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Let’s Talk About Death – Breaking the Taboo

Posted on 2nd May 2017

Heart of Kent Hospice is hosting a series of events during a national awareness campaign to encourage people to be more open about death, dying and bereavement.

Dying Matters Week runs from 8th-14th May 2017 and this year’s theme, “What Can You Do” challenges people to take action and be proactive; whether it’s making a Will, talking to loved ones about their wishes, or supporting the local community by volunteering or fundraising for their local hospice.

Heart of Kent Hospice will have representatives at its café, Heart of Flavour, in King Street, Maidstone on Tuesday 9th and Thursday 11th May. Visitors will be able to find out more about Dying Matters Week and what they can do for themselves, their family, friends, and the local community. On the Tuesday afternoon and Thursday morning, the Hospice’s Family Services team will be on hand to offer advice on having those difficult conversations and supporting loved ones who may have suffered a bereavement.

Visitors to the Hospice in Aylesford will be able to pick up Dying Matters leaflets as well as fundraising literature on how they can support the Hospice. A member of the Family Services Team will be available on Monday to answer any questions visitors may have.

Heart of Kent Hospice will also be sharing its knowledge and experience with local nursing and medical professionals and healthcare charities on Wednesday 10th May when it hosts a one-day conference with Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust. The aim of the conference is to improve the quality of end of life care for people across Kent and will cover topics as wide ranging as effective pain assessment and management, nutrition and hydration at the end of life, and helping people with learning disabilities to understand and cope with a life-limiting illness.

According to OJ Tidball, Head of Community Outreach at Heart of Kent Hospice: “Talking about dying and bereavement is a subject that many people find difficult, including those from the medical profession. At Heart of Kent Hospice, we know that if you can have those conversations it makes it easier to plan exactly what you want and also cope with it when it happens.”

Heart of Kent Hospice will also be encouraging its followers to talk about death and bereavement on its Facebook page and through the Dying Matters Week daily Twitter chats using the hashtag #WhatCanYouDo, whether it’s to share their own ambitions or bucket list before they die, or to find what they can do to support a loved one who is bereaved.

For more information about Dying Matters Week, please visit For more information about the work of the Hospice, please visit

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