Venue, Timing and Cost
At a Death Cafe people, often strangers, gather to eat cake, drink tea and discuss death. A Death Cafe is a group directed discussion of death with no agenda, objectives or themes. It is a discussion group rather than a grief support or counselling session. Death Cafes were founded in 2010 by Jon Underwood, who decided to develop a series of projects about death, one of which was to focus on talking about death. Our aim is to increase awareness of death to help people make the most of their (finite) lives.
Part of Kicking the Bucket, a city-wide festival exploring the subject of death, bereavement and life.
Born in Geneva, Switzerland, Joelle has lived and worked in Oxford and London since the early 1970s. She trained and worked with the London Natural Death Centre’s Befriending Network and worked as a massage practitioner as well as Resonance Repatterning Practitioner for some 15 years. She subsequently trained as a Soul Midwife in the mid-2010s. She volunteered on different occasions at Sobell House Hospice, both helping in the Day Centre and offering hand massage on the wards. Since 2018 she has been facilitating a monthly discussion group, “Let’s Talk about Death and Dying,” which carried on through the pandemic on Zoom. She’s also trained as a Funeral Celebrant with Green Fuse and was Chair of the Dignity in Dying Local Group for 5 years. She has recently co-founded the Oxford branch of Companion Voices which trains volunteers to sing to dying people. She has given a number of presentations on Death and Dying including at Blackwell’s and Oxford University Press.
Joelle says, “Throughout my life I have been blessed to accompany friends and relatives living with life-threatening illness until their death and feel strongly that if we can explore and talk about death and dying, we can live better. I am keen to support others to do the same.”
Arne Richards is an Independent, Green Fuse-trained Funeral Celebrant.
As an experienced facilitator and presenter he knows first hand how the flow of a good funeral ceremony with its tapestry of poetry, music, words and ritual can guide the thoughts and feelings of mourners through the grieving process towards a sense of hope, love and mutual support.
Arne is also a professional musician and psychotherapist. He is the founder and Director of the Oxford Concert Party which has, for over thirty years performed, recorded and broadcast at many major music festivals throughout Great Britain and Europe as well as giving a major commitment to community projects in high security prisons, Immigration Detention
Centres and for those with dementia. His private practice as a therapist has helped numerous people suffering from fears and phobias over 25 years.
A member of the Royal Society of Musicians, Arne’s concerts, ceremonies and presentations seek to create a warm, sympathetic atmosphere in which people are able to express their own emotions and reflections.