A ‘DEATH cafe’ is being held at Airedale Hospital.

The palliative care team at the Steeton site is hosting the event to encourage people to talk about death.

Visitors and staff will be able to enjoy tea and cake whilst chatting informally about what is often viewed as a taboo subject.

The cafe will run from 11.30am to 1.30pm on Tuesday (May 15), in the hospital restaurant – location C30.

In addition, there will be an information stand in the outpatients department on Monday.

And a Dying Matters marketplace event takes place on Wednesday, featuring representatives from the hospital and organisations which support people and their families at the end of life, including charities, bereavement and carers’ support groups and undertakers.

The activities are being staged as part of Dying Matters Awareness Week.

Set-up by the National Council for Palliative Care in 2009, the week aims to encourage people to talk about their own end of life with friends, family and loved ones.

Fiona Widdowson, the end-of-life care facilitator at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Every minute someone in the UK dies, but many of us still do not feel comfortable talking about dying.

“Many people have specific wishes about their end-of-life care or what they would like to happen to them after their death, but they are reluctant to discuss them, making it much less likely that they will be met.”

“Talking more openly about dying can help you to make the most of life and to support loved ones.

“With people living for longer with life-limiting illnesses, discussing dying is increasingly important.

“If you don’t talk to your loved ones about their wishes, you may be risking leaving it too late.”