Talking about Dying Matters

Charities and NHS partners across Bath and North East Somerset (BaNES), Swindon and Wiltshire are pooling resources to get people talking about death, dying and grief.

Running from May 6-12, Dying Matters Awareness Week is an opportunity to destigmatise one of life’s ongoing taboos and make death a part of life.

Because of our ageing population, the number of deaths in the UK is projected to increase by 25 per cent by 2048. According to the latest research, nearly 90 per cent of respondents agreed that planning for end of life was essential, but just 14 per cent of people had formally done so.

The local Dying Matters partners aim to reduce stress and anxiety for people living in BSW, not just for patients, but for friends and family members who may one day be caring for a loved at the end of their life, or faced with funeral planning when the individual has left no clear wishes.

Dorothy House Hospice Care and Prospect Hospice are working with the BaNES, Swindon and Wiltshire Together Integrated Care System to share vital resources to support people in having difficult conversations and planning ahead for the end of life.

The partners will also be providing a suite of resources to ensure health professionals feel comfortable having these vital conversations with their patients, focusing on ‘what matters to you?’ rather than ‘what IS the matter with you?’.

The free events and resources that are available range from a Photographic Exhibition to Death Cafés, Bereavement Help Points, free will writing, podcasts and free funeral planning tools. The Dying Matters partners will be combining forces to provide the BSW community with helpful resources and though provoking events.

The photography exhibition will take place from May 6-12  at Dorothy House Midsomer Norton Furniture Store, 105 High Street, Midsomer Norton, Radstock, BA3 2DA.

Forthcoming resources include Death Cafes, which can be found on this link:, while the Piece of Life website offers a host of helpful resources on the subject of death and dying.

Regular bereavement help points can be found at the following locations: The Hub, Mulberry Park, Combe Down, Bath ; The Library, Calne; The Angel Hotel, Chippenham, The Three Brewers, Corsham; The Bear Hotel, Devizes; Keynsham Baptist Church Hall, Keynsham; The Kings Arms, Malmesbury; Shepton Brasserie, Shepton Mallet; Castle and Ball Hotel, Marlborough. Details of the groups can be found here:

In addition there is the lunchtime session on May 20 at 12.30pm-1.30pm, What Happens When You Die, with an optional tour of the hospice at Prospect House, Moormead Road, Wroughton, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN4 9BY.

The Dorothy House website also has useful guides including an end of life planning tool, and resources to help families of those facing a life-limiting illness, and for families anxious about the funeral costs there is a guide to help available through