Write up for Death Cafe Liverpool (January 2020)

A write up of Death Cafe Liverpool

By Jamie


Death Cafe

Evaluation Summary

Evaluations:  8 submitted

Attendees:  1 facilitator, 24 attendees


It has taken me much longer than usual to write up our Death Cafe from January. Partly because I have been recovering from surgery, and also partly because of what is happening around the world and how this is impacting our work and every aspect of life.


Now more than ever, it feels so much more vital to have conversations about life and death. And in a world where we seem to be so restricted in how we live our lives, questions about how we make the most of this precious life that we have under such limited conditions, with less choice, feel very relevant.


Our third Death Cafe was hosted again in Tusk Baltic, facilitated by Jamie Fearn. We saw again an increase in numbers of people attending. The larger numbers meant that we split into more groups, and part way through the evening, we had a short break and asked if people wanted to move to different groups. This was a suggestion from some of the feedback, and has been received really favourably.


Since our last Death Cafe in October, the Liverpool Echo has published an article on our Liverpool group written by Lee Grimsditch (photo attached), which is absolutely fantastic. There have been some conversations with a few people about setting up their own Death Cafe, and it feels like people can really see the importance of this. I’m really happy to support others and share my experiences if that would be helpful.


It was great for me to be able to move between groups, and to share with some about their experience in deciding to attend on the night. Sometimes people come with friends and that can be really helpful in new situations.


It has been interesting for me to read the feedback (full details below) and great that people find it so interesting and thought provoking, that the atmosphere was welcoming and friendly, and that people felt safe. We seemed to do better with the break in terms of the structure, and I’d like to keep this as an ongoing discussion at the beginning for future events. I think it’s common that people who are more confident lead discussions, and I don’t know in this suggestion for improvement around the structure, if there is something more we can do to support people who are less confident, or if it’s about recognising that not everyone will want to contribute, and I think there will always be people who want more input from others.


In terms of other feedback about advertising – I guess it’s important to recognise that we run these events as a voluntary endeavour to support the community and to give space for discussions about death – Hannah plays her part in giving us a physical space, and organise the events through Facebook and Eventbrite, and I do my part in doing some advertising on social media and through the growing email list, and I do the facilitation and writing up of the event. I can hear that people really see the importance of this, and want the word to spread, and also I recognise that I have limited time to organise and do the advertising I do. I would really love for more people to offer their time in promoting this and would really welcome suggestions for local agencies we could keep informed.


The most common words used to describe this Death Cafe were interesting or fascinating and thoughtful, along with lots of other lovely words.


I really welcome further discussion on any or all of this, so if you have something you’d like to add or talk about, then please get in touch: jamie@jamiefearn.co.uk


The full feedback from the evaluation forms is as follows:

1.      Overall, how would you rate this event? 5 = excellent, 1 = poor:

·         7 rated it as 5

·         1 rated it as 4


·         Very enlightening – found the whole experience enjoyable.

·         Such a unique experience to discuss death in a level, calm, unemotionally charged atmosphere

·         Great venue and good atmosphere. Well organised and a good mix of people

·         Top event, very good venue and setup for good conversations.

·         I was expecting more general public than professionals


2.      Would you say that attending this event affected your feelings about death and / or life?

·         3 said yes

·         2 said something inbetween

·         3 said no

If Yes, please attempt to say how:

·         Yes, in that it’s been interesting to hear different people’s perspectives and experience of death and dying

·         No but it was good to see so many people with similar ideas and the diverse experiences which were freely shared

·         To a certain amount, but mostly to reaffirm my feelings by sharing other people’s views

·         Had a couple of small revelations, but mainly great to associate death with laughter.

·         Made me think about the experiences of other people and how everyone is effected in different ways

·         Great to hear different perspectives and hear of experiences


3.      How comfortable did you feel during the Death Cafe? 5 = very comfortable, 1 = very uncomfortable.

·         5 rated it as 5

·         2 rated it as 4

Is there anything you can think of that would have made you feel more comfortable?

·         Very informal and relaxed

·         No everyone was really friendly and engaged

·         No/Nope

·         No, everything was good, just that the whole topic is a bit scary!


4.      How well did the structure of the discussion at the Death Cafe work? 5 = very well 1 = not very well at all.

·         6 rated it as 5

·         1 rated it as 4

·         1 rated it as 3

Suggestions for improvement:

·         Very well introduced

·         Really good, with the rotation at half time.

·         Not much more, really liked the shuffle around half way through. Good to focus conversations and get the best out of the time.

·         There was no set structure for the discussions, so more confident people led the discussions


5.      Overall, how would rate you the facilitation of the event? 5 = excellent, 1 = poor

·         7 rated it as 5

·         1 rated it as 4

Any suggestions for improvement:

·         Good, comfortable venue and well facilitated

·         Loved the venue, but a little echo prone at times.

·         Just the right amount of direction and then hovering.

·         None, was spot on.

·         Suggested topics or questions for exploration if people needed it


6.      How would you rate the cake and drink? 5 = excellent, 1 = poor

·         4 rated it as 5

·         3 rated it as 4

·         1 rated it as 2

Any suggestions for improvement:

·         Would recommend the Victoria sponge!

·         Didn’t check – but were there savoury options.

·         A few more cake options would be good

·         No issues myself, a friend of mine wasn't too impressed by the cake

·         No


7.      Please choose 3 words which best describe your experience of Death Cafe:

·         Friendly, informative, interesting

·         Interesting, refreshing, friendly

·         Interesting, thoughtful, fun

·         Enjoyable, eye opening, thoughtful

·         Fascinating, funny, comforting

·         Interesting, cathartic, stimulating

·         Thoughtful, safe, calm

·         Interesting, welcoming, thoughtful


8.      If someone told you they were thinking of attending a Death Cafe what would you say to them?

·         Go and be open minded

·         Please go its very interesting and thought provoking

·         Definitely do it – don’t delay

·         Do it! I’ll come too

·         Definitely go as it was a fulfilling experience

·         I would definitely recommend

·         Go!!

·         I would advise people to go but if this was someone who is grieving I would say take a friend


9.      Do you have any other comments or things you think we should hear?

·         Nope, keep up the good work!

·         I think this should be more widely advertised so that more people could attend maybe through contacts with local agencies

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