Dying Matters Week 10 – 16 May 2021

Dying Matters Week 2021 is focused on death preparedness.  During the week we will explore ways you can prepare for death that will help you to be in a good place to die.

In partnership with our Compassionate Communities colleagues in The Northern Health Trust, we are hosting a webinar on Wednesday 12 May, 10.00am to 12.30pm. The event is free of charge and open to everyone.  Attendees will be invited to think about how they can help themselves, their families and communities to be in a good place to die – physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially, digitally and with the right care in place.

We have secured a range of diverse speakers and for the first time are delighted to welcome Dr Elaine Kasket, a Counselling Psychologist and Professor of Psychology at the University of Wolverhampton.  Author of ‘All the Ghosts in the Machine: The Digital Afterlife of Your Personal Data’ (2020) Elaine will focus on an interesting aspect of what happens to a person’s digital data life after their death.”

Listen to a preview of digital afterlife presentation by Dr Elaine Kasket.

To find out more about the upcoming webinar on Wednesday, 12 May, 2021 10.00 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. please click here.

5 Steps to Wellbeing at End of Life

Death is inevitable for everyone – death, dying and bereavement will impact all of us, multiple times.   We plan for the major life event of birth to welcome new life into the world.  It stands to reason therefore, that planning for death should be given equal importance.  Making plans about your future care, writing your will and talking to hose closest to you increase the likelihood of a ‘good death’ while caring for those who you leave behind.

The Importance of Being Spiritually Ready for Dying Presentation by Mr John Wonnacott, Chaplain, Macmillan Unit, Antrim

Past Events

Palliative Care Week 13 – 19 September 2020

In this together

Working together we are better able to support people in our communities living on the spectrum of death, dying and loss,. When we finally emerge from this terrible pandemic let us all remember the importance of our role in providing palliative care when we consider our terminally ill, our older people, carers and those living with loss.

Test your understanding of Palliative Care. Which of the statements below do you believe to be True or False?

1. Palliative care is specifically for people with cancer. True or False? Click here to find out if you were correct.

2. Palliative care is exclusively for people who are in the last six months of their life.  True or False? Click here to find out if you were correct.

3. Palliative care can help people manage the side effects of their medical treatments. True or False? Click here to find out if you were correct.

4. People must be in hospital to receive palliative care. True or False? Click here to find out if you were correct.

5. One goal of palliative care is to address any psychological issues brought up by serious illness. True or False? Click here to find out if you were correct.

6. Palliative care only applies to adults and older people. True or False? Click here to find out if you were correct.

7. One aim of palliative care is to help people better understand their treatment options.  True or False? Click here to find out if you were correct.

8. Palliative care encourages people to stop treatments aimed at curing their illness. True or False? Click here to find out if you were correct.

9. Palliative care helps the whole family cope with a serious and progressive illness.  True or False? Click here to find out if you were correct.

Did You Know

Palliative Care Impacting Lives

Living with advanced illness or frailty is challenging for the person and those closest to them.  Palliative care helps them to navigate the challenges and improve their quality of life.

Listen to people tell their story.

Volunteers’ Week 1 – 7 June 2020

Volunteers’ Week is an opportunity for organisations and communities to celebrate the contribution of millions of people.  Our volunteers really are the heroes of Compassionate Communities.  Their individual acts of kindness as ‘Compassionate Neighbours‘ evident in our befriending scheme ‘Reach Out‘ impact the lives of so many.  They shine a light into the world of people feeling isolated because of advancing illness, frailty, care giving and loss.

Our champions committed to carrying forward the work of the project.  They offer companionship and compassion that helps to build stronger communities that are better able to support people at times of crisis and loss.

Poetry Competition

Our volunteers are our heroes.  And yet they are simply ordinary people doing extraordinary things that help to shape a more inclusive world for people in the final stages of their life journey.

To help us to celebrate our ‘wonderful volunteers’ why not enter our poetry competition!  Three winning entries will be presented as an appreciation gift to our   volunteers.  Your entry can be short, long, rhyme or not, just as long as it celebrates the companionship that our volunteers bring to our community members and their families helping to build compassionate communities.  You may find watching this video helpful to understand the good work that they do.

Simply send your entry by email to or via private message on our Facebook page.

We look forward to hearing from you!

The Winning Poems

Thank you to everyone who submitted a poem.  It was a difficult decision to chose the winners.  Congratulations to Rhianna Deery, Eabha Kelly and Debbie Lamberton!!

Thought for the day …

Useful Resources

Dying Matters Week 11 – 17 May 2020, ‘Dying to be heard’.

This year Dying Matters Week theme is ‘Dying to be heard‘, it challenges our reluctance to have ‘tender conversations’ on topics such as illness, death and dying.

It’s true we shy away from these taboo topics because they make us feel uncomfortable.  We don’t want to consider losing someone we care about and certainly not own ill health and dying.  Yet we won’t live forever, we all have a terminal illness and it’s called ‘life’ and living life means that we will age and our health will deteriorate.

People living with a life-limiting illness and frailty are facing the reality of their situation.  When people talk about their worries and making plans about the future it helps to relieve anxiety and empowers them to influence the things they have control over.

Mary speaks from personal experience….’It starts by listening’.

Please click here to hear Mary’s story. Click here to read Mary’s story.

Thought for the day …..

Useful Resources

The Importance of Listening

The greatest gift you can give another person is your time, time to listen to what they have to say.  Knowing that they have been heard can help them feel less isolated.

Please click here to download information on the ‘Importance of Listening’.





Understanding Grief

Understanding your own grief can help you to navigate the challenging emotions and sometimes confusing thoughts.  Understanding another person’s grief can help you offer appropriate support.

Please click here to download information on ‘Understanding Grief’.