A nurse says she wants to break the taboo of talking about death and reduce fear of dying.

Bridget D’Aliessio, a palliative care nurse at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust, is calling for people to join the trust’s next death cafe, at King George hospital.

Held once a month – with the next event tomorrow, Tuesday, December 10 from 11.30am to 12.30pm – in the Cedar Centre, the death café will be an opportunity for residents to discuss death and enjoy refreshments.

The aim is to help people become more comfortable talking about dying.

Bridget, who has worked at the trust for almost 30 years, said: “I understand they may not be for everyone. But they’re important to break down barriers and reduce our fear around death. While death of course can be sad, it can be positive too.

“It’s about breaking down one of our biggest taboos head on and the name really does what it says on the tin. They’re about anything and everything related to death and dying, including discussions about pets, poetry, or what to do with a loved one’s ashes. I find they can be really light-hearted, and fun.

“Death happens to us all and talking about it won’t make it happen any quicker.”

Bridget added: “I’m in a privileged position as often patients will share things with me that they feel they can’t with their families. I find that humbling. And I enjoy making a difference, which in some cases, can be thanks to really small things.

“A lady I was looking after recently only had a little time left, and she had a really simple request – she fancied a cup of bovril.”