Death Café

Death Café

We are interested in the death café as a cultural phenomenon.

Anthropologist Dr Naomi Richards is leading our research into the emergence of the death café movement, asking:

  • what are death cafés?
  • can death cafés be defined as a 'cultural' end of life intervention?
  • who is operating them, and why?
  • what, if any, are their benefits both on the people who attend them and on wider society?
  • how are they are changing as the interest increases?
  • can we compare death cafés in different countries?

This research is part of our Wellcome Trust funded Global Interventions at the End of Life project.

What is a death café?

Our death cafés

We organised our first death café in the nearby village of Thornhill in April 2015, with the aim of engaging with our Dumfries and Galloway community and helping local people talk about death and dying.

We held a fireside death café at the Environmental Art Festival Scotland in August 2015, and since then have held and helped at several others.

We hope to work collaboratively to encourage more death cafés to be held on a regular basis. We are currently looking at a variety of types of venues with an eye to ‘widening participation’ to encourage different socio-economic groups to join in the discussion.

There won’t be any formal research taking place at our cafés, although we invite participants to give feedback after each event.

If you are interested collaborating with us on a death café, please contact us.


Dr Naomi Richards talks about death cafés to an Age Scotland audience