Hospices get creative for Dying Matters Week

Categories: Community Engagement.

St John’s Hospice in Lancaster, working with the Lancaster Dying Matters partnership, has been hosting Rankin’s breath-taking exhibition ‘Alive: In The Face of Death‘. Through images of people living with a life-limiting or terminal illness, people who have faced death and survived, and people who work in the death industry, the exhibition aims to explore and challenge perceptions of death.

St Joseph’s Hospice held an Interfaith Forum, with guests from the Christian Mennonite tradition, Zoroastrian Faith and Alevi Faith talking about their practices of life including the death process. St Joseph’s also made a short film, in partnership with Schema at The University of East London, in which patients, volunteers, service users and staff ‘Face the Music’ by talking about life, death and dying, considering questions such as “how do you want to be remembered?” and “what is the most important lesson your have learned in your life?”

Peace Hospice Care in Watford had a Royal visitor this week. HRH Princess Michael of Kent accepted an invitation to contribute her ‘Bucket List Wish’ to the interactive display board at the hospice. HRH penned her heartfelt hankering for “another grandchild please” to the numerous  wishes from visitors, patients and staff.

Lewis-Manning Hospice decided to replace its regular annual conference this year with an ‘End of Life’ debate on the question: “Is there really dignity at the end of life, and if there is, what does that look and feel like for patients and their families?”

LOROS and the De Montfort University-LOROS Centre for the Promotion of Excellence in Palliative Care organised an event on what we can learn from historical attitudes towards death and the afterlife, including during the time of Richard III.

Havens Hospices used the week to promote its bereavement training courses, which aim to help anyone working closely with people whose lives maybe affected by death such as in hospitals, care homes, places of worship and schools.

Hospices around the UK have been holding a range of Death Cafés, open days/evening, drop-in sessions, roadshows and workshops, to encourage people to talk openly about the subject of death, offer practical advice on advance care planning, making a will and planning a funeral, and highlight local support.

One such event, hosted by Norfolk and Suffolk Palliative Care Academy, in partnership with University Campus Suffolk, Suffolk County Council and St Elizabeth Hospice, also encouraged people to think about what they would like to do before they die:

Peace Hospice Care has also been asking people about their ‘bucket list’ ambitions and started week with a screening of the the heart-warming film ‘Bucket List’ – as did Rennie Grove Hospice Care.

Myton Hospices have taken a different angle and have been asking: “If someone you love was dying what would you want for them?”:

And the week is not over yet.

This Sunday, Thorpe Hall Hospice in Peterborough is holding ‘A Fair for the Living About Dying’. Based on the idea of a wedding fair, the exhibition will bring together a number of exhibitors including funeral directors, coffin makers, solicitors, party planners, florists, funeral celebrants and healthcare charities.

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