The two organisations are hosting an event, titled Grandma’s Attic, at the Rochdale Pioneers Museum on Saturday, 12 May, from 11am-12.30pm. May is designated as the UK Dying Matters Month, with an awareness week taking place from 14-20 May which aims to raise awareness of dying, death and bereavement and help people talk more about these issues.
Grandma’s Attic is encouraging people to bring along inherited items or mystery objects which can be looked at by museum professionals, while Funeralcare representatives will be on hand to talk about how to plan for a funeral and what the options are. Refreshments will also be available.
The Trust decided to approach Funeralcare in Rochdale to contribute to the Dying Matters campaign locally, to raise the profile of both services, and show co-operation in action.
“From a heritage point of view, co-op societies were known to provide care and cover from ‘cradle to grave’ for their members,” says Liz McIvor, Co-operative Heritage Trust manager.
“Dying is something that affects everyone, but very few people truly understand what happens when a person dies or know how to pay for or prepare for the funeral of a loved one, or themselves. It’s also a subject that few people have the confidence to get to grips with and very few people feel comfortable about walking into a funeral home to enquire.”
She highlights how there are some “key facts that visitors may not be aware of”, such as that some pre-paid over 50 plans do not pay for the entire funeral, compared to the Co-op Guarantee for pre-paid plans.
“I wanted to arrange an informal event where people could come to find out a little bit more without any obligation, have a cup of tea and chat, both to the Funeralcare experts and to us,” adds Ms McIvor.
“When my grandmother died, I ended up with a stack of CWS cookery books, a silver teapot and a box brownie camera. It made me think about some of the things people regularly inherit and the uncertainty people feel about what to do with them next.
“Some people also find odd objects when they’re clearing out a house for sale and are not sure if they should hang onto them – so this is an opportunity for them to enjoy an appraisal by one of our museum staff, and get advice on what to do with them, or how to clean or store them properly.”
Grandma’s Attic takes place at the Learning Loft at Rochdale Pioneers Museum, 31 Toad Lane, Rochdale, on Saturday 12 May from 11am-12.30pm.