Mortali-tea and coffee? University to host Northampton's first 'death café'

The Park Campus is set to host its first ever "death cafe" this weekend.
The Park Campus is set to host its first ever "death cafe" this weekend.

Northampton residents will be able to confront the big sleep over tea and cake during the first ever "death café" this Hallowe’en.

The free event is set to be held in the Pavilion Café at the university's Park Campus between October 30 and 4 November.

And to stimulate conversation on the difficult topic, free tea, coffee and cake will be provided.

The university says the official objective of its "death café" will be to increase understanding of death while creating a chance for health and care professionals to talk about it.

Although the café is not a support group, experts will be on hand to signpost people toward specialist help if needed.

Dr Jane Youell is set to launch the event as a result of her own experiences with her father.

She said: “My dad had been in hospital for a few weeks before he passed away and we had received really good care from the excellent nursing team.

"But the closer dad got to death the more they backed away; there was a sense that professionals weren’t really that comfortable being around us.

“There was a sudden curtain of silence around us, despite all of us knowing what was to come.

"If I, as a specialist in older age care, am thinking this, how are people new to all of this coping? I thought then and there that what I should try and take this experience and give other people the chance to start talking about the unmentionable.

“Despite the subject matter, the death café is above all a friendly and conversational experience and I look forward to talking with people when it opens its doors on 30 October and throughout that week.”

The death café is open from 2:30pm until 4:30pm during the week starting October 30.

People who wish to attend can email Jane directly: jyouellconsultancy@gmail.com

The death café movement was initiated by a Swiss sociologist and anthropologist Bernard Cretazz who wanted to break what he termed the "tyrannical secrecy about death".

Find out further information about the death café movement head to http://deathcafe.com/