BOROUGH organisations are coming together next month as they aim to encouraging the community to speak more openly about death.

Throughout Dying Matters Week 2017, which this year runs between May 8 and 14, Mary Stevens Hospice, H Porter & Sons, Churchill Shopping Centre and Stourbridge College are teaming up to create a week of activities to engage with the community in order to make plans for their end-of-life.

From Monday, May 8, until Thursday, May 11, a custom-made white coffin will be on display in the main lobby at Stourbridge College's Hagley Road campus, with students encouraged to graffiti messages and designs on the coffin about what death means to them.

Then, on Friday April 12, the coffin will be on display in Churchill Shopping Centre, in Dudley, as part of a Dying Matters morning.

Stalls will be set-up to welcome the public from 9am, while 10 organisations – specialising in everything from will writing to bereavement support – will be in the centre talking to the local community, giving out information and advice and encouraging people to speak more calmly and comfortably about our plans for when they die.

Laura Millard, community engagement officer at Mary Stevens Hospice, said: “Huge steps have been taken in recent years to create a more open space in which to consider our plans for the future, but we feel there is still a lot of work to be done to make people feel comfortable about talking about the subject of death.

“These conversations are so, so important – not just for the person planning for the future, but for their loved ones and those people who will be most in need of support when the time comes.

“By coming together and creating a safe space in which to talk openly and freely about the subject, we can help families in a time where clarity and certainty can be such a huge comfort.”

For more information about Dying Matters Week, visit