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P139 Building capacity and compassion: piloting a collaborative project to enable young people to support others who experience death, bereavement and loss
  1. Nikki Archer,
  2. Pat Owen and
  3. Jane Beckett
  1. St Giles Hospice, Lichfield, england


St Giles Hospice has worked in collaboration with a local secondary school to pilot a 1hour workshop for Year 8 pupils as part of their PSE programme. The work shop was accredited by Education Transformation, Staffordshire Education Authority and was facilitated by trained volunteers. Students were invited to create a young person through whom they were able to explore issues relating to death, bereavement and loss. Over 200pupils participated.

Peer support is a key aspect of the support young people identify as being helpful in enabling them to adapt and cope with bereavement. Building capacity and compassion within our community is a key strategic aim.

Evaluation A number of key themes were identified from the students feedback. The students felt it enabled them to:

  • listen to each other

  • understand others feelings

  • respecting difference

  • talk safely about death, bereavement and loss.

  • understand the impact on the listener

Only 5 students stated they felt they had gained nothing from the session

The facilitators feedback indicated that generally students were:

  • engaged and eager to share their ideas and experiences.

  • enabled to understand issues relating to death, bereavement and loss.

  • enabled to identify how they might support a friend who had suffered a loss

The role of the teacher and the need for the practicalities to have been agreed was highlighted.

Teachers feedback indicated that the workshop was well delivered, helpful and informative giving an opportunity for young people to understand the issues.

The project forms part of the Hospice’s programme for building compassion and capacity within our local community. Additional opportunities for fundraising and volunteering were identified. We plan to build on the success of the project by exploring opportunities to work in partnership with other local organisations to deliver the workshops.

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