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Join hands to start the ‘Big Conversation’ about living and dying well

Posted on 9 May 2016

Pilgrims Hospices is joining people across the country in hospices, hospitals, town halls, arts venues and shopping centres to hold ‘The Big Conversation’ as part of a national awareness week.

Events will run across east Kent between 9-13 May to support people talking more about living and dying well.

Join The Big Conversation on our Facebook and Twitter feeds with the hashtag #BigConversationEKent or visit our website news for more updates all week.

We want to empower people to make those first steps and access support.

Community events will run across east Kent between 9-13 May to support people talking more about living and dying well.

You can also join in online with updates all week on the Pilgrims website plus on Pilgrims Facebook, Twitter using the hashtag #BigConversationEKent.

Annie Hogben, Senior Nurse Manager for Pilgrims, explains: “We are so grateful to our community for all the generous support they show us. Now we are joining hands with GPs, hospitals, community nurses and care homes to raise awareness of how people can access local services to help them live every moment well and also how to achieve end of life wishes.

“It’s not always easy to talk about our wishes and that can increase feelings of isolation and distress so we want to empower people to make those first steps – whatever the conversation is they want to have.”

The hospice and its healthcare partners also want to raise awareness in our communities of the help that’s out there to empower people with a terminal illness, their family and friends to have the conversations they need to live well in every moment and die ‘well’. They hope to support people diagnosed with a life-limiting illness to access services that are in their area earlier in their journey, not only at end of life.

multidisciplinary team[1]This means raising awareness of the huge range of services available from day services, community link nurses, help from GPs with advanced care planning and expressing wishes in hospital. It also means challenging the taboos around talking about death so that people across our diverse community can have the conversations they need to access the right support at the right time.

Join in the conversation and share your stories and pictures too using the hashtag #BigConversationEKent

Big Conversation

As well as the special events listed below, look out in your local press and on our website for stories from local people on how they have approached having ‘The Big Conversation’ and accessed the support and services they need. You’ll also hear from some of our Pilgrims nurses and our community partners including GPs talking about the kind of work they are doing to help people live every moment and achieve their wishes. 

If you have a story to share, you can post to our Facebook page or email us here. 

Who’s taking part?

Pilgrims Hospices in East Kent, Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust, NHS South Kent Coast CCG, NHS Ashford CCG, NHS Thanet CCG, NHS Canterbury and Coastal CCG, East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust have come together to take part in a national awareness campaign an make it our own for our local community.


Local events 

Monday 9 May

• Death chat, 12-2pm Canterbury day hospice

This is an informal gathering over lunch for Canterbury patients and carers, organised by Senior Nurse Manager Annie Hogben.

• School visit, Canterbury Hospice

A group of sixth-formers from the King’s School will be visiting the Ann Robertson Centre for education and having a tour of the ward lead by nurse Sandra Waters.

Wednesday 11 May

• Film Night, Ann Robertson Centre Fully booked

Pilgrims is running a film night from 6.30pm in the ARC, screening The Lady in the Van, with a post-film discussion facilitated by Dr Declan Cawley.

• Thursday 12 May

The Big Conversation, Canterbury Academy

Pilgrims Hospices is hosting an event for GPs and senior clinicians from the Trust at the Canterbury Academy.  Delegates will look at how best to initiate those difficult conversations about death and dying.

Save the date 1 July Dying in a death denying society: A creative conversation about death and dying’

An arts-based creative workshop with speakers, poetry, film, and facilitated craftwork to discuss death and dying over an afternoon tea.

If you have an event you would like listed above please email








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