Hackney hospice campaigns to end taboo surrounding dying

St Joseph’s hosts events to encourage public to talk more openly about death

A series of free events is being held by Hackney’s St Joseph’s Hospice to encourage residents to think and talk about the taboo subject of death and dying.

The hospice in Mare Street cares for the terminally ill and those with life limiting conditions.

However, it wants to raise awareness with the community about end of life issues which people find uncomfortable to talk about.

It’s all part of Dying Matters Awareness week which aims to encourage people to talk about their own end of life issues with friends, family and loved ones in order to make ‘a good death’ possible for the 500,000 people who die in England each year.

The public are being invited to an event in London Fields between 3-5pm on Monday May 16 at an event wryly titled Dying for a Cuppa, where they can meet hospice staff and find out more over tea and biscuits about the services it provides and raise any questions they have.

The hospice has teamed up with pensioners’ charity, Age Concern, on Tuesday May 17 between 10.30am and 12.30pm to host a will-writing workshop.

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Local charity, Down to Earth, will be on hand with information about funeral planning.

A special conference is being organised by St Joseph’s and Richard House Children’s Hospice ion Newham at the London Muslim Centre in Whitechapel on Thursday, May 19

from 1.30 pm to 5,30pm so both hospices can discuss how local people can best be supported and gain better end of life care,

And on Friday, May, 20, the hospice is hosting a tea party in its garden where visitors can find out about services, discuss their needs and wishes, record their personal experiences on a graffiti board m as well as take part in an arts project and listen to St Joseph’s community choir.

Sarah Burnard, who is running the events at St Joseph’s Hospice, said: “Dying Matters Awareness Week is an opportunity for people to put their natural fears and to one side.

“Every minute someone in England dies, but many people still feel uncomfortable talking about end of life issues. Everyone deserves a good death, and this is more likely to be achieved if we discuss it early on,” she added.