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Death cafes a success for Brisbane’s Footprints

Author: Anna Manzoney
07 August 2015
  • A Decision Assist linkage grant has helped Brisbane-based Footprints run successful 'death cafes'.

In January this year, Brisbane’s Footprints organisation received a Linkages grant as part of the Australian Government’s Decision Assist program.

More than $1.5m in grant funding was awarded to build better links between the providers of palliative and aged care and their clients across Australia.

According to Footprints Nursing Care Coordinator Lynne Megginson, many of the organisation's clients are either homeless or live in marginalised accommodation like boarding houses, supported accommodation or public housing and their deteriorating health frequently goes undetected until crisis point is reached.

“Many may have complex mental health issues in addition to physical conditions, so these groups are challenging to work with,” Ms Megginson said.

Six months on from the announcement and Footprints is on a roll. Through the Linkages grant, the organisation has already held three Death Cafes in Brisbane, a concept of the non-profit death cafes started in the UK in 2011, where people gather to drink tea, eat cake and discuss death and dying.

“Our cafes have proved very successful at linking with partner organisations, strengthening education and receiving regular communication from our client groups,” Ms Megginson said.

“We are also finding there is an increasing need to link many of our client groups with aged care services at a younger age.

“This group, usually in their 50s, finds it increasingly difficult because of lifestyle issues – homelessness, social or financial disadvantage, mental health problems or addictions, to be referred to other services.

“With the Linkages funding we are able to also work with our partners BallyCara, for linking people to residential aged care and Karuna Hospice service in organising specialised palliative care in the home. We look forward to cementing these services over the next six months,” Ms Megginson said.

More information on Footprints is available at

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