Dying Matters week

Published: May 9, 2016

Richard House calls on community to talk about death and dying

As part of the Dying Matters Awareness Week (9-15 May 2016) Richard House Children’s Hospice is holding several events including a Death Café and a Live Q&A, in order to encourage people to talk more openly about dying, death and bereavement and lift the taboos associated with these topics.

The theme of Dying Matters Awareness Week 2016 is “Big Conversation”, inviting individuals to engage more in death related conversations as not talking about it does not mean it will not happen. Whether it is through sharing their wishes with someone close to them, registering to become an organ donor, writing a will or making an effort to speak to someone who has been recently bereaved, members of the public are encouraged to take small actions to start the much bigger conversation.

The key event of the week will be the Death Café for Richard House staff and volunteers, held on 12th May it will provide a place for people to come together and talk about death in a peaceful and relaxing manner. The café will be led by Richard House chaplain Tristan Alexander Watts who has many years of experience dealing with issues related to death and bereavement.

Another important event will be the hospice’s very first live Q&A that will take place on Friday, 13th May between 1-3pm. People will be able to chat to several Richard House representatives and ask questions about palliative care, dying, death and bereavement. Hopefully the anonymous setting for the chat will help individuals to open up and ask questions they might not have had the opportunity to enquire about before.

Richard House Children’s Hospice will also be turning to social media to ask its supporters, families, staff and volunteers how they would like to be remembered, asking them to share images, ideas and plans and compiling them all on a wall created in the hospice dining area.

And finally Richard House Sibling Film Club for siblings, whose brothers or sisters are in Richard House care, have made a short film dedicated to Dying Matters week that will be available for public viewing.

Peter Ellis, chief executive of Richard House Children’s Hospice, said: “It’s a fact of life that everybody dies, yet so many people feel uncomfortable discussing death, dying and bereavement. Dying Matters Awareness Week is an ideal opportunity to talk about issues around death with friends and loved ones”.