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P-29 Life matters… so does death. Show the world that dying matters
  1. Kristy Clayton1,
  2. Charlotte Wonders2,
  3. Rachael Talbot3 and
  4. Kay Greene4
  1. 1George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust, Nuneaton, UK
  2. 2NHS Arden and Greater East Midlands CSU, Birmingham, UK
  3. 3King Edward VI College, Nuneaton, UK
  4. 4Mary Ann Evans Hospice, Nuneaton, UK


An example of true collaboration. Healthcare professionals approached their local college to promote Dying Matters Week 2018. The college and students responded with enthusiasm and excitement. English students produced posters and a press release to start conversations, media students engaged with social media discussions, art students produced an exhibition to give a visual representation of grief by working with patients to create canvas artwork, and the drama students wrote and performed a play. The students stated; ‘The project intrigued me. I hadn’t heard of Dying Matters before but I know people who have been affected by mental health and grief. I thought it would be a different way to talk about it.’ Another student said: ‘It made me think a lot more about how we approach death and how it was shown in the play. We really do need to talk about it a lot more. It’s kept quiet when someone’s passed and I personally find it helpful to talk about it.’ The performance and exhibition were attended by professionals, patients and members of the public. One professional stated ‘I’ve worked in palliative care for 25 years and she just got it. When I saw the play, I just cried. It’s so genuine.’ The patients involved spoke positively about the experience of working with the students and the interaction between the two stages of life. A local MP said ‘I’m so impressed at how a group of young people came together to approach a difficult subject. The way that they were able to articulate the way we all feel into such brilliant words, is extraordinary.’ The exhibition and play, as well as the whole experience, was unique; to empower young people to think of death as a positive and a part of life, is so important.

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