Dr Judith Wester and Mrs Kathryn Walker will be presenting some of their research on the Life Lessons initiative at the upcoming CDAS Conference at the University of Bath on 6 June 2015. The conference, which is run by the Centre for Death and Society will focus on ‘Death and its Futures’. This is an international conference on death, with scholars from as far afield as Canada, the USA, Australia and across Europe. Dr Wester and Mrs Walker will focus on the benefits of teaching young people about death, dying and loss in rural England. The Life Lessons project, which ran from July 2014 to April 2015, was partially funded by the NHS Shropshire CCG Young Health Champions and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) of West Mercia. Graham Oliver of the PCC stated:
CEDAR gives answers and comfort and helps those that attend [Life Lessons] to understand the process of dying and the ramifications of family, friends and how people deal with death. Evidence presented confirms that without CEDAR some of these young people would have been dealt with by the court system.
Dr Wester and Mrs Walker plan to publish their findings in an international journal later in 2015 or early 2016. Their follow-up research has been sponsored by Healthwatch Shropshire.