Pilgrims Hospices leads conversations on death and dying ahead of Dying Matters Week 2024

As Dying Matters Week approaches from May 6–12, 2024, Pilgrims Hospices gears up to lead conversations on #TheWayWeTalkAboutDyingMatters.

This annual event aims to empower people to engage in honest conversations about death and dying with healthcare professionals, family, and friends.


This year, Pilgrims Hospices is taking a proactive stance by bringing discussions to the forefront. Through the use of chalkboards, the charity will facilitate the ‘Before I Die’ conversations in key locations in Canterbury and Thanet. These conversations will focus on addressing fears and worries surrounding death and dying, as well as planning ahead for grief and loss.

“We believe that open conversations about death and dying are crucial for individuals and communities to navigate these challenging topics with dignity and understanding,” said Sophie Van Walwyk, Head of Psychosocial and Bereavement Services at Pilgrims Hospices. “By providing platforms for dialogue, we hope to normalise discussions about end-of-life care and provide support for those facing these difficult realities.”

The events are scheduled to take place at the following locations:

  • Broadstairs Library, The Broadway, Broadstairs CT10 2BS
    Wednesday 8 May – 10:00am – 2:00pm
  • Whitefriars Shopping Centre, Canterbury
    Saturday 11 May – 10:00am – 2:00pm

All members of the community are encouraged to participate by sharing their thoughts and feelings about what is important for them to achieve before they die, on the chalkboards. Additionally, Pilgrims Hospices will be on hand to offer guidance and signpost attendees to relevant services and resources, including Pilgrims Hospices Stepping Stones bereavement services.

By providing platforms for dialogue, we hope to normalise discussions about end-of-life care and provide support for those facing these difficult realities.

Sophie Van Walwyk, Head of Psychosocial and Bereavement Services

“We want to inspire a compassionate and supportive community where individuals can express themselves freely and honestly,” added Sophie. “By encouraging open dialogue, we hope to alleviate some of the fears and stigma surrounding death, dying, loss and grief, and promote greater knowledge and understanding within our communities.”

Furthermore, Pilgrims Hospices offers Grief Awareness Training packages from their training centre in Canterbury. To find out more, visit: pilgrimshospices.org/courses

For more information about Dying Matters Week events and Pilgrims Hospices initiatives, please email eastkent@pilgrimshospices.org.


Pilgrims Hospices is a charity providing specialist end-of-life care and support to individuals and their families across east Kent. With a focus on compassionate care and dignity, Pilgrims Hospices strives to enhance the quality of life for those facing life-limiting illnesses.