Death and bereavement will be the focus of events in national Dying Matters Week, 14 – 20 May 2018.

Epsom residents are encouraged to talk more openly about death, including how they want to die and their funeral plans

They can learn how the NHS, hospices and other local services provide support to those nearing the end of their lives, as well as their families and carers.

Dr Rina Patel, Palliative Medical Consultant at Epsom and St Helier, said: “We want to support people in communicating openly about death and dying, and hope that the events we are hosting will give all members of the public the chance to come and find out more.

As well as getting people talking, this year the focus is on what people can do to help in the community – such as voluntary work in a hospice.

Dr Simon Williams, end of life clinical lead for NHS Surrey Downs CCG, said: “The local NHS, social care and hospices now have a range of support services available to help those approaching the end of their lives, as well as their loved ones and carers.

"We know that facing the idea of an end of life plan can be extremely hard to do, but by just starting the conversation with the right people means that we can provide support going forward.”

To get involved in Dying Matters Week, join one of these public events:

• Monday May 14: Launch event, featuring the Epsom and St Helier Hospital choir, 1pm, St Helier main reception. Come listen and join in

• Tuesday May 15: Drop in event, 2-4pm, MacMillan Butterfly Centre, Epsom Hospital. A chance to chat or ask questions to health and social care professionals

• Wednesday May 16, ‘I Did It My Way Café’, 2-4pm, Pink Room, St Helier Hospital.