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Compassionate Communities Derbyshire (High Peak)

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Every minute someone in the UK dies, but many of us still don’t feel comfortable talking about dying. Talking more openly about dying can help you to make the most of life and to support loved ones.

A new project, Compassionate Communities Derbyshire aims to encourage people and communities to talk about death, dying, bereavement and loss, to allow people to share their preferences and wishes about the future and to support each other in practical and emotional ways. The project is funded by Derbyshire County Council and is delivered by Age UK Derby and Derbyshire in the High Peak and two other projects are being delivered in Erewash and South Derbyshire, by Treetops Hospice Care.

Project coordinator Jane Butler explains, ‘Many people face the end of their lives unprepared emotionally, practically, financially and legally, and this can add a huge strain to the person concerned and their families; making what can be a difficult time, even more difficult. It can have far reaching impact across health and social care, voluntary, community and faith groups, and mental health services too.

We want people to actively make plans for themselves, share them with friends and family, support the bereaved and offer support and help to those who may need it. People shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help or to offer help. Communities are growing larger and more varied and all can be affected by death and loss.

I think as a society we’ve lost confidence in talking about these subjects, they don’t have to be a taboo, they are part of our families and communities, and should be talked about and planned for as much as a new arrival into the family.’

 As well as helping individuals to plan for the end of their lives, we will be encouraging and developing the many things communities can do to help them. We’ll be working in partnership with health and social care professionals, and supporting employers to adopt best practice for their employees and promote the Dying to Work Charter.  

On Saturday 30th June, with Blythe House Hospice in Chapel en le Frith we’re holding ‘Thinking Outside the Box’, an event at the hospice, to give people the opportunity to talk about death openly and to find out about ways in which funeral rites can be truly individual, and we’ll be hosting a number of Death Cafes where people can come together to eat cake drink tea and discuss death, we’ll be posting information about these on our website, www.ageuk.org.uk/derbyandderbyshire 

Jane.butler @ageukdd.org.uk

M 07421 227078