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Let's Talk Death


Health care students and professionals in Bradford are encouraging everyone to talk about death with a series of events breaking down fears and myths around dying.

As part of the annual ‘Dying Matters Awareness’ week in May, a group of staff and students at the University of Bradford, along with external partners, are inviting people to a free interactive conference on Monday 16 May, 9-4.30pm, looking at compassionate communities. The group is also hosting a death café in the Atrium on Tuesday 17 May and there will be another held at Marie Curie Hospice Bradford on Thursday 19 May. Both take place 10am – 4pm and provide a natural space for conversations about death and dying.

Laura Middleton-Green, Marie Curie Clinical Academic Research Fellow in End of Life Care, University of Bradford, said: “Death comes to us all, and is understandably something that many people fear to discuss. However talking about it does not make it any more likely to happen – but not talking about it can mean that peoples’ wishes and preferences for the end of life are not known about by the people who are most important to them.

“There are limited public spaces in which discussion of death and dying is acceptable, and this often means that the first time people are encouraged to talk about such things is when they are facing their own death, or that of a loved one. This can make it a much more difficult conversation.

“We aim to encourage public conversations about death and dying and to create safe spaces in which discussion can take place. We offer a range of ways of doing this – collaborative blogs, social media and organised events such as Death Cafes, seminars and conferences.”

Speakers at the conference include - Professor of End of Life Care at the University of Bradford, Mary Clear - Death Doula and Activist and – Archaeologist at the University of Bradford. There will be an interactive panel discussion along the theme of "Diversity in Dying" in which delegates will be able to pose questions to a panel that includes representatives from local faith and humanist groups."

“Let’s Talk Death” is a collaboration between staff and students at the University of Bradford, and individuals and organisations outside the University, who have come together for the shared purpose of creating and sustaining a supportive community of learning and practice. Originally formed in 2014 in the School of Nursing, the group has since grown in strength and diversity.

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