Todmorden festival focused on death and dying returns for fifth year

Pushing Up Daisies (PUD), the community-generated festival creating conversations around death, dying and bereavement, is back
Pushing Up Daisies (PUD), the community-generated festival creating conversations around death, dying and bereavement, is back

Pushing Up Daisies (PUD), the community-generated festival creating conversations around death, dying and bereavement, is back for a fifth year in and around Todmorden.

The award-winning event was founded by three local women who met training to be end-of-life companions and was inspired by the need for more openness and discussion about what is still, all too often, a taboo subject.

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Aimed at everyone – from children to adults, families to individuals, there are over 60 sessions between Saturday, May 11 and Saturday, May 18. They are a mix of practical advice and information, workshops and discussions, and storytelling and poetry.

The festival’s Opening Bash will take place on Saturday, May 11 from 2.30pm at The Fielden Centre on Ewood Lane, with family fun and games, music and performances and plenty of refreshments.

There will also be a Ceremonial Bash on Thursday, May 16 from 7pm with an evening of song and reflection culminating in the annual “Burning of the Letters” ceremony.

The PUD team are encouraging as many people as possible to get involved in this year’s event – whether they’ve been involved before or want to be part of it for the first time.

Hannah Merriman is one of the festival’s organisers. She said: “We’re proud that Pushing Up Daisies has reached its fifth year and look forward to welcoming many people – of any age and any background – to our events in the coming weeks. We know that death, dying and bereavement are difficult subjects.

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"Facing up to the end of a life is pretty scary and facing up to losing people is pretty painful. Pushing Up Daisies’ mission has always been to make it just a little bit easier, a little bit kinder and a little bit more communal.

Fellow organiser Sue Robinson said: “By bringing people together and talking about things too few of us openly discuss, we can break down the stigma, reduce the taboo and – we hope – help those who are facing the hardest of times without feeling they have to face them alone.

“Join us in Todmorden for Pushing Up Daisies and you’ll get a warm welcome, filled with tea and cake and moral support. Facing death is part of life, let’s make it part of our everyday lives.”

More details about the event can be found at www.pushingupdaisies.org.

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