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Grieving daughter has to register death by public toilet in Dover

By Dover Express  |  Posted: October 10, 2012

  • UNCOMFORTABLE: Dawn Hyde standing between booklets on grieving and a public toilet, opposite Dover's registry office in the Discovery Centre

  • Cllr Ronnie Philpott

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A GRIEVING daughter has told of her disgust at Dover's registry office – situated next to public toilets in the library.

Betty Hyde died after suffering a stroke earlier this month and her daughter Dawn went to register her mother's death at the Discovery Centre last month.

"It's not fit for purpose," said 49-year-old Dawn, of Shepherdswell.

"It's disgusting. Dover can do better."

Mother-of-three Dawn had been a full-time carer for Betty, 81, who suffered from dementia.

Dawn moved in with her mother last year but was taken to hospital with an irregular heartbeat in March due to the stress of being on call night and day.

Deputy Mayor Ronnie Philpott accompanied Miss Hyde to the registry office on Wednesday, September 26, for support.

She had met Dawn at Re-Think – a service that "speaks up" for people with mental health problems in Dover.

The former mayor agreed that the registry office was not appropriately situated in the building.

She said: "I think it's very impersonal. You've got the toilets there and the lift going up and down.

"To be sitting in the full glare of people in an open area like that – it's so insensitive for people who are grieving.

"The pain is raw because you have got to go down and tell someone details about you and the person who has died.

"Just imagine a parent sitting there registering a death with other children running around. You need a quiet area and to feel comfortable, not have people looking at you."

The deputy mayor said the former registry office at Maybrook House was cosier and made you feel welcome.

Kent County Council cabinet member for customer and communities Mike Hill said: "We know registering a death is a very emotional time and our aim is always to make people feel comfortable.

"Customers are given a choice of locations when they book to help them choose the best one for them. All venues are centrally located, fully accessible and welcoming.

"Many customers find it useful to have toilets nearby, particularly those with children but we do continue to review registrations to keep improving the service."

Have you had to register a death at the library? Did you feel the same way as Dawn Hyde? Write to us at the postal address on page two or e-mail news desk.doverexpress@KRNmedia.co.uk

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