The Mary Stevens Hospice has won a national award for its No Barriers Here project, which uses art based approaches to encourage people with learning disabilities to have conversations about the end of life.
With funding from Hospice UK, the project uses the arts workshops to help participants explore different ways to have important discussions that they may find challenging.
People with a learning disability more likely to die at a younger age, and also frequently experience inadequate or poorly coordinated care. This project is part of Hospice UK’s national mission to ensure everyone, no matter their background or circumstances, gets the end of life care they need.
Gemma Allen and Claire Towns accepted the Innovation in Tackling Inequalities Award on behalf of the hospice, Dudley Voices for Choice and Dr Jed Jerwood, at the Hospice UK Awards, held at the charity’s national conference in Liverpool.
Claire Towns, CEO at the Hospice, said: “We are delighted to receive this award from Hospice UK. There are many groups within society whose voices aren’t heard in relation to end of life care and personalised planning.
“We are passionate at Mary Stevens that no matter what barriers are perceived to be in the way they can be overcome. The No Barriers Here Project, adopted a unique approach to include people with learning disabilities in conversations around their care at end of life. As a hospice we are exceptionally proud of this project and are looking forward to diversifying this work to other groups.”
At the awards ceremony, Hospice UK CEO, Tracey Bleakley said: “Congratulations to the Mary Stevens Hospice on winning the Innovation in Tackling Inequalities Award. Their dedication and commitment to providing vital hospice and end of life care has been amazing to see, and without doubt has made a huge difference to the many people who rely on their support.
“We had some incredible entries for our awards this year. In spite of a difficult 18 months, there are so many inspiring projects, people and volunteers who’ve made a huge difference in their communities by helping people get the vital care they need.
“Whether helping to raise awareness about what end of life care is, making sure everyone in the community can get help they need or supporting families through the loss of a loved one, each of our winners has made a massive difference to the care people with life-limiting conditions and their families receive.”
Hospice UK is the national charity working for those experiencing dying, death and bereavement. We work for the benefit of people affected by death and dying, collaborating with our hospice members and other partners who work in end of life care. Our hospice members influence and guide our work to put people at the centre of all we do.
We believe that everyone, no matter who they are, where they are or why they are ill, should receive the best possible care at the end of their life.