Hello! We are still in the first month of our project’s development and its wider potential is already clear. Compassion in Dying has recently been inundated with enquiries about Advance Decisions as a result of a letter published in a national older people’s magazine. This has made us even more aware of the relevance of our End of Life Community Advocacy Project throughout the United Kingdom!
However, it’s East London we are focusing on at the moment, where enthusiasm from staff and volunteers is building. Befriending training has already been delivered. The next stage will be for volunteers to undertake training in the use of Advance Decisions and Health and Personal Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney. Throughout the project we will also be increasing awareness of End-of-life Rights amongst GP’s, care homes and community Groups.
Our meetings with older people in East London so far have been very informative. It is evident that there is a clear lack of knowledge and understanding around End-of-life-Rights, but there is also obvious enthusiasm for learning more. Initial conversations with service users have already been really useful in helping us recognize how best to approach this important subject in a sensitive way. We hope that once people have a proper understanding of their rights, they will not only be able to empower themselves, but also their wider family and friends.
It would be useful to know if readers of this blog are aware of and have made an Advance Decision? We would be very interested in hearing your experiences. You can also find out more here.
We will continue to use learning from our service users to drive the project forward. A robust steering group has already been set up consisting of a diverse range of members from all three borough’s Older People’s Reference Groups. They will be meeting soon to discuss next steps. We are all really excited about this project and are very much looking forward to sharing our learning with you!
Verena Hewat, End of Life Rights Advocacy Project Developer