About us

Living for the present, planning for the future.

All of us worry about death and dying at some point, and we all have experience of it; but when the time comes for urgent decisions, it can be hard to find the words.

Only 7 % of us have recorded our wishes and preferences for the care we would like at the end of our lives.

Gentle Dusk is a socially-minded organisation raising awareness of the importance of end of life care planning. Through our training courses, workshops and support services, we aim to bring as much compassion as possible to death, dying and bereavement.

We help people to document their emergency and future care wishes, financial and legal affairs. We want to help improve the quality of life for anyone facing death, for their loved ones and the health professionals involved in their care.

At Gentle Dusk we believe that open and honest planning for the future doesn’t have to be scary. It doesn’t have to be sad. These conversations can be gentle, calm, reassuring and empowering – and we can help you get started.

Gentle Dusk works with individuals, the NHS, and private and voluntary sectors across the UK.

We offer a range of training courses for health and social care professionals, and for the general public to gain skills and confidence initiating difficult conversations. We also explore the practicalities of end of life care planning.

Our bespoke workshops can help institutions strengthen the resources and support they offer to their staff, clients and wider networks.

Through our flagship Future Matters service, Gentle Dusk partners with community organisations and the NHS to provide free support for local residents planning their future.

Gentle Dusk also hosts regular events, including Death Cafés. Open conversation about death, dying and bereavement, with some tea and cake, can help us all to think about the kind of life we want – as well as our end of life wishes.

We are a small team of paid staff and volunteers, with a range of experiences from service improvement through to training, counselling, project management and communications. We share a commitment to improving the resources, training and support available in the UK for issues relating to death, dying and end of life care.


Mireille Hayden

Founder – Director

Gentle Dusk was founded in 2011 by Mireille Hayden, a Health Psychologist with 20 years of experience developing end of life care and palliative care services in primary care, acute care, care homes, hospices and third sector organisations.

Her unique energy and enthusiasm combines knowledge and techniques from psychology, with experience of healthcare services and frontline support. 

Gentle Dusk grew out of Mireille’s personal experience. As her mother got older, Mireille struggled to begin a conversation about future health and financial wishes. Although she had seen so many cases where planning ahead was critical for ensuring a person’s wishes were known and respected, she couldn’t find resources to support the planning process.  Gentle Dusk fills this gap.


Maria Piroli

Project Manager

Maria is an experienced Project Manager and Trainer with a diverse business portfolio. She is a qualified PRINCE2 Practitioner, and a Certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt.
Maria came to Gentle Dusk as a Future Matters Volunteer with the Age UK Islington (AUKI) service. In addition to working with Gentle Dusk, she has remained a volunteer at AUKI since 2013.


Sarah Kessler

Communication and Engagement Specialist Advisor

Sarah is a journalist by training, with a background in global health communications and partnerships. Sarah came to Gentle Dusk through her mother, a volunteer advance care planner who showed her that conversations about end of life so often improve day-to-day living.

Sophie Thomas Photo

Sophie Thomas

Business and Events Co-ordinator

Sophie has worked predominately for the BBC as a Production Co-ordinator, planning a variety of TV productions and organising international film shoots. Sophie has recently joined the Gentle Dusk team and is looking forward to working for an organisation that does such valuable work around death, dying and end of life planning.

Ben Stevenson

Psychotherapist, Walking with Grief 

Ben is an Eco-psychotherapist with a master’s degree in Integrative Arts Psychotherapy and since then has been heavily involved in end-of-life care and bereavement work over the last 5 years. Ben is facilitating our Walking with Grief Service for Memorial Woodlands. He is passionate about the impact being in nature can have on our mental state and holistic health, and the innate supportive quality that arises in nature.  The ‘Walking with Grief’ service aims to provide a canvas and hold a safe space for people to find meaning in their life after loss.


Associates and Volunteers

In addition, we have a selection of Gentle Dusk associates and volunteers to help in the wide range of Partnerships and Projects we are involved in.  The Gentle Dusk associates and volunteers have been carefully selected for their personal and professional qualities. They come from a variety of backgrounds and have a range of experiences from service improvement through to training and counselling. They all have in common a commitment to improving the quality of care of those affected by all the issues relating to death, dying and end of life care.

Partnership is at the heart of Gentle Dusk’s approach. We believe that it is a privilege to be able to discuss death, dying bereavement and hear others’ wishes for their own future, and our partnerships always begin with listening, transparency and a commitment to collaboration.

Here are some of the organisations we work with. Click below to learn more about how these partnerships are helping to meet individuals’ and communities’ specific needs


Yes we provide consultancy and support to suit your needs. We can provide workshops, training, support groups and individual sessions as well as bespoke events and assistance . Email us at contact@gentledusk.org.uk

Yes, we provide a variety of courses, workshops to all types of audiences. Please refer to our Training page. 

Additionally, we can tailor and present bespoke courses for health and social care professionals as well as employees in a variety of companies. Please contact us 

Yes we offer one-to-one support for advance care planning. It does depend on which Borough you live in. Refer answers to questions 2 and 3 below.

If the Future Matters service does not exist in your borough we can organise a FREE one-off consultation to understand your needs. After which should you wish to have one-to-one session(s) these can be arranged at a fee.

For your free one-off consultation email us at contact@gentledusk.org.uk

Future Matters is accessible to all. It is currently it is available for free on the NHS in Haringey and Islington. Please contact us to discuss your needs and service costs by emailing contact@gentledusk.org.uk

Yes we can organise a FREE one-off consultation to understand your needs. After which further one-to-one session(s) as required can be arranged at a fee.

For your free one-off consultation email us at contac@gentledusk.org.uk

It depends which advance care plan(s) you have setup.  All allow changes but some have a more complex process than others.

Gentle Dusk Advance Care Plan   
You can update your ACP by adding Addendum Page(s) then signing and dating your updates.

 Co-ordinate my Care

Information can be updated but you need to resubmit to your GP before they can approve on your changes.

Advance Directive
While you still have capacity you can change your mind or cancel your Advance Directive at any time. If you want to change it, you should make a new form and give copies to the people close to you, your GP and anyone involved in your care (instructing them to destroy the old version). You can cancel your Advance Directive by destroying it (and any other copies you have made).

We suggest downloading our LPA Key Information which contains a Glossary of Terms used. If you require the Future Matters service for Lasting Powers of Attorney and live or have a GP in either Haringey or Islington email: contact@gentledusk.org.uk

Should you not be in the boroughs of Haringey or Islington we can organise a FREE one-off consultation to understand your needs. After which further one-to-one session(s) as required can be arranged at a fee. To organise your consultation email: contact@gentledusk.org.uk

Download the Will Planner.

Enter your email below to download the Gentle Dusk Will Planner.

Download the Gentle Dusk Funeral Wishes Planner.

Enter your email below to download the Funeral Wishes Planner.


Download the Lasting Powers Of Attorney (LPA) document.

Enter your email below to download the LPA document.

Download the Advanced Care Plan.

Enter your email below to download the Advanced Care Plan