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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

First of its kind Funeral Festival set for Ballymena

In a first of its kind for Northern Ireland Mid & East Antrim Agewell Partnership (MEAAP) are set to host a Funeral Festival in the coming weeks in Leighinmohr House Hotel, Ballymena.

The organisation which exists to improve the lives of older people across the borough hopes the pioneering event will provide a platform to highlight all aspects of death and dying, answering the questions that we need to know but sometimes don't like to ask.

Exhibitors taking part in the event includse local Funeral Directors, Florists, Music, and Solicitors, alongside end of life care providers including The Northern Ireland Hospice. In addition to this, they will also showcase alternatives to traditional funerals including Humanist Funeral Ceremonies.

The idea behind the event has come from MEAAP’s work in advanced care planning as part of their services supporting the older people of Mid & East Antrim.

Jenny Marshall – Executive Director of Community Programmes and William John O’Donnell of W J O’Donnell Funeral Directors.

Jenny Marshall Executive Director for Community Programmes at MEAAP said:

“It is so important for individuals of all ages to make end of life plans. This can include even simple tasks such as putting all your important documents in a safe accessible place for your family if they should need them, right through to choosing how you would like to be cared for at the end of your life or what you would like your funeral ceremony to include.

"In Northern Ireland, our funerals take place quite quickly after death and this means that we have a very short window of time for loved ones to make such important decisions. This is often compounded by the traumatic impact of grief. The difference that having your wishes written down can make are immeasurable.

"Many of the older people we support have expressed a sense of peace knowing that their wishes will be carried out by their families, and that their loved ones will not be left to make such difficult decisions."

Looking ahead to the Funeral Festival Jenny added:

"We believe that this event is an innovative mechanism for tackling the stigma that surroundsdeath and dying, event though it is the one life event we can all be sure of.  We hope that even if people are unable to attend, it will encourage individuals to start the conversation with their loved ones.”

The Funeral Festival will take place in Leighinmohr House Hotel, Ballymena, on Tuesday 11 October 2022

For further information or for support please contact MEAAP on 028 25658604 or email


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