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Forres woman Jane Duncan Rogers will help NatWest staff make death conversations less difficult

By Calum MacLeod

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Jane Duncan Rogers.
Jane Duncan Rogers.

Moray woman Jane Duncan Rogers is helping staff at one of Britain's biggest banks deal with some of the most difficult conversations they will have.

Before I Go Solutions, the Forres-based community interest company founded by Jane, has partnered with NatWest, marking another step forward in her mission to have end of life plans become as commonplace as birth plans.

Led by Jane, NatWest will train its personal bank managers to feel more at ease talking about end of life, so they can feel comfortable about mentioning NatWest's “Plan Ahead” service to their customers.

The pilot scheme was described as outstanding and excellent by participants, with the vast majority agreeing that by the end of the training they felt more comfortable talking about death to their customers, and why using the Plan Ahead system is so beneficial for them and their families.

Before I Go Solutions has a global network of licensed practitioners led by Jane, who began her mission after the death of her husband Philip in 2011, when it became obvious he would have had a very different experience if he had not been so afraid of dying.

The partnership is a further boost to Before I Go Solutions, which last month was announced as one of 10 Changemakers social enterprises which will receive a total of £1.5 million in funding from Royal London over the next three years.

Jane said: "I passionately believe society needs to be more open about grief, death and dying.

"To be sticking our heads in the sand and finding these topics difficult to mention is understandable but given we are all going to be affected by them sooner or later we need to face them and more crucially, take action.

"So I am absolutely delighted to be working alongside NatWest and with Royal London to help ensure these conversations are being had as sympathetically and constructively as possible. It is really refreshing to see major institutions such as them opening up and being keen to be part of a movement that is so vital.

"It is my goal to open up conversations about these topics, bring them out of the closet and to help people take action."

One new method of starting these conversations is Before I Go Solutions' new End Of Life Planning cards, which were launched earlier this year as part of Dying Awareness Week and are based on Before I Go’s popular online quiz.

"90 per cent of people say it's essential to plan for their end of life but only 14 per cent have actually done anything formal about it," Jane said.

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