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The Community Engagement Network – sharing, learning and growing together

Author: Alice Speering
11 January 2018

Alice Spearing, Engagement Officer at St Richard’s Hospice in Worcester, writes about the nationwide network to help hospices engage with their local communities.

The Community Engagement Network is a space for those working in a similar role to come together to share learning, best practice and experiences in this growing area of hospice care.

The network was started in February 2017 by Ian Leech, Community Engagement & Supportive Care Manager from St Giles Hospice in Lichfield and Alice Spearing, Engagement Officer from St Richard’s Hospice. Ian and Alice recognised a steady growth of individuals working within a Community Engagement role in the Midlands - and typically these roles were new within hospice organisations. The network was initiated to create an opportunity to share thoughts and learning to shape and develop our work.

There are many different job titles relating to community engagement, including: Community Development, Liaison, Outreach, Partnerships. The network is aimed at those working to:

  • Dispel common hospice myths within the community
  • Raise awareness of hospice care
  • Build relationships with seldom heard groups
  • Explore partnership working within the community

The network has recently shared learning on working with your local homeless community, building relationships with your local Islamic community, launching bereavement support in the community, and hosted a Community Development conference during Hospice Care Week 2017, with Julian Abel and Cormac Russell as guest speakers.

It already has representatives from John Taylor Hospice, Oakhaven, Cornwall Hospice, Prospect, Princess Alice, LOROS, Compton, St Barnabas, St Mary’s Hospice, Dorothy House, Longfield, Primrose, Mary Ann Stevens and Dougie Mac Hospice.

Upcoming meetings take place on March 29 at LOROS Hospice, Leicester, and June 20 at Princess Alice Hospice, Esher.

For more information, and if you are working in a community engagement role, please get in touch to join our network by contacting Alice Spearing or on 01905 763963.

See more articles in Community engagement

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