Nottinghamshire Hospice is passionate about providing hospice care to all our communities. Previously primary school groups have come in to sing Christmas carols to patients in day therapy and in the Summer two local schools came for picnics with patients. These picnics involved more interaction between pupils and patients than Christmas singing had provided. Patients and pupils played games together, shared stories about their ‘teddies’ and toured the hospice gardens.
It was concluded that this was a great starting base to take schools work further and to develop an interactive teaching programme which benefits patients, pupils, schools, parents and Nottinghamshire Hospice.
The hospice therefore invited a class of children into the hospice for four afternoons to work on a 1:1 basis with patients with the aims of:
Raising awareness in the community about the hospice’s work;
Address myths and reduce anxieties around loss and bereavement;
Create healthier attitudes towards death, dying and aging;
For patients and pupils to have some fun and laughter.
Patients and pupils talking and getting to know each other’s interests, what’s special to them and what they enjoy about the school and hospice. This was evidenced in creating poems which were read out to patients and parents;
Pupils saw all aspects of hospice life including HR, finance and maintenance;
Reading and discussing ‘Paper Dolls’ story together which talks about memories and having a workbook and craft around this story.
Activities involvedFeedback was positive from pupils, patients, parents, school staff and hospice staff. The children learnt a lot about ‘their patient’, this was reflected in the poems they wrote together.
School staff and parents were reflective on the warm and happy atmosphere that the hospice provided and how the children had interacted with people much older than themselves and hospice staff enjoyed sharing their knowledge.