As part of this year’s nationwide Dying Matters Awareness Week from 8th – 14th May, The Myton Hospices will be working with George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust, Mary Ann Evans Hospice, Macmillan Cancer Support, NHS Warwickshire North Clinical Commissioning Group and University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust (UHCW) to run a series of free events across Coventry and Warwickshire to encourage people to talk openly about dying, death and bereavement.
A topic most people avoid, these free local events aim to help people feel more comfortable with discussing vital issues like funeral arrangements, wills and organ donation with family and friends and offer people the chance to have a chat over coffee to open up discussions about dying.
Some of the events being held during the week include:
Monday 8th May
Rugby – St. Andrew’s Church in the town centre 10am-2pm, local organisations including The Myton Hospices, Guideposts (carers), Age UK and ConnectWELL.
Coventry – Event for UHCW staff to light a candle in remembrance of a colleague, friend or family member Faith Centre 1-2 pm.
Coventry – Radio Plus 5.15pm Ruth Nelson, Macmillan Community Mobilisation Co-ordinator talking about Dying Matters Awareness Week #whatcanyoudo
Tuesday 9th May
Rugby – A positive conversation in the restaurant area of St. Cross hospital
Rugby – Event for Rugby St Cross staff to light a candle in remembrance of a colleague, friend or family member Faith Centre 1-2 pm
Coventry – 12pm, #covmindthegap walk and talk on Compassionate Communities stories, starting from Lady Godiva statue and ending at the Belgrade Theatre, where there will be a Good Death Café. Members of Shine On group will perform a short sketch, with opportunities to buy refreshments
Coventry – Coffee and chat session held by Co-Op Funeral care at the Kempas Highway branch, 10am-12pm
Atherstone – Good Death Café event at Angel Ale House 10am – 2pm, chat, coffee and cake with George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust, Mary Ann Evans Hospice, The Myton Hospices and NHS Warwickshire North Clinical Commissioning Group
Wednesday 10th May
Coventry – An information stand at the entrance to the Rotunda Staff Café at University Hospital from 8am to 3pm, with a staff drop in for a chat, tea and cake from 2-3pm
Coventry – Coffee Morning at the Haggard Centre, Willenhall from 10.30am-12pm
HMP Onley – Conversation & Coffee for various Prison Staff around Dying Matters Week, and death, dying and bereavement in the chapel 11am-12pm
Thursday 11th May
Coventry – A positive conversation area for everyone (staff, patients and public) in the restaurant area of Union House Coffee Shop at UHCW from 8am-4pm
Coventry – Open evening at the Foleshill Road Co-Op Funeral Care, Care Centre, including a presentation, questions and answers and a fully-inclusive tour of the care centre and funeral home beginning at 7pm.
Polesworth – Good Death Café event at the Tithe Barn 10am – 2pm, chat, coffee and cake with George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust, Mary Ann Evans Hospice, The Myton Hospices and NHS Warwickshire North Clinical Commissioning Group
Friday 12th May
Rugby – St Cross ISS sponsored Dying Matters Awareness Week competition for Matrons
Coventry – UHCW ISS sponsored Dying Matters Awareness Week competition for Matrons
Coventry – Good Death Cafe @ The POD, Lamb Street 12 – 2pm
Bedworth – Good Death Café event at the Bedworth Civic Hall Old Coffee Bar 10am – 2pm, chat, coffee and cake with George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust, Mary Ann Evans Hospice, The Myton Hospices and NHS Warwickshire North Clinical Commissioning Group
Saturday 13th May
Coleshill – Good Death Café event at the Old Market Hall 10am – 2pm, chat, coffee and cake with George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust, Mary Ann Evans Hospice, The Myton Hospices and NHS Warwickshire North Clinical Commissioning Group
Sunday 14th May
Coventry – UHCW representatives speaking on the Faith Show on BBC Cov & Warks
For further details of these events and to find out more about Dying Matters Awareness Week please visit: www.dyingmatters.org
Kristy Clayton, Deputy Director of Nursing at The Myton Hospices said: “Last year exceeded our expectations with hundreds attending our event in Nuneaton. This time we want to give even more people a chance to get support and advice to make a difficult event in life just that little bit easier to prepare for. Many of us are unprepared for this life event or need support to help make arrangements for end of life for either ourselves or our loved ones. The Good Death Café is designed to encourage members of the public take five simple steps to make their end of life experience better, both for themselves and for their loved ones. These are Write your will, Record your funeral wishes, Plan your future care and support, Consider registering as an organ donor and Tell your loved ones your wishes.”
Dr Sarah MacLaran, Consultant in Palliative Medicine said:
“At UHCW, we’re so proud to support this campaign and to work with local and national organisations to promote Dying Matters Week. Some people can find it difficult to talk about dying and care towards the end of life but it’s really important to have these conversations. During Dying Matters Week we will be holding events at University Hospital in Coventry, the Hospital of St. Cross in Rugby and in the Community in collaboration with our partner organisations. This year, we’ll particularly be raising awareness of our team of specially trained volunteers known as ‘Support for the Dying Companions’. These dedicated and compassionate volunteers offer vital companionship to our inpatients in the last hours and days of their life.”
Ruth Nelson, Macmillan Community Mobilisation Co-ordinator said:
“When I have talked to people and explained what a Good Death Cafe is about some have really welcomed them, saying that we don’t have the tools to talk about death, dying and bereavement enough. One man told me about all the complications in his family of not being prepared when someone died in his family and all the stress that this added when disagreements started, and welcomed the opportunity to talk about it, because nobody really talks about death.”
Claire Henry, Chief Executive of the Dying Matters Coalition and the National Council for Palliative Care said:
“Every minute someone in England dies, but many people still feel uncomfortable talking about end of life issues. Talking about dying, death and bereavement is in everyone’s interests as it can help ensure that all of us can get the care and support we want, where we want it, at the end of our lives. Through being more confident in talking about dying, we can make a big difference.”