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P-41 A community engagement approach to talking about death, dying, bereavement and making plans for the end of life
  1. Margaret Brown
  1. St Giles Hospice, Lichfield, UK


Pop Up Shop held during Dying matters Week 2017 ‘Our lack of openness has affected the quality and range of support and care services available to patients and families.’ Dying Matters website.

Aim To engage with the local community in conversations relating to death, dying, bereavement and end of life plans, using a Pop Up shop in the centre of town on the three main market days.

What We did • We partnered with our local Co-operative Funeral Service, who had premises we could use, and invited a number of relevant local organisations to join us in reaching out to our local community.

• Offered café style space with free tea, coffee, cakes etc.

• Provided wide range of local information relating to death, dying, bereavement and advance care planning.

• Offered complementary therapy taster sessions.

• The Co-op provided a white coffin for people to decorate with pictures, messages etc.

What We Learnt • People highly valued our time in listening to them.

• People sometimes need ‘permission’ to talk about things that concern them.

• The public value seeing local organisations working together.

• The importance of using local people to engage with local people.

• As a hospice we couldn’t have done it on our own.

Unexpected Outcomes • Recruitment of new volunteers and interest in joining the wider health and social care workforce.

• Quality and depth of conversations that took place both inside and outside the shop.

• Enhanced our partnership working; strengthened relationships, increased knowledge and understanding of each other’s services.

• People said they valued seeing us model that it’s possible to approach difficult subjects without causing offence.

• Support from other departments within the hospice which has helped us in reaching our internal community with the key messages from the Dying Matters agenda.

• Income generation – people insisting on giving us money despite us being clear in not asking for donations.

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