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P40 A hospice chaplaincy approach to community outreach: Building end of life groups within faith communities
  1. Hilary Thompson Sr and
  2. Vivi Boucher
  1. St Joseph’s Hospice, Hackney, London, UK

Abstract

Introduction This innovative piece of Hospice Chaplaincy outreach is in its infancy. It is a listening project concentrating on multi faith communities in a richly diverse multi ethnic, multicultural inner city borough. The focus is on End of Life Care and Hospice services.

Aims This project aims to build long lasting relationships between local faith communities and the Hospice. It is organic and will develop according to the expressed needs of the stakeholders.

Method A local council map of places of worship was divided into four smaller areas and a project plan developed. Faith leaders in the first area were visited. Several introductory workshops were held in the Hospice. The Chaplain was invited to speak and give workshops in some faith communities. A training programme for volunteers to support End of Life Groups in faith communities was initiated. Work in area one is being sustained while visits to faith leaders begin in area two.

Results All thirty five faith leaders in area one were visited and invited into the Hospice for an introductory workshop. Twenty seven attended. A significant number had not met before. A second workshop was requested and several requested talks and workshops to be given to their faith communities. This has resulted in the development of a series of workshops based on the needs of these faith groups.

Discussion So far the results are consistent with the aims. Faith leaders meeting for the first time were able to explore possibilities of working more closely. Several have come into the Hospice to attend other events. End of Life groups are beginning in faith communities. Death is being discussed.

Conclusion Information given is often based on professional assessment of what is wanted, this ensures that we listen and respond to articulated needs. Working systematically with smaller groupings embeds the project in faith communities.

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