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Spotlight on death, dying and bereavement

Talking about death, dying and bereavement still remains an uncomfortable subject for most people and Dying Matters Awareness Week (May 8th to May 14th) is the perfect opportunity to open up the conversation.  
Hospice team with poster of 6 things people can do (cropped)

This year's theme is 'What can you do?' And we have come up with six simple ways people can support us and help make a massive difference to patients and families affected by a life-limiting illness. 


We will also be using social media throughout the week to spread the word! 


These are the six ways people can help:     


1. Myth busting. Spread the word about our care and support services and challenge misconceptions about hospice care. 

Dying Matters Week poster

One of the most common myths about hospices is that they are just a place where people come to die.


While we do care for people in their last days or weeks of life, many are admitted to the hospice for symptom control, or referred to our range of day services (including arts and craft, physiotherapy, counselling, complementary therapy).


Another fact that surprises a lot of people is that 85% of our care is provided in the community.                                       Hospice team with poster


2. Sign up to an event. " It costs £10.5m a year to cover the costs of our services and as we only receive a third of our funding from the government, every day is a fundraising challenge.


We are asking ladies to sign up to our Star Walk - " a 10k walk around Romford on Saturday, July 8th or get family,  friends and colleagues together for our first ever Bubble Rush on Sunday, May 21.    Dying Matters Week poster


3. Think about volunteering. We simply could not provide our range of specialist services without our dedicated volunteers who work in every area of the hospice and in our retail shops.


If you have any time to spare, be it an hour, a day or a few days, visit our website to find out more about volunteer opportunities.    


4. Consider learning more.  Our education team, who are based at the Pepperell Education Centre at Saint Francis Hospice, ensure staff and volunteers receive the most up to date training.


The team provide a wide range of courses for those working in health and social care and carers.


The education team can tailor any course to meet learning needs.


It is also possible to book the Education Centre as a meeting place or conference venue.


Click here to see our education prospectus.   


5. Sponsor a nurse. On Friday (May 12) we will be celebrating International Nurses Day by asking people to sign up to our fundraising initiative - Sponsor a Nurse.


Our specialist nurses are experts in life-limiting illness and care for people at the hospice and in the community.    


6. Drop a bag into retail - our 15 retail shops are an incredibly valuable source of income for the hospice. Please donate your unwanted goods to one of our shops.    


Pam Court, Chief Executive Officer at the hospice, said, "Dying Matters Awareness Week offers people a really positive opportunity to help people who are bereaved or facing a life-limiting illness.   


"We hope our list of 6 simple things will inspire people to get involved and help make a difference to their community." 


Please see the list below of the events that we will be supporting during Dying Matters Week 


  • We will have an information stand in the Pepperell Education Centre at Saint Francis Hospice throughout the week with information on the wide range of courses available.   

Monday, May 8th  


  • Lesley Grainger Practice Manager,  End of Life at Redbridge Council, will be holding a Death Café at Central Library in Ilford from 3-5pm.  

Tuesday, May 9th  


  • Bridget Moss, Head of Education at the hospice will be holding an information stand at the London South Bank University's Havering Campus from 10am to 2pm so people can find out more about the range of healthcare courses we run at the hospice.  

Wednesday, May 10th  


  • Lesley Grainger will be at Central Library from 2pm to 3.30pm to give a talk about "Let's Talk about Death and Dying."    
  • Bridget Moss and Claude Chidiac, who is a lecturer in palliative care at the hospice, will have an information stand at Barking and Dagenham College from 12-2.30pm to tell people more about the courses available at the hospice. In particular they will be promoting our Summer School's three day course on Health and Social Care. This is aimed at young people aged between 16 and 18 who are considering a career in health and social care.  

Friday, May 12th  


  • We will be holding information stands at our shops in High Road, Ilford, and in South Street, Romford from 10am to 2pm so people can find out more about the hospice's services. We are delighted to announce that Havering Councillor Linda Trew will be working with us in the Romford shop.   
  • There will also be an information stand at Queen's Hospital from 10am to 3pm.  
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