Community engagement at core of conference

Categories: Community Engagement.

The minister will highlight the central role of volunteers in providing care and support and share his vision for hospices as an integral part of their local communities. In his address to more than 350 delegates, he will praise the work of more than 70,000 volunteers who make a vital contribution to hospice care across the UK.

David Praill, chief executive of Help the Hospices and member of the Commission into the Future of Hospice Care, said: “We are really excited that the Minister has joined us to reflect on and debate the importance of community engagement for the hospice movement.

“We passionately believe that hospices have a vital role to play both as key providers of palliative care within their communities, and as an essential component of social cohesion and social participation. Empowering more volunteers through innovative approaches and in partnership with other providers will be key to our future as a sector.”

In a new report published today, the Commission into the Future of Hospice Care explores new approaches to volunteering within hospice care, as well as new ways to build on existing best practise and promote excellence in the future. ‘Volunteers: vital to the future of hospice care’ aims to aid the empowerment of volunteers to help hospices meet the challenges that lie ahead.

The conference, Community engagement: back to our future, will feature keynote speeches from Heather Richardson, national clinical lead for Help the Hospices, and Elizabeth Bayliss, Social Action for Health chief executive, as well as Libby Sallnow, volunteering advisor and research fellow, and Joe Saxton, foundere and driver of ideas at nfpSynergy.

Nick Seddon, deputy director of Reform, and St Nicholas Hospice Care chief executive Barbara Gale will debate the topic ‘Existing hospices attract and deploy volunteers in a way that gives them a key strategic advantage in a more competitive provider environment for the provision of hospice care’.

The annual Help the Hospices and National Gardens Scheme Awards, which aim to recognise hospices and people who have undertaken innovative work within their communities, will also be presented at the conference tomorrow.

And the conference will showcase several hospices and the innovative projects they are developing around community engagement, including areas such as learning disabilities, spiritual care, black and minority ethnic communities and homelessness.

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