The Hospice got together with the community to create a successful inclusion workshop last week. This was a very positive and open discussion about why people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups do not access Hospice services as often as those from other communities.

Dr Jolomi Arowolo of the Hospice said “Death and dying is common to every society but all communities are not fully represented at the Hospice. How can we do better and reach out?”

Attendees included clinical Hospice staff, district nurses and representatives from Greenwich Healthwatch, the Bexley Interfaith Forum and Greenwich Council.

It was acknowledged generally that, in some cultures, talking about death and dying is a taboo, and also that letting loved ones be cared for outside the home can also be frowned upon. These viewpoints can stop people with terminal illness from getting the specialist care that we provide.

The consensus from the meeting was that the Hospice needs to go directly into other communities, tell them about our services and show people that we can work with them to deliver the care that they need. This ties in with the Hospice’s new Hospice Ambassador programme, where we are asking people from all communities to find out about us and advocate for us. Several workshop attendees agreed to be contacted about being a Hospice Ambassador in their own communities.

As Hospice social worker Glynis Berry said:  “We do a lot of helping people to live before they die”

This workshop is part of a series of sessions focussing on community engagement which will be taking place in the next few months. Please contact Louise Bishop if you would like to find out more.

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