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  • SUPPORT OTHERS Supporting each other in emotional and practical ways
  • Being clear about our preferences means that when we die,
  • Many of us will eventually need to be cared for.
  • Writing a will and sorting out your financial affairs can
  •   Talking is important. Our plans and wishes are more


Talking about life and death
'Talking about life and death' is a film about a knowledge exchange event involving representatives from Cheshire West and Chester Older People’s Network and Library Service.


View the film in the resouces section >

Training courses

Just by Talking

Just By Talking courses

This course will enable staff and volunteers to discuss death, dying and loss and promote health and wellbeing with service users.
Find out more on the training page >


Shall we talk?

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We can come and talk to your group, club or association.
Find out more about our talks >



The resources section contains videos to watch, items to print and even the odd celebrity joke about life, age, death and loss. Find out more in the resources section >


  • Crafting Memory Sessions at Purple Onion +

    Cheshire Living Well Dying Well have been working with local charity Purple Onion bringing Crafting Memories to their group. Purple Read More
  • Introducing Three New Team Members +

    The Partnership welcomes three new team members. Laura Farmer, Emma Dixon and Jill Cox will work alongside team members to develop links Read More
  • Chelford Compassionate Community +

    Community organisations and residents in Chelford are currently working with Cheshire Living Well, Dying Well to enable Chelford to become Read More

    Ten of our Community Ambassadors got busy crafting a 6’x4’ canvas for display at the famous Whitworth Art Gallery, at Read More
  • Reflections and highlights of Dying Matters Awareness Week +

    Every year in May, Dying Matters and a wide range of partners including the Cheshire Living Well, Dying Well (CLWDW) Read More
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_CLWDW Fab talk on a very important topic. We're delighted to be supporting @DyingMatters week #itsgoodtotalk https://t.co/LWDbzl16Oz
_CLWDW Join our Community Ambassador programme - next induction session takes place 23 November in Sandbach find out more https://t.co/mrWVil0ujv


Don’t You Leave Me Here: My Life by Wilko Johnson

“They told me the cancer was incurable and terminal. I felt absolutely calm. I felt free. Free from the future and the past.”

Wilko Picture


Given just months to live, musician Wilko Johnson decided to live life in the moment, embarking on a series of farewell gigs and recording. But he didn’t die. A chance meeting with a photographer resulted in a life-saving operation.

Read more ...

Raising Awareness And Encouraging Action About Life, Age, Death And Loss

In 2009, the National Council for Palliative Care set up the Dying Matters Coalition to promote public awareness of dying, death and bereavement. The Coalition comprises thousands of organisations and individuals across England and Wales including the Cheshire Living Well, Dying Well Partnership. Each year the Coalition initiates the annual awareness week, which this year ran during 9-15 May. The theme was the ‘Big Conversation’ and that ‘Talking about dying won't make it happen!’


Members of the Cheshire Living Well, Dying Well Partnership Team – making living well, ageing well, grieving well and dying well the norm

The Cheshire Living Well, Dying Well Partnership supported the Awareness Week by delivering training to staff and volunteers; a Wills Workshop for members of the public; meet-and-greet sessions in libraries and other public settings and a live Twitter chat.

Read more ...

Are Direct Cremations The Equivalent Of No Frills Budget Airlines?

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Direct cremations and burials provide people with the option to dispose of the body without fuss or frills whilst leaving them free to say goodbye how, where and when the time is right.

The direct option separates the disposal of the body from the ceremony to celebrate the life that has ended. David Bowie and the novelist Anita Brookner both requested that that their body was sent directly to the crematorium from the hospital or home with no funeral service. In the case of Anita Brookner her death notice in the Times stated: ‘At Anita's request there will be no funeral.’

The precise number of direct cremations and burials in the UK is hard to come by. The National Association of Funeral Directors estimate that about three per cent of the annual deaths in the UK involve direct cremations and burials without funeral ceremonies.

So, what is behind the increasing interest in direct cremation? For some people, it’s money. The average cost of a funeral now stands at £3,456, having risen 80 per cent since 2004. Once the extras such as flowers, wreaths, catering and venue hire are included it can bring the bill up to £5,000 and above. Researchers at the University of Bath estimate one in five families struggle to meet the cost of funerals.

Companies specialising in direct cremations as well as some funeral directors offer this option for less money than a 'traditional' funeral. Recent news coverage as well as a quick Internet search suggests that a direct cremation can cost in the region of £1000.

Is this true? Some costs related to direct cremations are fixed. Two doctors have to certify the cause of death, which will cost a total of £164.00. The crematorium fee is unlikely to be less than £700.00. In addition, the body has to be presented to the crematorium in a simple coffin and unless you have a suitable vehicle there will be a charge for transportation of the body from a hospital or coroner's mortuary to the crematorium. There may be other costs if the body was stored in a funeral director’s mortuary or if a pacemaker or artificial body part has to be removed. There is also some legal paper work to complete. As with all service offers, it’s important to check what is included in the quoted fee and what is not.

In most cases, direct burials when compared to direct cremations will cost considerable more because of the cost and preparation of the grave.


The Imagine mosaic in Strawberry Fields, New York. John Lennon was cremated without a funeral. Yoko Ono requested a memorial ceremony to take place “everywhere and anywhere”. Photo: Bennett

A direct cremation will take place at a date and time chosen by the crematorium. The company or person organising the direct cremation will have no say over this. The ashes can be returned to those requesting them. 

The attractiveness of direct cremations is not just about affordability. The author of the Good Funeral Guide, Charles Cowling, has remarked that more people nowadays want to “separate the disposal of a corpse from the memorial event”, and many funerals are followed by events in which film, music, readings and speeches mark a person’s life. “Why not cut out the first bit and focus on the second?” A columnist from the Independent recently stated: “Seeing a coffin being lowered into the ground or disappearing behind curtains is a dramatic touch many people would be grateful not to have to go through, as their last physical connection with their loved one.” 

For thousands of years, funerals have been a means of expressing our beliefs; thoughts and feelings about death. The coffin, hearse, procession and funeral service in the crematorium or at the graveside is an important custom and ritual; potentially an important part of the grieving process and an essential part of a religious service. Doubts about direct cremations and burials are understandable. There are plenty of people who prefer the sober dignity of a traditional church funeral, or indeed a secular service that is solemn rather than celebratory.

David Bowie and Anita Brookner’s decision to opt for direct cremation has shone the spotlight on the subject and created talking points. I was interested to find out about the local situation.

A phone call with Steve Linde, Funeral Director at Crewe Funeral Service reveals that direct cremations and burials have been arranged alongside traditional funerals ever since he has worked in the profession; sometimes for financial reasons but more often out of choice. 

“We have very recently organised two direct cremations. As long as a request is legal and capable, we do what people want us to do.”

The Cheshire Living Well, Dying Well Partnership aims to inform and enable people to make choices about life, age, death and loss. Being clear about our preferences means that when we die, those people close to us know what we want to happen. Direct cremations and burials represent another option to consider and talk about with those people close to us. 

Andrew Bennett

Public Health and Wellbeing Worker (Associate)

The Cheshire Living Well, Dying Well Partnership

Thanks to colleagues and Steve Linde, Crewe Funeral Service

Dying Matters Awareness Week

DYM week

Dying Matters Awareness Week runs during the 9 - 15 May 2016. The theme this year is the ‘Big Conversation’ and that ‘Talking about dying won't make it happen!’

Rachel Zammit, Head of Public Health and Wellbeing for Cheshire Living Well, Dying Partnership, spoke at this year’s official launch of Dying Matters Awareness Week. Rachel explains:

“I was honoured to be able to present at this year’s conference to launch the national Dying Matters Awareness Week and have the opportunity to update people about our work in Cheshire. Hopefully, some of the examples and learning I shared has helped to inspire people to get involved and work alongside others within their communities to make a difference. Small actions can make a big difference”.

Have you plans to support Dying Matters Awareness Week 2016 where you live, work or play? Have you ideas to encourage families, friends and the wider community to talk to each other about the importance live, age, death and loss? If so, please keep us updated and let us know if we can provide support.

Please contact the Cheshire Living Well, Dying Well Partnership.

Tel: 01270 758120

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Big Conversation: Awareness Week 2016 resources can be obtained from Dying Matters.