The learning disability charity MacIntyre have been given almost £170,000 of National Lottery funding for their new project 'Dying to Talk'.

The pilot project aims to break down the barriers people with a learning disability face regarding end of life care.

Although people with a learning disability are living longer than ever before, with an average life expectancy of 66 for men and 67 for women, they are still dying much younger than the general population.

This is partly due to the fact that people with a learning disability are more likely to live with other health conditions such as diabetes, epilepsy, dementia and dysphasia.

Breaking down barriers when talking about death and dying

A spokesperson for Macintyre said during their Dementia Project, the charity came to the realisation that all too often people with learning disabilities are left out of the conversation when it comes to making decisions regarding their end of life care.

As part of MacIntyre’s promise to support each individual to feel good about themselves and to stay safe and healthy, the 'Dying to Talk' project aims to help individuals with learning disabilities and their families feel supported when talking about death and dying.

The project will work with people with a learning disability, support workers, family members, and the wider sector to deliver workshops, provide information and create resources to find the best ways of actively promoting equality and inclusion in all aspects of life, as well as best practice for end of life planning.

Ensuring families are well informed and voices are heard

Elly De Decker, England Director at The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “We are delighted to support MacIntyre with its Dying to Talk project. The charity works hard to ensure people with learning disabilities and/or autism are not marginalised.

“The project places its members at the heart of it, ensuring not only that people are well informed but that voices are heard. Something that is particularly important when decisions are being made about end of life care.

“We are able to fund this much-needed programme thanks to National Lottery players, who raise £30 million each week for good causes throughout the UK.”