Event in Norwich aims to make death easier to talk about

Dying Matters event at The Forum last year. Pictured at the Norwich Death Cafe, left, Su Squire and

Dying Matters event at The Forum last year. Pictured at the Norwich Death Cafe, left, Su Squire and Kayla Bainger. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

People from across Norfolk and Waveney will be encouraged to plan for their future, speak openly to their loved ones about death and make 'dying well' a natural part of a good life at a special event next week.

Taking place at the Forum in Norwich on Tuesday, May 9, the drop-in event has been organised to tie in with national Dying Matters awareness week, which this year has the theme 'what can you do?'

It will feature a range of information stands and a Death Café, where people will be able to enjoy a cup of tea and chat informally about the issues associated with death and dying. Visitors can also find out more about the Thinking Ahead Yellow Folders, which give people the chance to specify their care wishes at the end of their lives and have been in use across Norfolk and Waveney for the past two years.

The event has been organised by Richard Jewson, the Lord Lieutenant for Norfolk, and is supported by the area's five clinical commissioning groups (CCGs).

Maggie Tween, head of cancer, palliative and end of life care with NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney CCG, said: 'This important event will bring together various organisations from across Norfolk and Waveney to raise awareness of issues relating to death and dying and the services which are available as people reach the end of their lives.

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'Many people still feel uncomfortable when it comes to talking about death – and that's something we're keen to change. We hope that we can break down barriers, change behaviours and encourage people to discuss their wishes openly with their friends, family and relatives so that dying well becomes a natural part of a good life.

'We'd encourage as many people as possible to join us at the event to find out more, join in the conversation and find out what they can do to prepare for the end of their lives.'

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Richard Jewson, Lord Lieutenant for Norfolk, said: 'I am delighted once again to be able to host the Dying Matters event here in Norfolk. It provides a great opportunity to highlight improvements being made to palliative and end of life care services. The NHS, social care, charities and private companies are working together to improve coordination of the range of services that people and their carers might need at the end of their life.

'It is also a good opportunity for members of the public to think about the theme of Dying Matters. We only have one chance to have a good death. If we all play our part, learn to talk about death, and plan ahead, then we will achieve a better outcome.'

For more information about the event, which runs between 9.30am and 4pm, contact Sue Spooner on 07887 984343 or by email at suespooner51@btinternet.com

To find out more about Dying Matters awareness week or other events happening in the area, visit www.dyingmatters.org/page/AwarenessWeek2017

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