We had an excellent meeting this week with our Age UK East London partners about the project.

Both our Community Champion and our Befriending/Advocacy Manager have had some real successes in raising awareness about the project and end of life rights. Recently they have attended staff forums for Housing Associations, an excellent Opening Doors London event and Older Persons Forums. At all of these meetings we have provided information and advice about making decisions about care at the end of life, and in return we have learnt from the thought-provoking questions we were asked by staff, volunteers and members of the public.

In particular we are learning lots about dying and death in different cultures, and how this affects discussing and completing advance decisions and lasting power of attorneys. This learning is going to be essential as we progress with our plans to roll out the project across England, and we are so grateful to everyone who is getting involved with the project and contributing to the learning.

The feedback from staff, volunteers and members of the public who have attended our free training sessions and talks is clearly demonstrating that this project is making a difference. Whilst initiating conversations about death can be challenging on occasions, once the discussions start most older people want to set out their wishes for their future care. They want the health professionals, friends and family who may care for them in the future to be aware of their preferences, so if they lose the ability to communicate, their wishes are still followed.

We want to share the learning from East London and make a difference nationally. So over the next few weeks our focus will be applying for Silver Dreams ‘Flagship’ project status. We have already been in conversations with other AgeUKs and also (see previous blog post) with the Older People’s Advocacy Alliance. We would though be delighted to hear from other organisations who are interested in this project.

If you want to know more then please contact

Becky Brown about the national roll out on becky.brown@compassionindying.org.uk

Verena Hewat about organising a training event in East London on verena.hewat@compassionindying.org.uk