Hospices, hospitals and care providers join forces to promote discussions about dying and bereavement

Dying Matters Week. EMN-170427-140434001
Dying Matters Week. EMN-170427-140434001

Seven health and social care organisations from across Lincolnshire, who are members of the Lincs and Borders End of Life Care Providers

Group, have joined forces to encourage people to talk about more openly about what they can do to plan ahead for the end of life.

The organisations have been working together to plan a week of activity during national Dying Matters Week, running from May 8 to 14. Events planned include a Death Café, coffee morning and several stalls across the county encouraging open and honest conversations about dying, death and bereavement.

Jane Bake, chairman of Lincs and Borders End of Life Care Providers Group and Director of Innovation at St Barnabas Hospice, which has charity shops locally in Sleaford and Ruskington, explained more about the importance of health and social care organisations working together.

She said: “For families knowing what a person wants, as they enter the last few days or weeks of their life and for their funeral, is a gift.

“Whilst it can be difficult to have these conversations it is even more difficult not to know what is important to someone you love. I would encourage as many people as possible to attend an event and have these important conversations.”

The organisations involved include: Age UK Lincoln and Kesteven, Butterfly Hospice, Carers First, Lincolnshire Community Health Services, Lincolnshire East NHS Clinical Commissioning Group, Macmillan cancer support, St Barnabas Hospice and United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust.

Dying Matters Week is now in its eighth year and raises awareness of the importance of talking about, and planning for dying, with family members and loved ones.

View the county wide guide online at StBarnabasHospice.co.uk to find an event in your area.

○ Lincolnshire Co-op will be hosting and supporting a number of coffee mornings and stands around the county during this special week to give people the opportunity to discuss death and funeral-related matters in a relaxing, open environment too.

Colleagues from funeral homes in Lincoln will also be at a stand at the Waterside Shopping Centre with St Barnabas from Monday May 8 to Sunday May 14 between 10am-4pm.

It is also a chance to find out about the different elements that can be incorporated into an individual’s funeral, such as unique transportation, music and readings, to make sure it truly is a celebration of life.

Head of Funerals David Dernley said: “Death isn’t a popular topic of conversation for many people, but our funeral colleagues want to create a space for anyone to come along to and openly talk about bereavement and their end of life plans.

“Planning for death is important as it can make the process much easier on your loved ones when the time comes, and gives you the chance to have the send-off you want to have.

“We want to break the taboo around death and help people gain more understanding on the topic, and hopefully visiting a coffee morning or simply popping into your local funeral home to find out more will be beneficial to our members and customers.”

The Society is also supporting nine local hospices as part of their Community Champions scheme, which recently raised over £290,000 for local homelessness charities across the area.

Between March and June, colleagues and members of Lincolnshire Co-op will be fundraising through a variety of different activities as well as volunteering in hospices.