A group of leading West Yorkshire based businesses and organisations have joined forces to create a week-long series of free events as part of a national campaign to encourage people to plan for and talk more openly about death.
Dying Matters Awareness Week will run from Monday 8th to Sunday 14th May 2017 and Guiseley based Full Circle Funerals and Walker Foster Solicitors have organised a range of events focussing on the campaign’s primary theme which asks ‘what can you do?’ All the events are free of charge and are open to people across all age groups.
Sarah Jones of Full Circle Funerals, says: “Unfortunately death is a taboo subject that so many people choose to ignore. However, talking about death, as well as planning for it, usually gives people peace of mind, helps them to support their loved ones and means that peoples’ specific wishes are much more likely to be met. As a member of the Dying Matters Coalition, we’re delighted to be supporting Dying Matters Awareness Week. All the events we’re organising are free of charge and will offer a valuable insight into the difference that people can make when they open up about the difficult subject of dying.”
Maxine Heppenstall from Walker Foster, says: “Because of a widespread reluctance to talk about death, increasing numbers of people don’t have a will, meaning when they die, intestacy rules determine who inherits what. This sometimes takes years to sort out and can cause major problems and disputes for family members. The best way to avoid this is to have a professionally written and detailed will in place that is reviewed whenever there are changes to family or financial circumstances. Hopefully Dying Matters Week can help to raise awareness about the importance of making a will, and therefore it’s an obvious campaign for us to support.”
As part of the week, Burley Oaks Primary School is also planning to involve a group of pupils in creating a school bereavement policy. Head teacher Claire Lee says: “Children read about death in their stories, watch it in films and may have experienced a pet dying. Without realising it, they have exposure to the concept. For families, discussing death can be a real concern and many tend to avoid it. It is our responsibility to ensure that children know they can talk to one another and trusted adults to be supported properly. We can make it easier for them to talk to us if we are open, honest and at ease with our feelings.”