Background Dying Matters Dudley is a coalition of organisations, encouraging communities in courageous conversation and creating opportunities for people to speak freely and honestly about death and dying.
Aims To enable people to have conversations and support one another, preparing and planning for end of life. To provide an initial platform during awareness week, with a varied itinerary of events, incorporating practical support, literacy, arts and theatre, whilst reaching out to marginalised communities.
Methods Steering group of partners including funeral directors, hospice, NHS trust, public health, soul midwives, libraries and other organisations. NHS funding allowed free events listed below, a bespoke website and social media platforms. Activities at events included advance care planning, arts and crafts and a ‘before I die’ board.
Four death cafés hosted in libraries, one specifically for young people;
‘The Diary Rooms’ camper van, touring the region filming video diaries aimed at people living in deprived areas, BAME & LGBT communities, learning disability centres, homeless people’s hostel and higher education college;
Craft and information event hosted at funeral directors aimed at children under five;
A theatre performance and lecture;
Hospital based drop–in hub.
Results All events were well attended by members of the public. Video diaries were collected to share across the borough. A social media profile created curiosity and was successful in encouraging people to attend events.
Conclusion The majority of people engaged with events and positively embraced conversations about death and dying. Following this success we have planned:
Attending an under 5s crafts day supporting activities and providing child bereavement support resources to adults;
Homeless people’s hostel open day;
Planning for other regular events and Dying Matters Week 2020.
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