Focus on Awareness Week

Welcome to the March issue of the Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief newsletter. This issue is dedicated to preparing for our first ever Awareness Week, 13th-19th May 2013. With the support and enthusiasm of members like yourself, we plan to make one week in May a hive of activity relating to death, dying and bereavement. Read on to find out how to get involved...

Events

Since Awareness Week was announced a month ago, many members have been in touch to let us know about their planned events. Do you want to get involved but still haven’t made any plans? It isn’t too late! We’ve featured a few here in the hope of providing inspiration and ideas....

Where there's a Will...

In celebration of Awareness Week, Final Fling is offering its end of life planning tools FREE for the month of May:

  • Sign up for a free account to start sorting your Wishes, Will, Advance Decision and storing essential documents next of kin will need in your Safe Deposit Box.
  • Sort through those photos and home movies and upload the ones that matter to your Treasure Trove - leave behind a digital legacy.

Dying to Know ? A different kind of family day out.

May 25th, 11:30am-4pm in Nairn Community Centre

Everything anyone needs to know about the preparations they can make for illness, dying and death. Experts on hand with legal, financial, medical and practical information and advice. Activities for all ages. Wicker coffin to try, dreamcatcher making, celtic spiral drawing, "Before I Die" wall, make your own coffin..... Lunch/ refreshments and home baking available. Organised by Nairn Citizens Advice Bureau and NHS Scotland with participation from local businesses, organisations and individuals. For further information, contact the organisers.

Scotland’s Top Tear Jerker

The 100% Project is community engagement project by CHAS which aims to start conversations about death, dying and bereavement in a life-affirming way. They are currently running a poll to find out Scotland’s Top Tear Jerker. The winning film will be shown during our Awareness Week: Filmhouse, Edinburgh, 19 May, 3.30pm. You can vote for your favourite film on Twitter (@100percentscot) or Facebook.

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Funding

We are pleased to announce that a small grants programme has been set up to support GLGDGG members to undertake activities, events or projects aimed at helping Scotland to become a place where people are more open about death, dying and bereavement.

Specifically, we are looking to fund projects that:

  • Help people to find ways of dealing with their own experiences of death, dying and bereavement.
  • Help individuals and communities to support those who are experiencing difficult times associated with death, dying and bereavement.
  • Support NHS and social care staff and volunteers to work compassionately and constructively with those who are dying or have been recently bereaved.
  • Help people to make practical preparations for their death, for example Will, Power of Attorney and Advance Care Planning.
  • Promote openness/discussion of death, dying and bereavement.

Member organisations can apply for a maximum grant of £500, and the closing date for applications is Monday 8 April to allow applications to be processed and relevant money distributed in time for Awareness Week. (Applications are also accepted for activities scheduled outside Awareness Week.) We appreciate the timescale is tight and with this in mind the application form is designed to be straightforward to complete.

For more information and to apply, visit our website.

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Resources

Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief has developed some resources that you may find useful if you’re considering putting on an event during awareness week.

Leaflets

Eleven different leaflets are available, all designed to provide support and advice to enable people to have open and honest conversations around death, dying and bereavement. Topics covered include ‘what to say if someone close to you is dying’, ‘Five things you can plan for end of life’ and ‘Information to help you help children understand death’. The leaflets can be downloaded from our website or get in touch to order free hard copies.

Conversation menu

We have developed a conversation menu which aims to prompt discussion around death, dying and bereavement in a fun and thought-provoking way. The menu guides participants through ‘starter’, ‘main course’ and ‘dessert’ topics, such as ‘Are there three places you want to go before you die?’, ‘What words do you want on your tombstone?’ and ‘How would you like to be remembered?’ The menu can be downloaded from our website or get in touch to order free hard copies.

DVDs

20 takes on death and dying is a short film produced by Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief which explores some members of the public’s thoughts on death, dying and bereavement. The film can be viewed on our website or get in touch to order a free copy of the DVD.

Press pack

We will be developing some resources to assist members in gaining local media coverage for events held during Awareness Week. If you would like to receive these materials, please get in touch and we’ll put you on the mailing list.

Information about Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief

Available on our website are a PowerPoint presentation and ‘about us’ leaflet that members can use to help them explain the aims, vision and values of Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief to others. These resources can be downloaded from our website or get in touch to order free hard copies of the leaflet.

Ideas

Our website also includes a section designed to provide inspiration and ideas for members looking to support the aims of Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief, but who are unsure of what action they might take.

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Before I Die Wall for Scotland

Before I Die is a global public art project that invites people to reflect on their lives and share their personal aspirations in public space. Begun by artist Candy Chang on an abandoned house in New Orleans after she lost someone she loved, the project is about remembering what is important to you and creating public spaces that better reflect what matters to us as a community and as individuals. We hope that members will work to make Before I Die walls pop up all over Scotland during Awareness Week.

How do I make a Before I Die wall?

The original Before I Die website provides step-by step instructions on how to make a wall that is in-keeping with the artistic vision of the original BID project, and the option to buy a toolkit ($125 plus p&p) including stencils, chalk and ‘how-to’ guide. After that, all you need is a place (and permission) to assemble your wall – an abandoned space, a shopping centre, office foyer or outside your own front door.

If you’d like to make a wall but don’t have the resources replicate the original visually, why not try creating something within the spirit of the project but visually different? A roll of black paper and chalk? Wallpaper and marker-pens? Post-it notes? Flip chart? White-board? Black board? It is all about providing an opportunity for people to reflect.

Resources available

Get in touch if you are planning to create a BID wall, and we can put you on a mailing list to receive:

  • A press pack to assist you in gaining local media coverage for your Wall.
  • Some information you may wish to place beside your wall explaining why it is important for Scotland to be a place where people can be open about death, dying and bereavement.

Walls all over Scotland...

A huge thanks to all the members who have so far been in touch to share their plans for making Before I Die Walls. It is looking as though there may be a few high profile spots as well as walls in villages, offices, shops, shopping centres and NHS and Council buildings. So far we have heard of possible walls appearing in Aberdeenshire, Edinburgh, Forth Valley, Fife, Glasgow and Highland. Locations include NHS and Council buildings, offices, shops, and shopping centres.

Before I die online

We have created space on our website for an online Before I Die wall where anyone can share their thoughts and reflections on what they’d like to do before they die. The wall is a great online replication of the visuals of the original wall in New Orleans, and will be revealed in time for Awareness Week... more news to come soon on how members can link up with the wall using social media.

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And finally...

... still looking for inspiration for Awareness Week? Why not hold a death cafe?

Death Cafes bring people together in a relaxed and safe setting to discuss death, drink tea and eat cake. The objective of Death Cafe is to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their finite lives. To learn more about the growing death café movement, check out this website.

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