Free Events for Dying Matters Awareness Week

Charity hopes to make talking about living and dying a little bit easier

Royal Trinity Hospice has announced its programme of free events for Dying Matters week, the annual national awareness campaign which aims to open up the national conversation talking about dying, death and bereavement.

The hospice, which provides free end of life care to people across central and south west London, will be marking Dying Matters week with three events designed to provoke conversation, offering the community an opportunity to get to know their local hospice and engage in discussions around death, dying and bereavement.

Dallas Pounds, CEO of Royal Trinity Hospice, said: “Talking about death and dying is still regarded by many as taboo but the reality is, we’ll all be faced with it, and as our population lives longer, it becomes even more important to open up the conversation.

"In both practical and emotional terms, putting off difficult conversations about death and dying can cause problems and even greater anxiety and heartache later on as family members may be left to make important decisions without knowing their loved ones’ wishes.

"We have learnt from previous Dying Matters events that by providing a forum to talk safely and openly about death, dying and bereavement our community is empowered and encouraged to engage in these important conversations. We look forward to welcoming new and returning faces to Trinity with these events. We hope our guests will be inspired and will find ways to make talking about living and dying a little bit easier.”

Dying Matters week at Trinity will kick off on Monday 14 May with a special discussion hosted by Trinity’s Spiritual Lead Michael Savage and Alan Hughes, a teacher of mindfulness and meditation with the Mindfulness Association.

Tuesday 15 May will see Trinity’s annual Death Café taking place, where the hospice invites people to come together to drink tea, eat cake and discuss death. Death Cafés are a global movement aimed at giving participants the opportunity to share experiences, hopes and fears for life's great inevitability in a safe and supportive environment. Trinity’s Death Café will be facilitated again by Kate Wells, a senior social worker at Trinity.

Trinity’s Dying Matters events will close on Wednesday 16 May with a celebration of stories. Over two months, patients and their families, people who are bereaved, volunteers and staff from the hospice have been taking part in a series of creative writing workshops. The workshops brought people together by sharing the joy that comes from expressing thoughts about life, and what it means to be at the end of life. Through poetry, memoir and story, patients and their families, staff and volunteers will share their work, looking at this most important time of life.

All of Trinity’s Dying Matters week events are free but places are limited and guests will only be able to take part if they have booked into the event online.

May 3, 2018