Hospice staff are set to get out in the city to help people talk about death and grief as part of a national campaign week.
St Richard’s Hospice, based in Worcester, has a variety of events planned for Dying Matters Week, which runs from May 13 to 19.
During the week, the team will be outside Worcester Guildhall and Droitwich Library with its giant, four-sided ‘Before I Die’ board – inviting passers-by to share their hopes and ambitions.
Alice Spearing, Engagement Officer at St Richard’s, said: “Death and grief are topics many of us shy away from talking about.
“The concept of dying is so emotionally challenging, it can be very difficult to open up with loved ones about it. But, as we all know, dying is a part of life – so why not talk about it?”
The theme for the campaign is ‘Are We Ready’ and considers the practical and emotional steps surrounding the end of life.
Opinion polls show only about a third of people have written a Will or thought about their funeral, and even fewer have thought about their end of life care, or made a decision about organ donation.
“Of course, no-one should face this subject alone and we are passionate about supporting each other to feel less frightened or worried about death,” said Ms Spearing.
“We can’t wait to get out in the community and start this conversation with people – let’s get talking!”
The team will be taking the board to Worcester’s Guildhall on Tuesday, May 14 and Droitwich Library on Friday, May 17. Other activities include joining residents at St Paul’s Hostel for Dying Matters Week arts and crafts.
And on Saturday, May 18 the hospice is teaming up with SpeakEasy NOW, the Worcestershire Association of Carers and Worcestershire County Council to host a free information event for people with learning disabilities and their loved ones titled ‘Growing Older and End of Life’. This is free to attend and is at Droitwich Community Centre from 10am to 3pm.
The event will include:
• Stalls from older adulthood, end of life and learning disabilities organisations
• Small workshops for carers or people with learning disabilities
• How to have your say about your plans for growing older
• Information about Wills, property and the law
• Information about health
• Signposting for the whole family about your needs as you get older
• Planning what will happen when your family or carers get older or die
• Practical tips for what you can do to plan at any stage of life
To book your place visit growingolderendoflifeevent.eventbrite.com or call SpeakEasy NOW on 01905 774247 for more information.
Dying Matters is run by national hospice and palliative care charity Hospice UK, and brings together a broad coalition of organisations related to dying and bereavement, such as hospices, solicitors, funeral directors and grief support services.
Tracey Bleakley, the CEO of Hospice UK, said: “It’s always amazing to see the creativity and imagination that people bring to their Dying Matters events.
“I hope many people will take advantage of this chance to talk about a difficult topic in a friendly and supportive way. It isn’t easy to talk about death, but it’s important that we all do.”