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OA39 Digging a hole… planting a seed… water it and watch it start to grow, grow, grow
  1. Rebecca Lloyd,
  2. Kathleen McLoughlin,
  3. Carmelia McGloughlin,
  4. Caroline Macken,
  5. Marie Richardson and
  6. Jim Rhatigan
  1. Milford Care Centre, Ireland

Abstract

Background Milford Care Centre’s Compassionate Communities Project uses a seed grant scheme to engage with communities around illness, dying, death and bereavement. The scheme, now in it’s 3rd cycle strives to inspire and support the work of local groups, organisations and individuals who wish to mark in some tangible way their response to the universal realities of death, dying, loss and care as lived and experienced by those living within their communities. A key requirement for the receipt of a grant is that the level of funding must be matched either in cash or in kind.

Aim This presentation will report on the projects supported, describing the short and medium term impact they have had on the local community.

Method A short film will showcase the projects. Qualitative interviews were conducted with all grant recipients to determine the impact of the seed grant at a community level.

Results Seed grants were used in a variety of ways, for example:

  • Supporting a community group to develop a reflection space

  • Supporting a youth project to explore what death, dying, loss and care means to service users through the creative arts.

  • Supporting a library to develop a bereavement information ‘resource’.

  • Supporting local groups to run a community event aimed at increasing awareness and knowledge about ‘healthy’ ways of coping with loss and grief.

  • Supporting those seeking practical ways of providing support to other living with illness and loss.

Conclusions The seed grant scheme offers a low cost, high impact approach to working with communities.

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