Background It was identified at the hospice that we needed to engage with children and young people. Research indicates that talking with children about dying, death and bereavement can be difficult, but when done in the right way can be beneficial for both children and adults involved.
It was felt that a way of achieving this engagement was to provide relatable and relevant information and therefore a programme was introduced in conjunction with sixth form students at a local school.
Aims To showcase a range of career options for young people across the Midlands, highlighting the different entry points for people into these careers. To increase the reach and understanding of Marie Curie services within a group of 16–18 year olds. To provide vital support to organisations and individuals working with children and young people.
Methods We used a range of engagement methods including bereavement awareness training; assembly presentations; careers fairs and events; a tailored toolkit for organisations to better support children; and, bespoke work experience opportunities. Initial engagement was with 21 schools within a 10-mile radius of the hospice that had a post-16 education programme. In particular, a significant amount of engagement has been done with an inner-city Birmingham mixed comprehensive school with a diverse ethnic, economic and religious profile.
Results Three schools participated in the bereavement awareness training. Assemblies were carried out in three schools. Six work experience placements arranged. A Careers Fair was organised at the hospice and advertised on social media.
Conclusion Bereavement awareness training led to a number of referrals to the Children’s and Young People’s Service. The Careers fair led to five volunteers recruited. Assembly talk has led to fundraising opportunity for the hospice.
Current impact seen Increased engagement in the hospice services from younger people, increased fundraising opportunities and increased number of referrals to Children’s and Young People’s bereavement service and an increase in the number of volunteer appointments.
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