Hospice aims to break end of life taboos over coffee and cake at unique Death Cafe

Categories: Community Engagement.

Frank discussions about death over a cup of coffee and cake will be had when Ashgate Hospice hosts a unique Death Café next month.

The North Derbyshire charity is inviting people to attend the free event at The Batch House food hall in Chesterfield on Sunday 14th May. 

The Death Café, which takes place between 3pm and 5pm, aims to increase awareness of death and dying with a view to help people make the most of life. 

From discussing what music people want played at their funeral to fearing the death of a loved one – the hospice’s no-judgement session is open to anyone.

The conversation, although led by a facilitator, will become a natural exploration of the group’s thoughts and feeling towards the end of life.   

Shelagh Freeman, End of Life Facilitator at Ashgate Hospice, who has helped organise the event, said: “It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but perhaps a coffee and a slice of cake is just the ticket to get people to talk about a subject that is often avoided!

“Despite the events of the past three years people still find death and talking about it uncomfortable, but talking about death can only be a good thing.

“Not only does coming to terms with your mortality mean you’re more likely to live life to the full, but being open about it means we can support each other, our families and ourselves when the time may come.

“Our Death Cafe doesn’t have to be a morbid concept – it’s an opportunity to share a safe space, have open and honest conversations and make the most of our finite lives. We’re all going to die so we might as well eat cake and talk about it!” 

The hospice’s Death Café is being held in conjunction with Dying Matters Awareness Week, which takes place between 8th and 14th May. 

The hospice says the discussion group is not a grief support or counselling session, but a member of its Supportive Care team will be in attendance to support participants if needed.

The Death Café concept has gone global after being launched in 2011, with thousands of participants getting involved worldwide. 

You can find out more about Ashgate Hospice’s Death Café and how to can get involved on the charity’s website.


Photo caption – Shelagh Freeman, End of Life Facilitator at Ashgate Hospice, has helped organise the Death Cafe event


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