HEREFORD will host its very own Death Café later this month.

Based on the Swiss Cafe Mortel movement, the café is a place for strangers to meet and openly discuss dying.

It will be based at number 10 Church Street from 7pm to 9pm next Tuesday and forms part of St Michael's Hospice's Dying Matters Awareness Week.

Hospice staff insist that the cafe is not as morbid as it sounds.

Mary Taylor, a hospice social worker, said not many places exist where people can go and talk about death.

"I know from personal experience just how exciting and invigorating it can be to meet with interesting people and share ideas about such an important subject," she said.

"The first time I visited a death café made my life feel much more extraordinary. It brought everything into focus.

"Entrepreneur Steve Jobs said in his Stanford acceptance speech, ‘remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.

"Death is very likely the single best invention of life. It is life's change agent.'

"I think it would be wonderful to think of death as being a special part of someone's life and we are looking forward to people join us for a life affirming evening."

The hospice's "before I die" chalk boards also form part of the week's events and will make a return to High Town from Monday

They offer a space for people to write what they want to achieve before they die.

Chris Smart, hospice communications manager, said: "It’s inspiring, motivating and often very humorous to read peoples quotes.

"Last year we had lots of people say what a fun experience they had. There can be a lot of humour in death, which sometimes makes it easier for people to talk about things they would otherwise find very difficult."

The hospice is the main provider of specialist palliative care in Herefordshire and supports more than 1,300 patients each year.

For more information, or to donate to the hospice, call 01432 851000.