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Getting Ready for Dying Matters Week 2018

23rd February 2018

Kath_and_Sharon_at_Dying_Matters_Awareness_Launch.JPGYou may have heard of Dying Matters but did you know that it has over 32,000 members across England and Wales? The movement’s members are working hard to change public knowledge, attitudes and behaviours towards dying, death and bereavement by helping people talk more openly and to make plans for the end of life.

In preparation for this year’s Dying Matters Week taking place from 14–16 May 2018 Kath Davies, Palliative and End of Life Care (PEoLC) Quality Improvement Project Manager and Sharon McMonnies, Macmillan Project Assistant. attended the Dying Matters Awareness week launch event in London earlier this month. It was an opportunity to network with other professionals in the field, share experiences and ideas for promoting and holding events during Dying Matters Awareness Week.

Last year, deemed the most successful year to date, over 500 events took place, involving over half a million people. This year the focus is on involving the community to consider what plans or wishes you and your family have for your end of life. Innovative ideas such as an origami ‘fortune-teller’ were discussed as a means of starting conversations and getting people thinking about what they would like.

Dying_Matters_Week_2018_new.jpgLast year the SCN’s PEoLC Network held two events, one in Liverpool World Museum and the other in Harris Museum, Preston. Our team, including patient representatives from our Cheshire and Merseyside ‘People’s Voice’ focused on encouraging conversations around death and dying.

Speaking about the Dying Matters launch event, Kath Davies said:

What a fantastic day learning about all the resources available to start conversations about death, dying and bereavement!”


Here’s a selection of some of the inspiring presentations we heard on the day:

Author Kevin Toolis spoke about his book ‘My Father’s Wake’ in which he wrote about the death of his father in Ireland and the Irish wake.

Linda Magistris, Chief Executive and Founder of The Good Grief Trust shared the difficulties in finding the right support following the death of her husband. The website at the Good Grief Trust offers information on over 550 support services and charities that people can contact or signpost others to. Visit

What a fantastic day learning about all the resources available to start conversations about death, dying and bereavement

Steph Nimmo, author of ‘Was this in the Plan’ talked about her experiences following her daughter Daisy’s diagnosis of  Costello Syndrome, a life limiting condition and the death of her husband Andy from cancer. Visit

Rebecca Patterson from Good life, Good Death, Good Grief focused on her work to encourage more open and supportive attitudes and behaviours relating to death, dying and bereavement in Scotland. Their website offers a variety of resources for use at events to encourage discussions. Visit

Mireille Hayden from Gentle Dusk relayed some of the challenges she had faced setting up and organising festivals. Visit

Chris Stothard and Carole Clark from Leeds Dying Matters Partnership offered information on the series of events they had organised, along with ideas for promoting. This had included a brass band! Visit

North West Coast events during Dying Matters Week 2018

Look out soon for more information about events the team will be organising across the region during Dying Matters Week to encourage people to discuss and share their wishes for their end of life.

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