Earlier this year, St Richard’s Hospice and St Giles Hospice, both located in the The Midlands, joined forces to instigate a network of those people employed in hospices with the remit and title of Community Engagement. After a successful gathering in February at St Giles, the initiative has gone from strength to strength with another Midlands network held in May. In addition, as a guest member of the Midlands group, being based at Oakhaven Hospice in Hampshire, I took up the challenge to set up a similar network for hospices along the South Coast. This has proved equally successful with a number of hospices contributing to our first forum in June. The networks are aimed at raising awareness, increasing understanding and accessing seldom heard groups in hospice care and not necessarily community fundraisers, unless the remit of the role encompasses both. Bringing hospices’ staff together, specifically people whose remit is titled Community Engagement, yet with a plethora of interpretations of the title, has proved valuable for sharing learnings, debating topics and building on new ideas. This initiative of Networks dovetails into the Hospice UK strategy goal no.3 ‘strive to build community capacity and resilience to care for those at the end of life’ and we are keen to promote other regions to follow our lead. Our poster is aimed to encourage conference attendees to consider how they might take forward the Community Engagement network initiative for their regions.
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