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P-40 a matter of life and death: leading conversations from the fringe
  1. Sharon Hudson
  1. Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice, Birmingham, UK


What’s it all about?BrumYODO is a collaborative of citizens from across the arts, health, death industry and much more. Above all we are citizens of Birmingham who create opportunities to bring conversations about death and dying out into public spaces.

Our evolution We began from a small conversation in a pub (all the best conversations are) about a Death Café three years ago. This year we ran a festival – ‘A Matter of Life and Death’- in Dying Matters Week. It was a vibrant, multi-focused event in the heart of Birmingham, composed of creative arts, films, photography, theatre and talks tackling difficult topics. We are all volunteers and this year received funding from the Arts Council. Evaluation is still in process but footfall, engagement and attendance were extraordinary. Many conversations were had about life, death, hope and creativity.

So how is this leadership?Free from the boundaries of organisations and systems our little team are free to create. It has brought together new networks, connecting those who worked in parallel. It has freed the creative aspects of ourselves and in doing so stretched ‘What is possible’. It has generated something which feels owned by Birmingham and its citizens.

So what now?We believe we have a social commitment. The need for meaningful conversation and action for end of life care is real and now. We wish to create bigger networks of communities who return the focus of end of life care back to people.

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