A Winter Get Together to Regroup, Reconnect and Inspire

Categories: Education.
With an exceptional line-up of local and international speakers, it is time to book your place at Caring, Dying & Grieving: Encouraging and Supporting Action in Communities. Tickets cost only £20 for community members/volunteers and £40 for professionals.

Book tickets here or read more about the sessions on offer below:

Building Bereavement-Friendly Workplaces

Alison Bunce, Project Lead, Inverclyde Cares

As part of the No-one Grieves Alone initiative in Inverclyde, Alison Bunce has been encouraging and supporting local organisations to take action to become more bereavement-friendly employers.

In this session, Alison will share some of her experiences from this work, including ideas of how others can support similar work within their own organisation or locality.

The session will include information about the Bereavement Charter Mark for Employersand the Bereavement Friendly Workplaces Toolkit, and how they can provide a template and tools to support managers, HR staff and colleagues to take practical action to support more bereavement-friendly workplaces.

Changing cultures around dying and grieving in Scotland…. how do we do it?

Rebecca Patterson, Director of Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief

There’s growing consensus that creating a culture where people can talk about, plan ahead for, and support each other with death and dying is really important. But how do we make that happen here in Scotland?

Drawing on theory relating to ‘public health approaches to palliative care’, ‘health promoting palliative care’ and ‘compassionate communities’, Rebecca Patterson will look at some of efforts that have been made in Scotland over the last decade to improve people’s experiences of death, dying and bereavement. Referring to policy, practice and the work of Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief she’ll explore attempts to move from theory and good intentions towards actions that have resonance and impact for individuals and communities in Scotland.


The Truacanta Project: growing compassionate communities in Scotland

Caroline Gibb, Truacanta Project Manager


With input from community members

Since 2020, five Scottish communities (in Perth, North Berwick, Highland, Ayrshire and Tayside) have been participating in the Truacanta Project, working to improve local experiences of death, dying and bereavement through a community development approach.

Three years on, those involved in the project share what they’ve learned about creating more compassionate communities



The Unquiet Grave

Karan Casey, Irish Folk Singer

“In Ireland we still talk to the dead, speak to the birds and wave away that one Magpie.”

Singing songs charged with a sense of social responsibility in a career spanning over 25 years, Karan Casey has released 11albums as well as contributing to numerous other artists’ projects. She has toured extensively throughout the world, performing with her own band as well as diverse collaborations.

In this session Karan Casey explores the songs that have helped her to find a pathway through grief.

A Whistle-stop Tour of Scotland


A series of short presentations on a variety of work underway from all across Scotland, including:

  • Lapidus Scotland on the book Living our dying
  • Pushing up the Daisies on importance to carers of what happens in the moments and days after someone’s last breath
  • NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde on their Seasons for Change programme for staff
  • Strathcarron Hospice on Denny Poppies
  • Funeral Link Dundee exploring funeral poverty concerns
  • University of Glasgow on End-of-Life Doulas & Building Compassionate Communities
  • University of the Highlands and Islands on work exploring young people’s education needs around death


Compassionate Communities in Belgium


Joachim Cohen, Professor of Public Health and Palliative Care; Louise D’Eer, Researcher; Bert Quintiens, ResearcherEnd of Life Care Research Group: Universiteit Gent & Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium

A team of researchers in Belgium are exploring the creation of compassionate cities in Belgium, combining academic and practical approaches.

As a result of this work, Bruges is now officially designated a ‘compassionate city’, and this year the City Festival Nodes took place in Bruges from 17-25 September, highlighting various initiatives around grief and loss.

In this session Joachim Cohen, Bert Quintiens and Louise D’Eer will share their reflections from this work so far – the barriers they faced, their successes so far and the learning they’d share with others trying to support compassionate communities.

Building Compassionate Communities


Breakout Session A

North Berwick Compassionate Community; Highland Truacanta; Say Something Dundee; the Truacanta Project.

A chance to discuss the practicalities of encouraging more supportive communities relating to death, dying and bereavement.

Hear from others who are actively encouraging compassionate communities and share your own experiences.

This session will include contributions from: Caroline Gibb, Truacanta Project Manager; Deborah Ritchie and Charli Prime of North Berwick Compassionate Community; Anne Macdonald and Karrie Marshall from Highland Truacanta; and Linda Sterry from Say Something Dundee.

Death and Bereavement in Education

Breakout Session C

Sally Paul, Senior Lecturer, Social Work and Social Policy, University of Strathclyde

Jennifer Somerville, Bereavement Co-ordinator: Scotland, Child Bereavement UK

In this workshop we discuss why death and bereavement are relevant issues for education communities and showcase a range of current Scottish examples of work in this area. We specifically focus on three elements that can help advance education and support related to death and bereavement, including: Bereavement Awareness Training, Death and Grief Education and Targeted Bereavement Support. Come and hear different speakers talk about the why and how of each of these topics and the ways in which we can support related initiatives moving forward. There will be lots of practical tips and resources to take away that aim to improve experiences in education settings for young people, staff and the wider education community.

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Planning Ahead for Death and Dying

Breakout session B

Jennifer Watt, Anticipatory Care Programme Manager, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde

Mireille Hayden, Founding Director, Gentle Dusk

Planning ahead for ill health and death encompassess many aspects, including the medical, the practical and the legal. It can include anticipatory care planning, DNACPR documentation, RESPeCT, legal forward planning or informal discussions.

This session will explore how people can be supported and encouraged to plan ahead for ill health and death. Jennifer Watt will share work underway in NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde to support and encourage anticipatory care planning. Mireille Hayden with explain the work Gentle Dusk does to help people to document their emergency and future care wishes, financial and legal affairs. There will be opportunities for questions, discussion and together delegates will explore and share their experiences, barriers and successes.

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Palliative care services and public health approaches to palliative care

Breakout Session D

Facilitated by Lynn Griffin, Senior Lecturer and Head of Studies for pre-registration nursing, University of Dundee.

Susan High, Community Development Co-ordinator, Strathcarron Hospice

Libby Sallnow, palliative medicine consultant at Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust and University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and honorary senior clinical lecturer in new public health approaches at St Christopher’s and University College London.

This session explores the idea of public health approaches to palliative care from the perspectives of those providing palliative care services

The recently published JRCPTB palliative medicine curriculum 2022 explicitly references public health and health promotion in end of life care. Libby Sallnowwill look at what this means for palliative medicine clinicians and service provision.

There is growing recognition of the harm that can come from over-medicalising death, and of the role formal services can play in handing power back to communities. Susan High will share key reflections from the work of Strathcarron Hospice’s Compassionate Communities Team which works alongside the local community using an asset-based community development approach.

The session will include opportunities for questions and discussion, providing a space for delegates to explore what role formal services and the people who provide them have to play in public health approaches to palliative care.


Early-bird workshops


Grab a tea/coffee and attend one of these optional early-bird sessions. These will run before the first plenary session, at 9.40am – 10.20am. The morning sessions will be available on a first-come, first-served basis so sign up if you’re interested.

Early workshop A: What happens in the moments and days after someone’s last breath

Kate Clark, Pushing Up the Daisies

Early workshop B: Take the Leap: an opportunity for you to think about what really matters and share your wishes with others

Jennifer Watt, Anticipatory Care Programme Manager, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde

Photo by Manish Upadhyay on Unsplash


Knowledge Exchange and Networking


Throughout the day there will be opportunities to meet up informally over a cup of tea, to chat, to learn about what others are doing, and to share your own work. Explore…

Stalls: Talking Mats & Coffin Club Caledonia; Soul Midwives Scotland; Marie Curie Scotland; Pushing up the Daisies; Child Bereavement UK and Scottish bereavement networks; Social Security Scotand’s National Engagement Team; End of Life Studies at University of Glasgow; Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief

End of Life Aid Skills for Everyone: get a sneaky preview of some of the resources from EASE, the End of Life Aid Skills for Everyone public education course.

It Takes a Village: A powerful and challenging series of portraits and personal stories, It Takes a Village explores the idea that as people’s health deteriorates, care and support comes in many guises.

Noticeboard of opportunities: Are you seeking others to get involved in a local project? Would you like to work with others to get something done? Put a notice on the noticeboard advertising your project, or check out the notices put there by others.

Book tickets


Caring, Dying, Grieving: encouraging and supporting action in communities will take place on 1 December 2022, at the Renfield Centre in Glasgow.

The event is designed for anyone interested in this field, whether professionally, personally or in a volunteer capacity.

We’re keen to welcome volunteers, community members, social care staff, nurses, doctors, funeral directors, death doulas, academics, policy workers, community development practitioners, service planners/managers and more.

TIckets are £40 for professionals, or just £20 if you’re coming in your capacity as community member or volunteer.

Book your ticket here: Book tickets. More information including a full programme is available here: Caring, Dying and Grieving: encouraging and supporting action in communities.

Photo by Claudio Schwarz on Unsplash



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