Creative Ways To Talk About Dying

The Community Integrated Advance Care Planning Team (L-R) Debbie Ryan, Jan Cummins, Corinna Hurst and Lisa Gallagher.

To help promote this month’s Dying Matters Week, The Living Well on Borough Road, St Helens recently played host to an exhibition of artwork addressing the difficult issue of talking about dying.

Dying Matters is a national campaign which encourages people to talk more openly about making future plans, dying, death and bereavement.

The exhibition, led by the Community Integrated Advance Care Planning Team, was part of a collaborative project between Willowbrook Hospice, Halton Haven Hospice and North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and featured 33 canvases created by participants from a range of services involved in health and social care across Halton, St Helens and Knowsley. These included staff and residents at nursing homes, residential care homes, Willowbrook Hospice, Halton Haven Hospice, a mental health ward and the Integrated Community Advance Care Planning Team. With the theme of ‘What Dying means to me’ the canvases featured collages of words, poems and images all of which represented perspectives on the issues relating to death and dying.

To celebrate the success of the project, the Community Integrated Advance Care Planning Team invited participants to come along to The Living Well to view the collated canvases over a pot of tea and cake.

Janet Cummins Advance Care Planning Co-Ordinator said: “Although talking about dying can be a great taboo, we’ve been overwhelmed by the response we’ve had from the care homes involved in this project. The canvases on display show not only a fantastic level of creativity but also demonstrate that people understand the need to talk about and plan for their future, however long that may be.”

Since the tea party, the exhibition has been viewed by the Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside, Mark Blundell, who said: “This is a marvellous exhibition of art and it shows great community involvement.”

Deborah Tubey, Interim Assistant Clinical Director at North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Well done and thankyou to everyone who took part in this event. It’s highlighted the incredible passion and enthusiasm within community care that we have across Halton, St Helens and Knowsley.”

For details on the next dying matters event that is taking place on 12 June, at Whiston Hospital, please contact the Community Integrated Advance Care Planning Service on 01744 646 809

The collated artwork.

Main photo – The Community Integrated Advance Care Planning Team (L-R) Debbie Ryan, Jan Cummins, Corinna Hurst and Lisa Gallagher.

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