The hospice, which is the only one on the Isle of Wight, was nominated for its Schools’ Project, which aims to demystify death and dying for school pupils by introducing them to the hospice and its work.
Staff from the hospice collected the award in a ceremony on Thursday 1 October. The awards mark the first year of the Age Friendly Island partnership, funded by the National Lottery, which aims to “engage with older people, understand the relevant issues and act in order to make the Isle of Wight a truly great place to grow old.”
The Schools’ Project – an idea of chief executive, Nigel Hartley – allows children to visit the hospice for consecutive sessions, meeting with staff, volunteers and patients. Sessions have been mainly for primary schools, but the project is now opening up to older children too.
Hartley was delighted that the project had received recognition at the awards.
“Initially, there was some scepticism among parents who were naturally wary of their sons and daughters spending time at a hospice, but the reactions from the children – sheer enthusiasm and not a jot of fear – were enough to quell any doubts parents may have had,” he explained.
“These children will go on to spread the word that the hospice is not a scary place, and help to dispel the myths surrounding hospice care.”
He added: “We are looking forward to continuing the project and reaching as many children as possible. We extend our continued thanks to Gemma and Aaron at KissyPuppy who, as part of the continued expansion of children’s services at the hospice, are funding the project for the next year.”
Find out more about the services provided by Earl Mountbatten Hospice on the charity’s website.