Beckton hospice hosts session on death and dying

Faith and community leaders visited a children’s hospice as part of a seven-day awareness programme on death and dying.

Almost 30 people, including Rev Tristan Alexander-Watts, from Newham University Hospital, Imam Yunus Dudhwala, head of chaplaincy and bereavement services at Newham University Hospital NHS Trust, and Rabbi Markus Lange, joined a discussion on loss and bereavement for UK Dying Matters Week at Richard House, in Beckton.

The national awareness programme aims to raise awareness of death, dying and bereavement. It is coordinated by the Dying MattersCoalition, which has members from the NHS, voluntary and independent health and care sectors.

Among the events on the day at Richard House were presentations from the likes of Imam Yunus Dudhwala and smaller group discussions on how talking about loss and bereavement can help families and communities prepare for death and dying.

Rachel Power, director of HR and operations, who organised the event, said: “It was fantastic to see such a range of faith and community leaders gathering at Richard House to talk about the issues of loss.

“It is something that needs to be discussed more to improve the spiritual and practical process to loss.

“We want to become a community hub for discussion and this is the first step to achieving that goal.”

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As well as the discussion on death and dying, a programme surrounding “compassionate communities” was also discussed by the group.

This is a scheme designed to involve an entire person’s community in the dying process.