South Wales but sadly we can’t deliver this face-to-face in so many locations, especially now. So instead, we’re working to launch the online edition to make it accessible to everyone. This will be completely free, and we’ll be launching this over the next few months. We’ll keep you updated on this.


And, finally…Coles growth plans

*Hot off the press* We touched on this quite briefly, but we have some exciting growth plans in place for the next few months. We are looking to open our third funeral home in Cardiff and we’re hoping that with this new location, we’ll be able to provide our services to more families across Cardiff when they need us the most. Watch this space…


If you missed the event, grab a cuppa and can catch up here.