Peace Hospice celebrates national award

Categories: Community Engagement.

The annual Awards for All Ages is run by social enterprise United for All Ages which seeks to tackle the issues of improving care, reducing loneliness and challenging ageist stereotypes.

The project saw 12 students and four patients work together over four weeks to create mixed media memory pictures about the patients’ lives. They used photographs of objects, pictures and memorabilia collected by patients to form collages, which were then displayed at a special exhibition to celebrate the project.

The project helped to break down barriers between the old and the young, and students were encouraged to look beyond age, illness and disability. For some students, it was a rare experience to meet people from an older generation and was an introduction to hospice care. It also helped the young students to confront beliefs about disability and the end of life.

Furthermore, the project gave the hospice patients a new voice and helped to enrich their lives. One patient with MND communicated through an iPad, and screenshots of what they had written were used in the collage. He wrote: “I like being with young people, so lively and with new thoughts on everything. Enjoyed meeting some very respectful teenagers interested in what we have done in the past…”

The ‘Creating memories’ project will be repeated in June, and Allison Tromans-Nunes, Schools and Colleges Coordinator at Peace Hospice and creator of the project, hopes that other hospices will work on similar projects. She said: “The project helps the patients to reflect on their lives, to give them a social opportunity and our patients felt they could give back to the hospice by joining the project. Conversations about the end of life happened naturally. Using mixed media is a way to get people involved in the project to try things they may not have done before.”

The project is an extension of work that Allison has been doing with schools since September 2010. The hospice reaches young people in the community by actively engaging and raising awareness through various projects. For example, Allison has used drama in a local primary school to put on a re-enactment of Badger’s Parting Gifts, a children’s book about bereavement. She has also done collaborative art work with primary school children, such as creating memory trees, and celebrating the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead.

Hospice Chief Executive Sue Plummer said: “I am delighted that the Hospice’s work with young people and patients has been recognised by United for All Ages and I congratulate the team on their success.”

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