I’m a Forest Gate resident with responsibility for Libraries, Heritage and Cultural programmes in the neighbouring borough of Redbridge.

We organise loads of events throughout the year, but one of the projects I am involved in is called The Death Positive Library. I started this about five years ago as a way for people to have conversations about death, dying and bereavement in a safe and non-judgement space – the library.

Death is still quite a taboo subject in our community, even though it’s something that affects all of us! I wanted to use the arts and literature as a way to break down some of those barriers.

We have a regular programme all year round and for this month, as part of our Women’s History Month finale event, we are hosting a panel event called A Matter of Life and Death. The panel features Forest Gate writer and spoken word artist Salena Godden who will be talking about her award winning book Mrs Death Misses Death, artist Annie Nicholson AKA The Fandangoe Kid, Aldersbrook-based Funeral Director Hasina Zaman (UK’s first Muslim woman funeral director) and Reverend Canon Ann Easter who is also a Forest Gate resident! Vivian from the Newham Bookshop will also have a stall on the night.

This won’t be a morbid event, but a life affirming one where the audience gets to hear about and share very human experiences of love and loss.

A Matter of Life and Death will be taking place on Wednesday 30th March, 7pm-8.30pm at Wanstead Library, Spratt Hall Road, London, E11 2RQ. For further info and tickets book here.

@thedeathpositivelibrary on Instagram and if you are on Twitter, you can find us on @deathpositivel1