Death. It is something we will all experience one day, and yet most of us tend to avoid the topic as much as possible. Talking about death might be difficult, but it is so important – for people of all ages. It is an intergenerational challenge and affects us all.

A festival taking place in Birmingham is encouraging people of all ages to have open and honest conversations about living and dying.

To encourage children to express their thoughts and feelings about death, a poetry competition for children will be part of the festival. Organised by John Taylor Hospice in partnership with Oikos Café, the 110 Poetry Competition is open to children up to and including the age of 18 with separate sections for under 12 and 12-18.

“At 110 years, John Taylor Hospice is one of the oldest hospices in the country and this year we have a huge range of activities to mark this,” says Isla Stroyan, John Taylor Community Fundraiser.

“And so we are asking children and young people to write a poem about being 110. It could be about a very old person or it could be a building, a tree or an animal or in fact anything else which fires the children’s imagination.

“Our hospice is named after John Taylor who, as well as being a Birmingham gynaecologist, was also a poet so this year we are asking for poetry. We are really looking forward to seeing the wonderful poems from children and young people.”

The ‘A Matter of Life and Death’ festival is taking place from the 11th to 17th May 2020.

If you won’t be able to take part in the festival but would like to talk about death and dying more, take a look at this video below by Age UK, which they made to encourage us all to feel more confident about having these difficult conversations:

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About Author

Nisha Kotecha is the Founder of Good News Shared. Having worked and volunteered for charities in the UK for over 10 years, Nisha is on a mission to highlight how amazing charities are.

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