Letchworth BID manager Tom Hardy on efforts to tackle the taboo of discussing death

Letchworth BID manager Tom Hardy talks all things garden city in his weekly Comet column.

Letchworth BID manager Tom Hardy talks all things garden city in his weekly Comet column. - Credit: Archant

In April 2016 the owners of Shires Funeral Directors commissioned a special report to look into the attitudes of the modern public to death.

The research was mixed – 91 per cent of participants had attended a funeral, but 42 per cent felt uncomfortable discussing the very real issue of their own mortality.

Some 42 per cent of people, however, said they would be interested in planning their own funeral and the same amount said they would like it to be a “celebratory affair”.

From this #TackleTheTaboo was born. It was a way of getting people to open up and discuss death in a more social surrounding and hopefully remove any social anxiety.

The #TackleTheTaboo Roadshow was developed by Shires community champion Donna Sullivan, along with Faye Silver of Raymond James and Sharon Brown of Tollers Solicitors, in the hope it will encourage people to talk about the subject of future planning – whether that’s in relation to care fees, wills, trusts, inheritance, pensions or funerals.

They have been holding local #TackleTheTaboo events since February within the local community, which enables residents to be able to come and talk to an industry professional free of charge.

The next event is today, Thursday, from 10am to 2pm in Letchworth town centre.

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Another place tackling death is The Arcade, which has never been more alive with shops.

It was great to have to opportunity to cut the ribbon on yet another new shop that opened in the town centre on Saturday.

Beautique LGC offers a wide range of women’s and children’s clothing and is welcomed addition to the Arcade offer.

This addition also means the Arcade is now 100 per cent let, and full with an excellent selection of shops.

If you find yourself in our town centre, be sure to take a walk down to The Arcade and discover the variety it has to offer.

The Letchworth Festival will come to a close this weekend, with the Proms in the Park event on Sunday in Howard Park.

Come along for this lively outdoor event for all the family, featuring stalls and family entertainment around a programme of live music.

Although it’s not quite in the town centre, this is one of my favourite events. It’s always a great atmosphere and attracts children, adults and families from all over the county.

To find out more, feel free to get in touch on bid@loveletchworth.com.