FUNERAL professionals based in Winchester will host a unique networking event – welcoming the public to talk about death.

Richard Steel and Partners has teamed up with the Dying Matters charity, and will open its doors to answer “everything you always wanted to know, but didn’t dare to ask”.

The event will be held at Chesil House on Chesil Street on May 18, and a selection of experts and local charities will be on hand to talk, including Winchester Bereavement Support and Winchester Hospice.

Iain Steel, managing director of Richard Steel and Partners, said: “We are delighted to be hosting this event at our newly refurbished Chesil House, giving the local community the chance to ask those all important questions in a relaxed and informal atmosphere.

“My family have been serving Hampshire for nearly 160 years through four generations, thinking about your funeral wishes in advance is a great help to your family.”

The day feature several speakers on topics, including the support available to those who wish to die at home, and ‘why it is a good idea to talk about your own funeral’.

It has been organised as part of the 2019 Dying Matters Week, and this year’s theme is ‘Are you ready?’ – to either start thinking about death or to help someone prepare for theirs.

Chelsea Duke, a funeral celebrant, who will be at the event, said: “Arranging a funeral involves a lot of decision making, but making these decisions under pressure in the emotionally charged immediate aftermath of a death is not necessarily the best time to be doing so. Thinking about and talking about your funeral in advance gives you and your loved ones time to consider the options and create the best service for all of you.”

The day runs between 10am and 4pm, and people can drop in at any time.

Ruth and Janet, celebrants from Humanists UK, said: “This exhibition will give visitors the chance to think about all the issues around getting older and dying and provide answers to the questions that are hard to ask. Professionals will be on hand to provide information, answer those questions and suggest the choices that are possible.”