2019 Winner - Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust
Staff at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust decided to try something a bit different for Dying Matters Week by arranging a comedy night in a hospital for employees and family from the trust and also two local hospices. It is believed to be the first event of its kind held in an acute setting.
The event showcased three high-profile comedians: Paul Kerensa (writer on shows such as Miranda and Not Going Out); Jim Tavare (who played the innkeeper in Harry Potter and the prisoner of Azkaban) and Mitch Benn (who regularly appears on Radio 4).
During the event the comedians shared their experiences and reflections on near-death, funerals and dying and also highlighted the need to talk about death and people’s wishes at the end of life.
The event proved to be a sell-out success and received positive feedback for its amusing and thought-provoking content.
During the interval there was a stand featuring Dying Matters materials and many people shared personal experiences of the end of life care received by their families.
What the judges said:
"Out of a crowded field of strong entries, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells’ comedy night for hospital and hospice staff and families was a sold-out success and a clear winner. It produced a lot of laughter, started some key conversations about death and end of life care, and it even made a small profit. A great idea delivered well, it stood out from a set of creative, exciting entries, and thoroughly deserves the Dying Matters award for 2019."