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Dying Matters Awareness Week 2024

Running from 6-12 May, this year the week's theme is ‘The way we talk about Dying Matters’

Every year, people around the country use Hospice UK’s Dying Matters Awareness Week as a moment to encourage communities to get talking in whatever way, shape or form works for them.

As a Hospice, we believe everyone in our communities should have support, dignity and choice when facing dying, death and grief.

We are keen advocates for talking about all aspects of dying, death and grief.

This year’s theme, ‘The way we talk about Dying Matters’, focuses on the language that we use, and conversations we have, around death and dying – specifically between healthcare professionals and patients, their carers and their families.

Open and timely discussions regarding death and dying are crucial for providing quality end-of-life care.

However, obstacles such as uncertainty and societal taboos surrounding death discussions, and ambiguity about who should initiate these conversations may prevent patients, cares, and families from understanding the situation fully or accessing necessary information and support.

We’ll be using the week to provide guidance on initiating conversations about death and dying to help people feel informed, supported, and empowered.

Events you can get involved with

Awareness stall at the Hospice and Haverhill Hub

On Tuesday, 7 May, in the afternoon, the Hospice’s Hardwick Lane site will host an awareness stall.

We’ll be encouraging fellow healthcare professionals and the general public to come and speak to us.

Additionally, we will offer tours of our Hospice to give people a closer look at the compassionate care environment we provide.

On May 10, members of our Spiritual Care and Chaplaincy and Community Nursing Teams will be at our Haverhill Hub, in Camps Road Haverhill from 1-4pm in the Haven Cafe.

Supporting fellow healthcare professionals

On Thursday, 9 May, we will also be supporting West Suffolk Hospital with their informative event.

Staff from our clinical teams will be at their open day in the hospital’s chapel from 10am to 3pm and will again be providing tips and advice on how to have the right conversations around death and dying.

Book launch: Hope for the Best, Plan for the Rest

As part of their efforts to raise awareness for the week, St Elizabeth’s hospice education team are inviting members of the public and healthcare professionals to join a special book launch at their hospice in Ipswich on Thursday 9 May, 2pm-4pm.

Dr. Sammy Winemaker and Dr. Hsien Seow will be reading from their new book ‘Hope for the Best, Plan for the Rest’ which outlines the 7 key ways to take charge and remain in control after a life-changing diagnosis.

Find out more

Support and advice suggestions from Hospice UK that could be useful

Dying Matters Awareness Week, which is organised and run by Hospice UK, signposts to several resources and organisations which may help. 

Please click on the links below to view their resources.

(These are third-party resources, not created by St Nicholas Hospice Care).

Ataloss offers a national signposting service to help bereaved people find local, specialist and national support.

Child Bereavement UK provides information and support (including a helpline) when a baby or child of any age dies or is dying, and when a child is facing bereavement.

Compassionate Employers is Hospice UK’s workplace support programme, helping organisations and their employees to build an open, compassionate culture to support staff through grief, caring responsibilities, or a life-limiting illness

Cruse Bereavement Support is a national bereavement charity, which provides support, advice and information to children, young people and adults when someone dies.

The Good Grief Festival is a community of people talking about grief in a refreshing and honest way, with virtual talks, workshops and webinars held at online festivals throughout the year.

The Planning Ahead tool leads you, step by step, to think about your own values and the things that matter most to you in life and in dying. It will explain some of the treatment decisions that may lie ahead and ask you to think about whether the length of your life or the quality of the way you live matters more to you.

Hospice UK’s guide to end-of-life care provides clear and concise guidance about what to expect, what to ask, and where to get support when you or a loved one are facing end-of-life and bereavement.