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Dying Matters Week 2019

31st May 2019

Dying_Matters_Week_-_organ_game.jpgThis year’s Dying Matters Week from 13th-19th May saw many of our partners from across the North West Coast, and members of our ‘People’s Voice’ network, organising and getting involved in events.

Taking place in May every year, Dying Matters Week gives organisations an opportunity to showcase their services and engage with staff, patients, carers and the public to help normalise conversations about death, dying and bereavement. The theme this year was ‘Are We Ready?’ – not only for our own deaths, but also the deaths of the people we care about.

Read below about our events and activities in Cheshire, Merseyside,
Lancashire and South Cumbria and how we and our partners are
raising awareness of the importance of conversations to support care
planning that meets individuals’ personal wishes.

Dying_Matters_Aintree_16_May_2019.jpgAintree University Hospital - 15th May

Kath Davies joined members of our People's Voice at this event aimed at staff, patients, carers and members of the public. The team spoke to lots of people about bereavement services, making a will and being a carer. Other partners with stands at the event included Macmillan, Carers Trust, Woodlands Hospice, Aintree Specialist Palliative Care Team, Claire House Hospice, St Joseph’s Hospice (Jospice), Chaplains and Companion Services.

St Catherine’s Hospice, Preston - 15th May

This event was themed around ‘Are we ready?’ and focused on hospice staff being ready, going back to basics. The event featured a wellbeing corner with hand massages for staff, a pop-up clothes shop, organ donation - fit the organs back in Runshaw_visual_arts_display.jpgto 'Gary' the mannequin, a creative writing stall, the Advance Care Planning game ‘Spin the Wheel’, a virtual reality headset to explore bucket list options, a wills stall, chaplaincy team – and of course refreshments and cakes, including some donated by colleagues. 'Peace' a visual art display created by Runshaw visual arts students was also on display.

Royal Liverpool University Hospital

Throughout the week a series of end of life care themed activities took place from information stalls in the hospital foyer, highlighting the work of the Royal’s Specialist Palliative Care Unit to patients, carers, staff and the public. Staff from the SPC team and volunteers, including SCN People’s Voice member, Bob Giles, staffed the stalls.

  • Monday: De-mystifying Palliative Care - What is palliative care?
  • Tuesday: Advance Care Planning - what is it and why is it important?
  • Wednesday: Dying Matters - why it's important to talk about death
  • Thursday: Patient stories - insight into how it feels to be a patient receiving end of life care at Royal Liverpool Hospital
  • Friday: Bereavement Service - care after death

Audience_with_Prof_Dame_Sue_Black.jpgMorecambe Bay

A programme of events ran throughout the week, held at St John’s Hospice in Lancaster. These included:

Dead Good Read - a reading list of great books that include the subject of death at local libraries.

Talking Wall - for people to share their thoughts on the theme of ‘Are you ready?’

An Audience with Professor Dame Sue Black

Lancaster University’s Professor Dame Sue Black is one of the world's leading forensic anthropologists and author of the award-winning autobiographical book ‘All That Remains’. She teamed up with St John’s Hospice to host an evening on Tuesday 14th May attended by over 60 people who got to hear about her work, ask questions and enjoy a supper of ‘Pie and Peas’. Professor Dame Sue Black shared her experiences with death - from family experiences to the use of scientific skills and tools to identify victims of crime and mass disasters. Feedback from the audience was overwhelmingly positive, with requests for further evenings with Professor Dame Sue Black who will also be volunteering for St John’s Hospice.

Faith_banners_-_Dying_Matters_week.jpgFaith at the End of Life

St John’s Hospice set up a display of 10 banners illustrating 10 different religions’ approach to the end of life. The banners covered important issues such as funeral traditions, pain relief, preferred place of death and mourning rituals. Feedback has been very positive, with people asking for copies of the banners and for the information to be made available in a booklet.

Loved and Lost Photography Exhibition

People from the St John’s Hospice area took part in a famous and moving photography project developed by renowned photographer Simon Bray. To take part, each person found a photograph of themselves with their loved one who had died - a family member or a friend. They returned to the location of the original photograph with a friend and took a new photo of themselves in that same location where they spent time chatting about their loved one, that day, the memories and what they loved about him or her. Photographs were then sent to St John’s Hospice where they were displayed at the Courtyard Café during Dying Matters Week. Photographs are a vital part of celebrating memories of the person you have loved and lost and these moving photographs were incredibly popular with visitors to the hospice and staff alike.

Wirral Older People’s Parliament - 13th May

Held at The Laurels in Birkenhead, this event provided the opportunity to discuss and access information on a range of topics around death, dying and bereavement.

Dying_Matters_UCLAN.jpgUniversity of Central Lancashire

A programme of events took place all week across the campus aimed at students, staff and the public. These included Are We Ready? share, chat and think, “Can I really leave my house to my cat?” myth busting workshop, ‘Me, Earl and the Dying Girl' film, The Hidden Shark - a collaborative session exploring the complex ethical and legal aspects of dying, based on recent events exposed in the media, Digital Legacy - lecture and discussion: What is our digital legacy and how do we manage it in life and in death? - blog and podcast library.

Blackpool community events

A series of public engagement events including one featuring a decorated bus in central Blackpool led by Blackpool Hospital Trust. Various other agencies got involved and organised events at Clifton Hospital, Blackpool Hospital, Same Day Health Centre and Poulton Teanlowe Centre.



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