Collaborating with Communities: Transforming End of Life Experiences Together

Looking at community power to support people at end of life

St Christopher's CARE

Event overview

  • 02 May, 2024
  • One day conference
  • 10am to 4.30pm
  • £160 plus VAT
  • St Christopher's CARE

Book online

Useful information

Illustration of a group of people together from different backgrounds and ethnicities.

Are you interested in changing the way you work with local communities but not sure where to start?

Do you need support in making the case for working differently?

Growing awareness of end of life inequalities and the role that communities do and can play in end of life support has led to an NHS Ambition being one which asks the community to be prepared to care.

But what does that actually mean? Are we asking people to help out the health system for free, or can we achieve a greater change? How should healthcare organisations change to better collaborate in community settings?

Join us for this one-day interactive and practical event exploring how we could work collaboratively in local places to improve everyone’s experiences of end of life, for everyone’s benefit.

In this conference you’ll hear from people within healthcare systems on how they have made changes, and hear from local community leaders on what good partnerships look like to them, and what more equitable relationships and resource might look like.

The emphasis of the day will be creating a space for learning together – helping people exchange helpful, practical ideas and conversation about how we can think about relationships, initiatives and co-working styles for local and place-based working.

  • An interactive day where you’ll hear from people making change or helping you consider how you might do this
  • An opportunity to take part in discussions and form plans
  • Interactive and training workshops
  • A chance to be part of an experiential Be Happy Be Sad party

So join us if you’re interested in

  • changing the way, you think about community potential and thinking about where to start
  • practical workshops that help you gain new skills
  • developing the confidence to make your existing work more change-focused or equitable
  • learning about how non-medical methods can help tackle over-medicalisation and support people’s wellbeing.

Join us if you work in an organisation in any healthcare setting supporting people at the end of life, and you recognise a need for change:

  • how and why communities and people with lived experience have a leadership role to play
  • the value of collaboration and community power, and
  • how you might more equitably work with communities
  • what skills and methods are involved
  • how and where to start.
TimeSession TitleSpeaker
9.30Arrival and Registration 
10.00Welcome and Introduction to the dayConference Chair:  Dr Mary Hodgson, Head of Community Action & Learning, St Christopher’s CARE
10.10Unleashing the Power of CommunitiesDaniel Farag, Director of Innovation & Practice, The Young Foundation
10.30Without the soft stuff the hard stuff gets harderDr Guy Peryer, National Institute for Health and Care Research
10.50A hosted conversation – what makes a good community-based relationship?
In conversation with guests from Croydon’s voluntary sector
Malcolm Gill, Croydon Death Literacy Project Coordinator
11.20Morning break 
11.35Why we get involved to make change happen – hearing from local volunteers
In conversation with local volunteers
Rebecca Nellis, Compassionate Neighbours Coordinator
12:05Death and Dying in the Queer FamilyPolly Maxwell, Queer Social Researcher
12.20Unboxing CommunityRekha Vijayshankar, Deputy Head of Quality & Clinical Governance, Marie Curie UK  
12.50Lunch (provided) 
13.35Workshops 
 1. Nature as exploration of death as part of life: environment and existentialism

2. On Power and Pedagogy: De-institutionalising knowledge through community learning

3. Listening as part of dialogue: Bearing witness to difficult times and considering change
Facilitated by Anthea Moys, Loren Seaman, Jack Emsden, Emma Woodhouse, Akvile Gaile and Melissa Fielding, members of the St Christopher’s Community Action Team  
15.05Afternoon break 
15.20  The Be Happy Be Sad Experience brought to you by members of Croydon MencapJointly hosted by members of Croydon Mencap and Toby Kilby Pollard, Community Artist
16.05Reflections 
16.30Close

In the afternoon, take part in workshops helping you develop skills or think about how your skills are transferrable to new settings:

Nature as exploration of death as part of life: environment and existentialism

  • In this outdoor workshop we’ll use the starting point of nature, flora and fauna to consider what seasonality can help us understand about existential questions
  • We’ll also consider how ecological concerns and changing climates shape uncertainty in our lives and how we might help people consider the big issues affecting us all.

NB. If you would like to attend this workshop, dress for the weather, not the conference!

On Power and Pedagogy: De-institutionalising knowledge through community learning

  • In this workshop we’ll consider how different learning styles, such as peer learning, can help us change the way we perceive end of life, and also think about who has knowledge to share about it.
  • We’ll help you think about how peer learning styles can de-institutionalise and be part of de-medicalising the end of life.

Listening as part of dialogue: Bearing witness to difficult times and considering change

  • In this workshop we’ll focus on how listening skills and asking people what is going on for them can be the basis of a long – lasting relationship based on mutual concerns.
  • This workshop will help you understand and contextualise end of life in community concerns and settings, as well as opportunities.

Experience: how death literacy can be playful without losing its emotional resonance

  • In this workshop we’ll recreate a party co-created with participants from Croydon MENCAP to help them explore end of life questions and feelings.
  • In a set of party games and conversation starters, we’ll help you consider how play and arts can be part of expanding our imagination about end of life and holding meaningful conversations, or multiple feelings at the same time.
Dr Guy Peryer

Dr Guy Peryer

Dr Guy Peryer is a chartered psychologist and a chartered scientist. He studied the psychology of music for his master’s degree and went on to complete a PhD in applied psychology and complex systems…
Read More Dr Guy Peryer
Rekha Vijayshankar, Registered Nurse.

Rekha Vijayshankar

Rekha is an experienced palliative care nurse, a specialist public health nurse and a nurse prescriber. She has held leadership positions across Primary Care, Community Nursing and Social Care. She…
Read More Rekha Vijayshankar
White woman with blond hair pulled back into one smiling with red lipstick.

Mary Hodgson

Head of Community Action & Learning/CARE Co-Lead, St Christopher’s Hospice. Mary is an experienced community facilitator and researcher, and is interested in how people understand societal challenges and want to…
Read More Mary Hodgson
Toby Kilby-Pollard headshot

Toby Kilby-Pollard

Toby is an artist and facilitator with a background in socially-engaged curatorial practice within galleries and museums. He works as Community Artist as part of the Community Action Team at…
Read More Toby Kilby-Pollard
Anthea Moys headshot

Anthea Moys 

Anthea, born in apartheid South Africa, brings a rich background in the arts and a PhD in community, play, and power for social change to her role as a Community…
Read More Anthea Moys 
Akvile Gailes

Akvile Gaile

Akvile has been a volunteer for the Compassionate Neighbours project and Bereavement Help Point host for four years. During this time, she learned that her lived experiences inform how she…
Read More Akvile Gaile
Melissa Fielding

Melissa Fielding 

Melissa is an academic and researcher working as part of the Community Action Team at St Christopher’s Hospice. She holds a PhD in Political Geography from the University of Cambridge,…
Read More Melissa Fielding 
Malcolm Gill

Malcolm Gill

Malcolm works in the Community Action Team as the Project Coordinator on the Croydon Death Literary project where he develops significant partnerships with a wide range of community groups and organisations, whose…
Read More Malcolm Gill
Jack Emsden

Jack Emsden 

Jack works in the Community Action Team as a Community Learning Facilitator. They are also a practicing poet. They support people in community settings to share and learn from their…
Read More Jack Emsden 
Rebecca Nellis

Rebecca Nellis

Rebecca has been part of the Community Action Team for over 3 and a half years, coordinating the Compassionate Neighbours project. She has built on her own volunteering experience and…
Read More Rebecca Nellis
Emma Woodhouse

Emma Woodhouse

Emma holds the position of Community Action Programme Manager at St Christopher’s, partnering and collaborating with communities to find ways to respond to societal need and create change. Emma graduated…
Read More Emma Woodhouse

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