A group of organisations and companies from Colchester is going to try the impossible and get people talking about death at an event being held at Lion Walk (by River Island) in Colchester town centre on Wednesday 16th May between 10.00am and 3.00pm, as part of the nationwide annual Dying Matters Awareness Week.

Representatives from Colchester Hospital (CHUFT) End of Life Care Team, St Helena Hospice, Hunnaball Family Funeral Service and Thompson Smith and Puxon Solicitors will be available to get the conversation going!  The goal is to create a friendly space for people to ask questions about end of life care issues, such as making a will, planning a funeral or coping with bereavement.

About 1% of the UK population dies each year, which means about 1850 people, will die in Colchester this year, and each of those deaths will affect many more people in different ways.

This event, which is intended to give members of the public the opportunity to talk about death and ask any questions they have in an informal setting, is one of hundreds taking place across England for Dying Matters Awareness Week, which runs from May 14-20. For more information about Dying Matters Awareness Week, and the events on across the country, please see here.

The theme for this year’s Dying Matters week is “What Can You Do?” as it challenges people to do something practical. This might be something for themselves, like making a will, or something for someone else who is bereaved, or caring for a dying relative. This could be something as simple as cooking a meal or walking the dog, but can make a huge difference to someone coping with death or bereavement.

Fiona Ashworth who leads the Wills and Estates team at Thompson Smith and Puxon said “this is a first for us, but we’ve seen all the other events taking place across the country and we think there’s a need for it here. Talking about death can be a bit awkward at first, but it is something we all have to face. Talking about death makes it easier to plan for and to deal with when it happens.”

Claire Henry MBE, Chief Executive of the National Council for Palliative Care and the Dying Matters Coalition, said “we should not be afraid of talking about death, I know that everyone has questions and concerns, its good talk about it as we can all get our plans in place and then get on with living”.

Research from ComRes, commissioned by Dying Matters in 2016, found that only 35% of British adults had made a will, and only 30% have discussed their funeral wishes.

Please do come along and visit us on the day. We look forward to seeing you and having a chat!