Local hospices unite to host guidance classes on death and serious illness

Greg Cooper of St Elizabeth Hospice, Nicola Button of St Helena Hospice and Glenn Hubbard of St Nicholas Hospice

Greg Cooper of St Elizabeth Hospice, Nicola Button of St Helena Hospice and Glenn Hubbard of St Nicholas Hospice - Credit: St Helena Hospice

Three East Anglian hospices are joining forces this month to promote community support and unity during Dying Matters Awareness Week. 

Ipswich's St Elizabeth Hospice will unite with Colchester's St Helena Hospice and St Nicholas Hospice in Bury St Edmunds to mark the occasion next week.

The annual event is held to encourage communities, individuals and organisations to open up the conversation surrounding death, dying and bereavement.

It is hoped the collaboration between the hospices will help give local people the guidance they need on how better to support one another when going through grief.

Greg Cooper, compassionate communities lead project manager at St Elizabeth Hospice, said the partnership will help the hospice's commitment to the Compassionate Communities project – another initiative to offer support to those experiencing loss.

Mr Cooper said: “The collaboration of the three hospices really is in the spirit of Compassionate Communities.

“It’s a project which encourages all communities to look out for one another and to take time out from the chaotic nature of modern life and to have conversations with those around us.

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“Throughout the last year we have all faced challenges as a result of Covid-19, but it has been clear that small acts of kindness and friendship can make a big difference to people’s lives, especially if they are experiencing a difficult time in their life through bereavement or grief.”

As part of the collaboration, the three hospices will host a number of online events to offer guidance to the public, including advice on how to deal with the death of a loved one or the diagnosis of a serious illness.

Overall, more than 30 online and in-person events will take place – with those on offer including "Care and loss during Covid - How do we Heal?" and "Care and loss during Covid - Palliative Care Nursing Q&A".

Practical online workshops will also be hosted. 

Mr Cooper added: “Open conversations and listening to one another is at the heart of Compassionate Communities and we hope communities throughout the region will join with us in starting these conversations, sharing their stories and ensuring nobody is left feeling isolated."

More information on the week's events can be found by calling Mr Cooper on 01473 932492, or by visiting any of the hospices' websites.