Birmingham St Mary’s will be opening its doors this Friday (18th May) in a bid to get local people talking more openly about death, dying and bereavement.

In collaboration with BrumYODO, the Selly Park based hospice will be hosting a day full of arts, mindfulness and conversations to help break the taboo around discussing death.

The unusual open day, which coincides with national campaign ‘Dying Matters Awareness Week’, is open to everyone and will include activities that will inspire and provoke conversations about end of life.

On The Day

• Tour the hospice’s garden and conservatory
•  ‘Curiosity Board’ – post the questions about death and dying that you’ve always wanted to ask.
• Q&A session with nurses and End of Life Doulas – a group of trained individuals who help those who are dying to feel safe and supported.
• Meditation
• Creative art sessions
• Exercise
• Dedicated crafts corner for kids (giving parents an opportunity to speak to the hospice’s child bereavement counsellors on how to talk to children about death and dying.

Afternoon Programme in full here.

What is BrumYODO?

A growing group of local artists, undertakers, hospice care professionals and more – who believe “there is such a thing as a good death” – but it will only happen if people understand it enough to demand it – and the only way to understand it is by talking about it.

The Hospice’s open day forms part of BrumYODO’s ‘A Matter of Life and Death’ festival – an eclectic two-week programme of events, performances, exhibitions and workshops across Birmingham.

For more information about BrumYODO and ‘A Matter of Life and Death’ festival – please go here.

Sharon Hudson, community lead nurse at Birmingham St Mary’s and BrumYODO committee member, said: “We all face death, dying and bereavement in our lives and yet, it’s a topic that many of us are either too scared to talk about or don’t know how to bring up. By giving people the confidence to open up those conversations as a part of everyday life, we can help break down the taboo and ensure more people and their families have the best possible quality of life as they deal with illness and approach dying.

“We hope that by welcoming people to Birmingham St Mary’s, we can show them what really happens behind the doors of a hospice. More often than not, people will tell me that they are pleasantly surprised at how positive and peaceful our hospice is – there is a lot of living happening here – so it’s about getting people here and altering any preconceptions they may have.”

Birmingham St Mary’s provides vital care and support to local people living with life-limiting illness.


The open day takes place between 12 and 6pm at 176 Raddlebarn Road, Selly Park, B29 7DA. All activities are free of charge and there is no need to book.

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