My name is Karen and I am part of the Family and Bereavement support team or ‘FABS’ as we like to call ourselves!


I wanted to share information about Dying Matters Awareness Week, an annual week used to raise awareness around death, dying and bereavement and the support that is available.

The focus this year is, ‘Let’s Talk About It’.

In previous years we have held events such as death cafés and created a choir who ‘flash mobbed’ the Mayors ceremony in Workington, singing live on television! Click HERE to view the video.

We received a mention for our innovation and success with the choir nationally that you can read about HERE


We had planned to hold a series of events throughout the week at our Finkle Street Centre, particularly focusing on people with Learning Disabilities and Autism. These have unfortunately had to be postponed due to the current lockdown situation.

These events were aimed at increasing awareness of the importance of having conversations around death, dying and grief. It’s only when we can talk more openly about death, bereavement and end of life plans that we can improve the quality and range of support and care services to patients and families.


For 2020 we want to look at ‘the other half of a conversation’: how do we respond when someone wants to discuss death, grief, their will or funeral plans with us?

The FABS team, including our amazing volunteers, understand the importance of supportive listening. Those we support tell us that being able to tell their story and be listened to with empathy and understanding can increase feelings of wellbeing and ease distress.

This year’s Dying Matters Awareness Week theme is ‘Dying to be Heard’. For more people to talk about dying, death and grief, more people must be willing to listen. It can feel hard to have a conversation about death and grief.  We want to look at the other half of the conversation. How do we respond when someone wants to discuss death, or grief, or their will or funeral plans with us.

Its only by talking about death and dying that we can all help each other with planning, with coping, with grieving and with remembering. How many people want to talk about death and grief but feel they have no one to talk to about it. How many people are ‘Dying to be Heard’?

Death has recently become a big part of public life. There are more people than ever with questions and concerns, who need to talk and who are ‘Dying to be Heard’.


Please look out for posts this next week including links to Dying Matters resources, podcasts and links to general help.


Thank you for reading

Karen Pirt, Senior Family and Bereavement Support Worker