Published on: 8 May 2019

St Benedict’s Hospice and Centre for Specialist Palliative Care Centre in Sunderland will be encouraging one of the most challenging but important conversations of all at a special event on Monday May 13th – the start of Dying Matters Awareness Week 2019.

The theme for the week this year is ‘Are We Ready?’

Louise Watson, palliative care modernisation facilitator with South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust which runs the hospice, said: “This is a question we should all be asking, whether it’s in relation to being ready emotionally, perhaps spiritually, for our own death and the deaths of those we care about, or the practical considerations of wills, funeral planning, organ donation etc. 

“For many people, the answer to the question ‘Are We Ready?’ will be no. So many of us shy away from the practicalities, and the emotional aspect of being ready for death is, of course, particularly challenging. The question is best faced with the help of others. Talking about death or dying won't make it happen sooner but not talking about it won't make it go away so we want to encourage communication to help people to cope with dying, death and bereavement.”

The hospice will be hosting a drop-in for public, patients, staff and volunteers from 10am to 4pm on May 13th to encourage conversations and provide useful information on topics such as funeral planning and financial advice. The event will be supported by a wide variety of organisations and businesses including Citizens Advice, Age UK, Sunderland Carers Centre and Marie Curie nurses.

Dying Matters Awareness Week drop-in on Monday, May 13th, St Benedict’s Hospice and Centre for Specialist Palliative Care, St Benedict's Way, Ryhope, Sunderland, from 10am to 4pm. All welcome.