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Saturday 13 May 2017

This event has now passed




A festival of living and dying


in Dying Matters Awareness Week


9.45am -9pm Saturday

13th May 2017


Friends Meeting House*
12 Jesus Lane
Cambridge CB5 8BA

* The building is wheelchair accessible


This festival will offer a day of information, art, ideas and conversation about dying and death which may well have an impact on the way we choose to live our lives

Whether you pop in for five minutes or join us for the day

you can be sure of a warm welcome

To be sure of a place in the sessions you're interested you can book a free ticket using the links below


Meeting room


Throughout the day there will be a series of talks and conversations drawing on the knowledge, thoughts and feelings of the invited speakers and others in the room. The day will include the following sessions:

Everything you always wanted to know about death but were afraid to ask...
10.00 - 11.15

What happens during the last weeks/days/moments before someone dies? What help is available to support them? What happens to the body after death? What are the 'rules' about burial?
Come along and share your thoughts, questions and experiences with people who have worked with those at the end of their life and after their death.

Talks and conversations with:

* Lorraine Moth - community palliative care matron at the Arthur Rank Hospice 

* Alison Edwards - who draws on her experience as a Biodynamic craniosacral therapist, chiropractor, Soul advocate and Tibetan healer to support people at the end of their life

* Tracy O’Leary - green funeral director of Woodland Wishes, talking about alternative funerals 

* Josefine Speyer - psychotherapist, death educator, and co-founder of the Natural Death Centre 

Chaired by Liz Rothschild of Westmill Woodland Burial Ground

 Book free ticket 

Advance Planning
11.45 - 12.30, short talks. 12.30 - 1.00, information and informal conversation in small groups

Come and find out how to prepare legally binding documents to ensure that your wishes about your treatment and care will be respected at the end of your life. Writing these documents is easier than you think and could save you and your family from a lot of heartache one day.
Information and conversations about advance decisions and power of attorney with

* retired GP, Phil Hartropp of Compassion in Dying

* Siôn Hudson, partner at Miller Sands solicitors, and Vicky Austin, also from Miller Sands

The session will begin with short talks from each of the speakers and will be followed by informal conversation on advance planning in small groups in the meeting room and continuing in the cafe/foyer/display room for the rest of the day

There will also be a brief introduction to the Human Anatomy Teaching Group at Cambridge by Dr Cecilia Brassett, who will share the benefits of whole body dissection for teaching our future doctors. Also a few words from Maggie Luff of the Human Research Brain and Tissue Bank who will also be available for conversation in the display room throughout the day

Chaired by Johnnie Moore

 Book free ticket 

Talking about Suicide
1.30 - 2.45

Talks and conversation with:

* Carole Morgan who manages Lifeline, Cambridgeshire Mental Health Helpline

* Aiden Ferguson, who works as a Healthcare Assistant in the field of mental health and has personal experience of mental illness

* Margaret Ginger who works with Cambridge Cruse Bereavement Care to support those bereaved by suicide

Chaired by David Warner

 Book free ticket 

Speaking about Death
3.15 - 4.15

Christianne Heal will give you the opportunity to discuss your hopes and fears about your death in this hour long taster of her award winning interactive workshop Speaking About Death

 Book free ticket 

Ideas on death and dying
4.45 - 6.00

Why do people not want to confront death and dying? What defence mechanisms do we have for avoidance? What attitudes can we take to death and dying to alleviate our fears and anxieties and help us to live more meaningfully? What do psychologists, therapists, philosophers and different religions and cultures have to say on the subject? While there will be some short presentations in this session there will be plenty of opportunities for you to contribute to the discussions.

* Dr. Ros Taylor MBE,Clinical Director of Hospice UK

* John Pollard, counsellor, will talk about philosophy and death, including how acceptance of death can lead to a more authentic life

* Ian Morris, retired hospital chaplain, will give examples of the experiences of bereavement in people in a range of cultures and religious traditions, drawing out how much they have in common.

Chaired by Johnnie Moore

 Book free ticket 

More details about the speakers can be found here

Display room - bits and bones*

There will be a major art exhibition by Susan Elaine Jones, examining the display of skeletons and what we can learn about our own mortality by looking at the dead

There will also be books on display on various aspects of death, dying and the display of human remains

A display of human skeletal remains and guided exploration of human bones with Dr. Corinne Duhig. Find out what archaeologists can learn from bones and identify the signs yourself of male or female, old or young, pampered or hard life. This is a unique opportunity for members of the public to touch real human bones and consider what their own skeleton looks like

The Cambridge Brain and Tissue Bank will have a demonstration of tissue preservation and examination

The Human Anatomy Teaching Group will share their experiences of the benefits of whole body dissection for teaching our future doctors.

Miller Sands Solicitors will have a range of information on writing wills and advanced planning, to make your wishes known and you help your family look after you

Woodland Wishes will have a display of earth friendly coffins, including a cardboard coffin and a shroud, and information on natural and green funerals

* Warning - strong subject matter on display including photographs of skeletons and human remains



This will be run from 9.45am til 5pm as a fundraiser for Cambridge Cruse Bereavement Care and will be serving a light lunch, hot and cold drinks and delicious cake

In the café and foyer area there will be information and leaflets to take away, and plenty of opportunity for conversation

Many of the speakers will be available in the café for part of the day. Let’s also take this opportunity to talk with each other - there are no ‘experts’ in this area, we are all people who are going to die

There will volunteers from Lifeline  and Cruse Bereavement Care available through the day if you would like someone to talk to


We're very grateful to all the contributors who are offering their time without charge and for the generous sponsorship from Woodland Wishes Natural Burials, Miller Sands Solicitors and the Arts Council England that allows us to offer free entry to this festival.
If you appreciate what the festival is offering and would like to make a donation there will be collection tins for Arthur Rank Hospice available on the day.

* Please note - this festival is about an exchange of ideas, and is not offering grief support or counselling. As we are discussing sensitive topics, please take personal responsibility for your own wellbeing.


A live show about death

We’re delighted to welcome Liz Rothschild of Full Circle Productions

to Cambridge to close our festival with her one woman show

£12/£8 concession (plus booking fee)

Book tickets

This event was kindly sponsored by

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