First-ever 'Death Cafe' for Harrogate district

Humanist Cate Quinn who will be one of the hosts of the forthcoming Death Cafe in Knaresborough.
Humanist Cate Quinn who will be one of the hosts of the forthcoming Death Cafe in Knaresborough.

It is, perhaps, the last taboo, but it's about to be broken in Knaresborough shortly.

What it believed to be the Harrogate district's first-ever Death Cafe is to take place at Henshaws Arts and Crafts Centre later this month.
Organised by Cate Quinn, an administrative assistant at Henshaws, a specialist charity providing support, advice and training to anyone affected by sight loss and other disabilities, the ground-breaing event is not the first of its kind in the UK - or further afield.
Inspired by the French, Death Cafes have spread quickly across America and Europe over the last five years.
Quinn, a Humanist wedding and funeral celebrant, says the idea is not to hold a sort of grief support groups or an end-of-life planning session.
An offshoot of the “café mortel” movement which emerged in France back in 2003, the fact these events usually take place in trendy coffee shops will say a lot to the casual observer.
Simply out, at a Death Cafe people, often strangers, gather to eat cake, drink tea and discuss death.
As befits a 'not-for-profit' set-up, any and all donations will go to Henshaws Arts and Crafts Centre.
Death Cafes are a 'social franchise'.
Anyone who goes online and signs up to the Death Cafe guide and principles can use the name for events.
There must be no intention t lead people to any particular conclusion or course of action.
Promoting any products or services is not allowed.
The meetings must be held an accessible, respectful and confidential space.
And, perhaps most importantly of all, the event must be centred on refreshing drinks and nourishing food - cake, in particular.
All that participants at this first Death Cafe in the area have to do is to be willing to calmly and openly discuss questions like:
What is death like?
What does it mean for those left behind?
Why do we fear it?
How do our views of death inform the way we live today?
The end goal of this increasingly popular discussion event is to end the habit of a lifetime - the sanitisation of death and dying in society.
The Death Cafe will be hosted by Cate Quinn, Frank Ward and Andy Ison.
This free entry event will take place at Henshaws Arts and Crafts Centre, Bond End, Knaresborough form 3pm to 5pm on Wednesday, October 18.