Every year, Dying Matters and its coalition members host a fantastic range of events and activities around the country with the aim of getting people talking about dying, death and bereavement and making plans for their end of life.
This year sees the sixth annual Dying Matters Awareness Week, which runs from 18 to 24 May 2015, and the coalition needs your help to get as many people as possible thinking, talking and acting.
A Dying Matters Awareness Week event can be large, small or anywhere in between, and there are a host of resources to help you to make it a success.
A number of hospices already have plans for the week, for example:
- The Butterfly Hospice is taking over its local radio station for two hours each day during the week. They will be broadcasting from within the radio studio as well as from the hospice and other locations, interviewing staff and volunteers from the hospice, supporters and people who have experienced the hospice services.
- A number of hospices, including St Catherine’s Hospice in Preston and St Gemma’s Hospice in Leeds, are holding drop-in session or workshops where experts will be available to give advice on a number of topics relating to planning for the end of life, such as writing a will, planning a funeral and arranging organ and tissue donation.
- St Joseph’s Hospice in London has a whole programme of events for the week, including a Death Café, a free screening of the Tim Burton film ‘Big Fish’, and a ‘Twitter takeover’, where a team of clinic and support staff will answer questions around death and dying.
Resources and guidance
This year’s theme will focus on the simple message: “Talk, Plan, Live”. Three eye-catching postcards represent the three parts of the message, and provide advice and information on the reverse.
There are also posters and pop-up banners, as well as ‘awareness packs’ with a range of Dying Matters leaflets, DVDs and merchandise. You can order packs or individual resources from the Dying Matters online shop.
To help you plan, there is a section on the Dying Matters website where you’ll find a step-by-step guide on how to get the most out of your activities, as well as a list of previous events, to give you inspiration.
Visit the Awareness Week hub for details on how you can get involved, and keep in touch with Dying Matters via Twitter (@DyingMatters) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/DyingMatters) to highlight what’s going on in your area. Don’t forget to use the #YODO (You Only Die Once) theme, which was so successful during awareness week 2014.