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Pilgrims free events offer support for family and friends

Pilgrims is running a series of free community events at the start of May to support people in talking about dying and death – whether that’s friends and family of someone using hospice services or anyone from the wider community.

The events will take place across east Kent between 8-14 May, which is national Dying Matters Awareness week.

Wendy Hills, Director of Nursing and Care, said: “We understand that for many people, talking about dying and death can be very daunting. Even if you, or someone close to you, has a terminal illness it can be difficult to know where to start the conversation. At the same time, every day in east Kent 19 people receive the news that they have a terminal illness and have less than a year to live. That number is rising. So, together, we need to make sure people are given the support they need.”

She added: “We are so grateful to our community for all the generous support they show us each year. We feel it’s really important we are there in return to support those people when they need us. We hope through these events we can help people to make those first steps to talk to one another about their future wishes and to access the local services that are available.”

If you or a member of your family is coping with a terminal illness and you want to find out about the full range of Pilgrims services, please click here to find out more.


Pilgrims public events for Dying Matters Awareness Week.

All are free drop-in events so just come along.

  • Michel Faber poetry event on 11 May at Keynes College building at the University of Kent, CT2 7NP. Michel will be reading from his collection Undying: A Love Story about caring for and losing his wife to cancer. This will be followed by a panel discussion with University and Pilgrims staff. Doors will open at 6:00pm and the reading will start at 6:30pm. Places can be booked here, by calling 01227 812616 or emailing education@pilgrimshospices.org.
  • Death Café on Saturday 13 May 10:30am – 12 noon at the ARC, London Road, Canterbury. Book by calling 01227 812616 or emailing education@pilgrimshospices.org.
  • Advance Care Planning events in May 2017. These drop in sessions are to help people plan quality care towards the end of life but they are also useful as a tool that anyone can use to express their future wishes. Who’s it for: All are welcome – including Pilgrims patients, carers, family and friends and members of the public. More details here.

Look out for more on the Pilgrims website and on Pilgrims Facebook and Twitter as we join in with Dying Matters Awareness Week. This year, the national theme is #WhatCanYouDo? and looks at ways people can be more active in planning for dying and death and helping support those who may need it in times of grief and bereavement, be they friends, family or in your wider community.

Join in the conversation and share your stories and pictures, too, by using the hashtag #WhatCanYouDo.