Dying Matters Awareness Week • Vision RCL

Dying Matters Awareness Week

Dying Matters Awareness Week is an annual programme, from 2-6 May, which aims to open up the conversation around death, dying and grief, remove the stigma that surrounds it and call for meaningful change so that everyone gets the quality end of life care they deserve.

Redbridge Libraries started it’s journey to become the UK’s first Death Positive Library service in 2017. Back then, Dying Matters Awareness Week was (and still is) an important way for them to use our library spaces, resources, partnerships and creative projects to engage the public in a difficult and taboo subject. In that time, thousands of people have taken part in one of their death positive projects.

Feedback from participants has shown how important the work has been to them and how much it’s really needed within our communities, with over 90% reporting that they found this subject easier to engage with because projects and events were delivered by a safe and trusted brand – their local library!

5 years ago Redbridge Central Library were a lone library service doing this work but knew others were interested too, because of the huge volume of requests they had from colleagues up and down the country wanting to find out more about what we were doing and how they could start similar projects in their local areas.

When RCL started, there wasn’t much information so they had to learn through trial and error what would work in a public library setting and more importantly for our local community. They were delighted when Libraries Connected agreed to work with them to develop a framework to support other library services.

12 months on, a collaboration between Libraries Connected and Hospice UK has resulted in a tool kit for public libraries and RCL are proud that their Death Positive work is referenced in the resources section of the pack. It’s an easy to read and understand tool kit and they hope it encourages other library services to explore doing death positive work and if you are working in any aspect of End of Life, that you will consider your local library as a potential partner for projects.

If you are interested in learning more about The Death Positive Library then follow @deathpositivel1 (Twitter) @TheDeathPositiveLibrary (Facebook and Instagram).


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