In collaboration with both local Community Voluntary Services (CVS), Community 360, Community Voluntary Services Tendring and Essex Faith Covenant, St Helena Hospice has been successful in receiving grant funding from the Masonic Charitable Foundation for an exciting new project. This has further been supported financially by our Alliance End of Life Board.
In this Social PrescribingTM pilot project, we will recruit two additional engagement officers, one in both Colchester and Tendring to work with under-represented Black, Asian and minority ethnic and deprived groups, and any other communities who do not traditionally access hospice care. We will work to better understand their needs and barriers to accessing services. The Engagement Officers will be given training on social prescribing and end-of-life care and will work across CVSs and the hospice.
Our dashboard shows inequity of access for those living in areas of high deprivation and this project will link with our well established SafeHarbour project.
The Engagement Officers will work with existing services in the community to develop an awareness of the needs of these communities and propose modifications which would promote greater equality of access as well as supporting these communities to feel better informed at supporting their citizens at end-of-life. If gaps are identified within local community assets we will work with partners to develop, support and where appropriate seek investment in community assets. This collaborative approach would enable communities to co-produce solutions to improve health outcomes, with the Engagement Officer serving as a facilitator across community networks.
We hope community leaders will gain a better knowledge of what happens at end-of-life and feel empowered to shape the services available. Equally end-of-life providers would learn more about the community services available to support their patients and how our services need to be adapted in order to ensure equality of access for all.
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