Death Cafe Breathes Life into Dying

The first daytime Death Café will be held in Perth later this month, aimed at opening up discussions about death and dying.


Following the success of three evening Death Cafes in the city, organisers Rowan Consultancy are now holding their first daytime event from 10am until midday on Friday 29 September 2017.

A Death Cafe is a group-directed discussion about death with no agenda, objectives or themes. It is a discussion group rather than a grief support or counselling session.

One of the hosts is co-founder of Rowan Consultancy, counsellor, coach and mediator Rachel Weiss.

Rachel, who will be joined by Ruth Burgess, Liz Paterson and Dennis Gardener said, “The event is about providing a neutral space for people to talk about one of the last taboo subjects, death. As a society, we tend to deny death, constantly seeking cures, but we will all die eventually. In other societies, and previously in the UK, death is more visible, more part of life, with people dying at home, bodies being viewed in the home, wakes, sitting shiva. But here, many people will not see a dead person until they are middle-aged themselves, and may not know what to do when someone dies, both practically and emotionally. So Death Cafes provide a space to talk about your own death, or a relative’s, to share experiences and sometimes even jokes.”

Rachel added, “Having held three evening events, feedback suggested that a daytime event would also be good so, depending on its popularity, we hope to hold one daytime event every year, in the Autumn, and an evening event in the Spring to cater for those with full-time jobs.”

The Perth event, being held as part of Rowan Consultancy’s 20th anniversary, will be held at Best Western Queens Hotel, Leonard Street, Perth, PH2 8JB from 10am until midday.

Founded by Rachel Weiss and Christine Partridge at a kitchen table in 1997, Perth-based Rowan has evolved into one of Scotland’s leading providers of personal and organisational growth and development services. Working with a range of clients from pupils and teachers to employees and private individuals, Rowan offers four main services – coaching, workplace mediation, training and counselling.

In 20 years, Rowan has seen over 3,000 counselling clients and delivered training to a similar number within businesses across Perthshire, Dundee, Angus and Fife, and beyond. In addition to a core team of six, Rowan has 66 associate counsellors, trainers and coaches, working from London to Inverness.

The Death Cafe model was developed by Jon Underwood and Sue Barsky Reid, based on the ideas of Bernard Crettaz. Death Cafes have since spread quickly across Europe, North America and Australasia, with over 5,000 held in more than 50 countries since September 2011. In accordance with Death Cafe’s principles, the Perth event will not have any information-giving or speakers, with discussions led by those who come along.

To book a place, please telephone 01738 562005, email or visit