South Scotland

'Death cafe' plans for Dumfries and Galloway

Old man with walking stick Image copyright Thinkstock

People in Dumfries and Galloway will have a chance to discuss their own mortality at a series of "death cafes".

Organisers believe the events will give people a chance to talk about death, dying and bereavement.

Professor David Clark, who is behind the plans, said it is an opportunity for people who feel unable to talk about these issues with family and friends.

He will lead a new team focussing on end of life studies in Dumfries.

It will be part of the University of Glasgow's School of Interdisciplinary Studies, at the Crichton.

Professor Clark said: "We'll be organising a number of what are called 'death cafes' which is where we take over a nice cafe for a couple of hours in the evening when it wouldn't normally be open.

"People come along and have a coffee and a piece of cake and sit down with others to talk about issues to do with death and dying and bereavement.

"Now this sounds very odd but the whole death cafe movement has started to grow in this country and elsewhere.

"There's evidence that people would like an opportunity to come and talk about some of these issues. Perhaps issues that it is rather difficult to talk to their nearest and dearest about."

He added: "The project also hopes to contribute to work on the development of palliative and end of life care services in Dumfries and Galloway, so there will also be benefits brought to the area through the work we are doing."

The project is being supported by a Wellcome Trust award worth up to £200,000.