• Gemma Allen

Are We Ready? By Dying Matters Dudley

By Gemma Allen, Dying Matters Dudley, The Mary Stevens Hospice

Dying Matters Dudley aims to enable people to have conversations and support one another, preparing and planning for end of life. We wanted 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.

We have a large steering group of partners including funeral directors, hospice, NHS trust, public health, soul midwives, libraries and other organisations and NHS funding allowed free events, website design and social media platforms.

Decoupaging miniature coffins at 'Dying Natters' at H. Porter and Sons Funeral Directors

Students writing on the Before I Die board at Dudley College

Activities at events included advance care planning, arts and crafts and a ‘Before I Die’ board as well as:

· Four death cafes hosted in libraries, one specifically for young people

· Poetry workshop

· ‘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 hostel and college.

· Craft and information event 'Dying Natters' hosted at funeral directors aimed at children under five

· A theatre performance and lecture

· Hospital based drop in hub

Palliative care team at Russell's Hall Hospital hosted a drop in hub

People and communities engaged with all events and positively embraced conversations about death and dying. Following this success we are attending a local under fives, beach and crafts day where we will be doing activities and providing child bereavement support resources to adults. Dying Matters Dudley have also been invited to attend hostel open day and following a debrief at the end of June planning for other regular events and Dying Matters Week 2020!

The Diary Rooms

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