Almost 1000 people across central and southwest London participated in events run by Royal Trinity Hospice to celebrate Dying Matters Week . The theme of the week was the Big Conversation and was aimed at encouraging people to talk openly about dying, death and bereavement.

The week began with Trinity’s first ever Death Café. Attended by 15 people with a wide spectrum of interests and motivations, the event was very well received. One participant said “I didn’t think I had any difficulty in talking about dying, [but] I now feel even lighter and I can talk about dying to others with even more ease”.

On Wednesday, Trinity welcomed 15 carers for an Open Day which showcased the range of support available for those supporting someone approaching the end of life. The event was run in partnership with the Carers Network and designed to bust some of the myths around hospices. One carer said, “Coming to the hospice has been an eye opening experience. I had no idea there was so much care available here - it has been truly fascinating.”

On Thursday, over 25 people came to the hospice to listen to Mark Vernon, the renowned philosopher, therapist and writer. His talk explored the ideas of ancient Greek philosophers around life and death and was followed by a Q&A session. On Friday, over 30 people turned up to see designers Lilith and Kay, whose project Odds and Ends provides an accessible, user-friendly way to encourage people to talk and plan for death.

Throughout the week, Trinity’s 25 charity shops displayed memory trees in their shop windows, where shoppers and passers-by could ‘leaf a memory’ for a loved one who has died. The event was very popular among shoppers with over 800 messages left - one shop received 30 messages in one day!

Megan Veronesi, Head of Service Development and Communications at Royal Trinity Hospice, said “We know talking about death and dying isn’t to everyone’s taste, but this week shows there is an appetite in our local community to have a conversation about this issue. It’s been great to welcome lots of new faces to the hospice and to make new connections with other people who are passionate about making living, and dying, a bit easier for everyone through better planning. A huge thanks to all our speakers and everyone who came along to one of our events.”

If you are interested in attending events at Trinity, keep your eye on the events section of our website, our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages, or alternatively you can sign up to our newsletter on our website.