Ending Life’s Taboo

  • Client : Ending LIfe's Taboo
  • Status : Grant funded
  • Amount: £10,000

End Of Life Counselling for Young People 

We awarded Ending Life’s Taboo £10,000 to launch a new End Of Life Counselling programme that provides therapy support for young people suffering from terminal illnesses at the Colchester Hospital. 

The project has been very successful so far, having attracted additional grants from other funders and widening its reach now to Ipswich Hospital too. Tracy Davies, the CEO of the CIC, set-up the organisation after her son sadly died in hospital without receiving adequate counselling care towards the end of his life.

Following Ross’ death, Tracy thought about his last few weeks in hospital and the need for him to have spoken to somebody about his inner thoughts. Although the family was close, it was difficult for him to discuss what was happening.

Tracy became passionate about challenging society’s view of death and dying, with the aim of improving the quality of end-of-life care for young adults. She was positive that being able to talk to someone professionally-trained would have improved his mental health and reduced his emotional pain.

“Young people approaching their end of life go through a similar grief process to those left behind,” said Tracy. “They grieve for the life they thought they were going to have and for the people they will be leaving. I want to give young people aged 18 to 40, who are facing a terminal illness, an opportunity to access psychological support and that’s why we decided to launch Ending Life’s Taboo. We often shy away from talking about something so painful but, in all honesty, it’s something every single human has in common.

“When we are young, we don’t think it’s something that seems a reality but when faced with being told you have a terminal illness everything comes crashing down – hopes, dreams, aspirations. Time is no longer an option. Ending Life’s Taboo aims to offer rapid access to counselling and support to young people, facing the most vulnerable time in their lives.

“The families of the young person will also be supported and we can offer a service that makes passing as peaceful as possible. I want Ross’ legacy to ensure the support is there for these young people when they need it.”

Based at the hospital’s Cancer Wellbeing Centre, Ending Life’s Taboo is also supported by St Helena Hospice and Macmillan Cancer Support.

Tracy added: “It’s difficult to start a charity and also gain grants when the service is completely new, as the level of need and outcomes are difficult to evidence. I’m really grateful to Rod Appleyard, of Colchester Catalyst, and the board of trustees for awarding the grant to Ending Life’s Taboo and believing in us at a very early stage.”