Led by the National Council for Palliative Care (NCPC), the week is now in its eighth year and aims to open up conversations in communities about death, dying and bereavement.
The theme and accompanying resources for the week were launched in London in late January and Wirral Hospice St John’s at the beginning of February.
Talking about the 2017 theme, Toby Scott, NCPC’s Communication Manager says: “This year’s theme is about exploring about what you can do for yourself, for your family, for your friends and for your wider community in times of grief and bereavement.“
Among the ideas shared in the campaign leaflet are: planning your funeral, encouraging your family to share their digital legacy details, supporting friends who have been bereaved in practical ways such as doing household chores, and volunteering at a local hospice.
Members of the Dying Matters Coalition are expected to host hundreds of events in pubs, clubs, cafes, libraries, shops, health settings, schools and hospices across England and Wales. Many hospices get involved, seeing the week as a key part of their public engagement activities.
Julie Gorry, Chief Executive of Wirral Hospice St John’s comments on this year’s theme: “At Wirral Hospice St John’s we strive to help people understand the preparations that can be made for end of life situations, and how, by taking these steps, they can help to put their minds at ease over practical matters. The theme of ‘What Can You Do’ for Dying Matters Week resonates very strongly, and we are glad to support it.
This gives us an opportunity to be part of a national move to helping patients and families cope with the end of life, and I am confident that other hospices around the country will take the same view.”
Sue Wixley has recently joined the Dying Matters Steering Group.