Every year in May, Dying Matters hold an Awareness Week during which the group and its coalition members work hard to put the importance of talking about dying, death and bereavement on the national agenda.
The focus in 2017 is 'What Can You Do?' with the aim of encouraging people to get more proactive in planning for their own death and offering support to friends, family and those in the community experiencing bereavement.
Last year, the theme of the Awareness Week theme was 'The Big Conversation'. It focused on encouraging the public to talk to their nearest and dearest about what they wanted for the end of their lives and how they can plan for it.
The campaign highlighted how difficult people find it to talk about death and dying, and offered tips on how to improve the end-of-life experience for themselves and their loved ones. We took the opportunity to create a 'Big Conversation' infographic that looked at why people find it so difficult to talk about death.
Awareness Week 2017
This year, the 8th Dying Matters Awareness week, the organisation and associated groups will run a range of events from Monday May 8th until Sunday May 14th. Take a look at the interactive map on the Dying Matters website to see if there is an Awareness Week event happening near you.
Events planned include talks and coffee mornings; funeral home open days; workshops and training sessions for carers, medical professionals and volunteers; and information stalls in shopping centres and supermarkets, hospitals and hospices.
If you can't make it to a local event, Dying Matters will be hosting a Twitter chat every day during Awareness Week. Just go to Twitter and search for the hashtag #Whatcanyoudo. The chats will deal with a range of themes related to end-of- life planning and bereavement.
Monday 8th -- Finance and benefits relating to death and bereavement
Tuesday 9th -- Talking to children about death
Wednesday 10th -- Digital legacies
Thursday 11th -- Non-traditional funeral wishes
Friday 12th -- What can you do in your community?
Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th -- Your choice: chat about anything related to death, dying and bereavement.
As a supporter of Dying Matters Awareness Week, Golden Charter will be taking to Twitter to share some of the information we have created to help people understand what they can do to plan ahead for their own death and offer support to their loved ones.
Talking about death and dying is not easy, but it does make things easier for those we leave behind and end-of-life planning is the only way to guarantee that our wishes are met. Visit our blog for more information on Dying Matters Awareness Week next week.