From 8-15 May people across Scotland did their bit to promote more open and supportive attitudes to death, dying and bereavement by taking part in Death Awareness Week Scotland.
22 venues across Scotland hosted the new It Takes a Village exhibition, the result of a partnership between award-winning Glasgow-based artist photographer Colin Gray, and the Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care (SPPC). Based on a concept and interviews by SPPC the exhibition features a series of photo portraits and wisdom from people from all walks of life who have cared for someone who is dying or has been bereaved.
Many people left thought-provoking feedback praising the exhibition, for example: “I particularly like the taxi driver. Time stands still when someone dies but the world continues. This photo reminds me of losing my mum and the world continued whilst my world stopped.”
Other events that took place included death cafes, information stands, a film screening and a pebble-painting. The photo gallery on our website shows some of the range of activities people organised – please get in touch if you have pictures to add.
We are pleased to announce that NHS Lothian is the first ever winner of the Awareness Week Health Promoting Palliative Care award, which is awarded to the NHS Board area hosting events in the widest variety of venues.
Within Lothian events were held in a hospital, a hospice, a community centre, a workplace and a university. NHS Greater Glasgow came a close second.
During awareness week itself, Robert Peacock, volunteer Director of Death on the Fringe, and film-makers Jane Harris and Jimmy Edmonds were announced as winners of the Contribution to Openness About Death Award, in recognition of their contributions towards promoting more open and supportive attitudes to death and bereavement in Scotland.
A report summarising and reflecting on awareness week activity has been published: Death Awareness Week Scotland: Summary Report.
We are currently collecting feedback about people’s experiences of the Awareness Week, and we’d be grateful for your thoughts if you have 3 minutes to complete the survey: Death Awareness Week.
Guest blog by Mark Hazelwood, Chief Executive, Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care
On June 24, 2016