10th May 2019

How ‘legacy bench’ will tackle taboos

A travelling bench aimed at opening up conversations around death is set to arrive outside Worcester Cathedral.

The painted ‘Legacy Bench’, belonging to St Richard’s Hospice, will be in place in the cathedral’s West Garden from Wednesday, May 15 until Monday, May 27.

From there, it will travel to different places across the city during 2019 – with its locations revealed via the hospice’s social media channels.

Tricia Cavell, fundraising director at St Richard’s Hospice, said: “We hope people will use our beautiful bench as a chance to take some time out: to sit and reflect on what they’d like their ‘legacy’ to be in the world.

“Maybe you’d like to be remembered for your kindness to others, or bravery – or simply your smile!

“This forms part of our wider work in getting people thinking and talking about death and bereavement – ultimately helping to break down taboos around this subject and preparing for the end-of-life.

“We appreciate these can be difficult topics to discuss, so we hope offering a peaceful place to think will help get the conversation flowing.”

The fibreglass bench has been decorated by Worcester Stands Tall artist Katie Hodgetts, who painted the hospice’s giraffe Snowdrop.

Ms Hodgetts has used the same blue-and-white snowdrop design she created to cover her giraffe – adding in poignant lines of poetry and words.

The Very Reverend Peter Atkinson, Dean of Worcester, said: “I think the Legacy Bench is a wonderful idea and we are delighted that it is spending the first stage of its journey in the cathedral gardens.

“I hope it will be a way of helping all of us remember our loved ones with gratitude and think about what we would like to be remembered for.”

The hospice also hopes the bench, donated by Crowngate Shopping Centre, will help raise awareness of its dependence on gifts in Wills to fund its care.

Currently, one in six of the patients and families we support are cared for thanks to legacy gifts. To find out more about leaving a gift in your Will, visit strichards.org.uk/gifts-in-wills

The hospice also offers a free Will-writing service, with the option to leave a gift, called Farewill. Find out more at strichards.org.uk/gifts-in-wills/farewill