Background Hospice supporters are generally over the age of 50, and as such, we need to better engage with younger people. The project also sought to address possible ‘group think’ outcomes (Psychology Today).
Aim(s) To engage younger audiences, harness ideas for innovation and to encourage voluntary work/future support. Ideas generated directly or indirectly improve care and experiences for patients/families/carers.
Methods We recruited 12 schools for a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style competition. Students worked in teams on one of four evidence-based challenges:
How can technology address inequalities in palliative care for different ethnic groups (Hospice UK, 2021)?
How can those abroad be involved in their loved one’s death (British Psychological Society, 2020)?
How can we recruit/utilise volunteers to support patients and their families (NCVO, 2021)?
What steps can make donating easier in an increasingly cashless society?
Teams ‘pitched’ to judges in a face-to-face finale. The process was evaluated through surveys with students and teachers. We will separately evaluate the ideas we implement.
Results The prize for the winning team was an ongoing relationship with the hospice to implement their idea. The winning team focused on volunteering and specifically how we improve engagement with younger people. This is beneficial to the charity in a number of ways and aligns with the original aims of the project. Other challenges provided valuable insight into use of technology to improve engagement, teaching and care.
Conclusions The solutions (recommendations) seem both logical and possible in terms of our ability to implement.
91% of students were happy for us to pursue their ideas.
73% wished to get involved in hospice volunteering.
66% would be interested in becoming a hospice youth ambassador.
Innovation and interest We have received much interest nationally from other hospices who have requested the blueprint in order to replicate.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
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