Does someone you know have a story that could help others?  

Families from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities (BAME) are being asked to share stories and help shape a new regional awareness initiative across Greater Manchester, South Cumbria and Lancashire. The project aims to raise awareness of some of the end of life care issues and needs in the BAME communities across the SCN footprint in order to enhance communication between patients, families and care professionals, including hospices and palliative care teams.

For more information, please download a leaflet here or register your interest to receive an information pack by contacting: Keith Swindell Quality Improvement Manager – Palliative and End of Life Care, NHS Strategic Clinical Network for Greater Manchester, Lancashire & South Cumbria, Preston Business Centre, Watling Street Road, Preston, Lancashire, PR2 8DY Tel: 0113 825 4826    Mob: 07825 422444 Email:

Dying Matters Awareness Week, 12-17 May 2014

Download a calender for a week of events in Lancaster here or go to to find events in your area!

Our New Years BMJ Article: End of Life Conversations and Care: An Asset-based Model for Community Engagement

An asset-based approach to engaging communities around end of life conversations and care! After a shorter delay and fewer edits than anticipated, we have been notified that the article we submitted “End of Life Conversations and Care: An Asset-Based Model for Community Engagement” has been published as an educational paper with the BMJ Supportive and Palliative Care Journal. Many thanks to my co-authors and all of the organisations who were willing to participate in Cumbria and across the Northwest, and to John McKnight and the ABCD Institute for their inspiration for this work and approach. There’s much still to do and learn, yet I truly believe this approach is  a step towards a brighter future of compassionate communities for us all.

New Resource for Communities Expanding The Impact Of Community Engagement Around Public Awareness Of End Of Life Issues: A Resource For Interested Communities

This e-newsletter has been developed as a resource for communities intending to undertake community engagement around public awareness and end of life issues (practitioners, strategic end of life leads and commissioners). Drawing upon a range of projects being undertaken in the north west of England this resource presents an overview including filmed video clips, PDF reports and resources of different projects, identifies the catalysts, what is working, challenges, lessons learned and suggests future steps. This resource has been funded by a Lancaster University, Faculty of Health and Medicine Knowledge exchange grant as a partnership between the International Observatory on End of Life Care and Stories to Change CIC.

This new report highlights the different approaches people and organisations have taken to developing Compassionate Communities across England to be diverse. The Conversations for Life programme is honored to be one of the initiatives included in this study.We hope you will find the report informative.

Compassionate Communities Final Report July 2013

2nd May in Liverpool – approaching communities about the last taboo

The Duncan Society are holding a Public Meeting on  Thursday 2nd May 2013 at 6pm at the Liverpool John Moores Student Union, Hague Building, Maryland Street, Liverpool.

The speaker is Mary Matthiesen from the Conversations for Life programme.

Title:    Conversations for Life: A Public Health Approach to Engaging Communities Around The Last Taboo.

Summary: The Conversations for Life approach and programme is proving effective in engaging communities (staff, public and community agencies) to overcome the fear of talking about death and dying now, in order to support more people to live their last days in the place of their choice in the future. As founding director of the Northwest based Conversations for Life programme and social enterprise Stories to Change, CIC, Mary Matthiesen will share elements of this programme and early evidence of success of partnership working with community-based Trusts, Public Health, Cancer Networks, Local Authority Care Homes and community voluntary agencies towards Regional and National goals including: increased staff confidence, enhanced partnership working between local community-based services and improved public access to local information and services. (

Download a poster for the event here.

Download the slides from Mary’s talk here.

Expanding the Impact of Community Engagement

(November 2012) We’re pleased to be part of a ‘knowledge exchange’ with Lancaster Universtiy and to have held a stakeholder event of some who have initiated community engagement events around end of life conversations and care in the Northwest. Stay tuned for a resource to support other communities planned for the Spring!

Compassionate Communities Final Report July 2013

Engaging Communities Using An Asset-Based Approach (October 2012) A full workshop session of our community engagement approach and initiatives using an asset-based approach was presented at the 19th Annual Congres du Palliative Care, Montreal, Canada. For those who truly want to be inspired, see also the plenary closing talk by Balfour Mount (purchase the DVD here).

Please note that audio recordings of most presentations can be purchased through Swordfish.

The 20th edition of the Congress will take place from September 9-12, 2014 at the Palais des Congrès in Montréal, Canada.

Delivering a public health initiative around end of life conversations and care (August 2012) In June 2012, Katherine Froggat, International Observatory of End of Life Care Lancaster University, Lancaster, presented Conversations for Life outcomes at the 7th World Research Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC), in Trondheim, Norway.

View the poster ‘Conversatons for Life: Implementation of a pilot public awareness campaign about end of life issues’ here.

Gaining multi-staff awareness and team support for advance care conversations (July 2012)  According to the National End of Life Care Strategy and a recent Northwest Scoping of End of Life training for health and social care staff, all staff must become more comfortable with their role in advance care conversations and end of life care if improving care of the dying is to be achieved.

As part of strategic interventions, to date more than 200 staff representing multiple services (see below) have attended our 1 day “Simple Tools to Start the Conversation” sessions focusing on supporting staff to overcome the fear of talking about death and dying in order to improve patient care and provides tools to assist them to begin to apply what they learn personally and with those in their care as a result. Sessions have been commissioned by GMCCN, NHS Manchester, NHS Salford, NHS Trafford, Pennine Care Foundation Trust, MacMillan and others.

Multi-service staff attend each session, providing greater awareness and wisdom shared, while supporting end of life, palliative care, and care pathway (LCP, GSF, PPC) interventions and projects.

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