good life, good death, good grief


Contribution To Openness About Death Award 2019

The winner has been announced for the third Contribution to Openness about Death Award. It has gone to North Berwick Coastal Health and Wellbeing Association for their long-term commitment to opening up conversations about death, dying and bereavement in their local community.

The association has a huge remit, but they have made "death" a central part of their plan to support and promote health and wellbeing in the community. Each year, they run remembrance events as part of To Absent Friends festival, and they've collaborated with other organisations including Cruse Bereavement Care, North Berwick Floral Art Club, North Berwick Writers Club and North Berwick Day Centre to help create meaningful and engaging events where important conversations can happen. For this year's Good Death Week they held a lunch as well as a creative writing workshop on a theme of death organised by the Scottish Poetry Library.

The award is made by Good Life Good Death Good Grief to recognise individual or group contributions towards promoting more open and supportive attitudes to death and bereavement in Scotland. It has been made to mark Good Death Week, 13 - 19 May and has previously been won by the likes of Hibernian FC.

Fellow nominees Strathcarron Hospice are receiving a "Highly Commended" rating for their Compassionate Neighbours project, which has actively engaged with people with resources and information about thinking ahead at 42 stands in 27 venues throughout their area.‚Äč

The Truacanta Project

A new compassionate communities project has been launched by Good Life Good Death Good Grief. The Truacanta Project is about helping communities unleash their compassion and find ways to help each other with death, dying, loss and care.

The Truacanta Project is an initiative of the Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care (SPPC), and funded by Macmillan Cancer Support. The project is part of the SPPC's ongoing Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief initiative, which promotes more open and supportive attitudes and behaviours relating to death, dying and bereavement in Scotland.

Traditionally, communities played an important role supporting those at the end of life in lots of small but important ways – taking care of the garden, bringing round a meal, popping by for a chat. As people live longer, families move away and death becomes more medicalised, many traditional community links and support networks have been lost. Yet the support of friends, family, neighbours and colleagues is essential in providing much-needed comfort and practical help when someone is very ill, dying or bereaved. No-one should have to deal with these difficult experiences alone.

The Truacanta Project will support local communities across Scotland who are interested in taking community action to improve people’s experiences of death, dying, loss and care. It will take a community development approach, supporting communities to make the most of their existing enthusiasm, strengths, skills and resources and take practical actions that improve experiences for local people.

For example, a community might want to set up a network of volunteers to sit with people who are very ill, work with local employers to try to make workplaces more bereavement-friendly, or run courses to educate people about the support that can be provided around dying and bereavement. Whatever the activity, the Truacanta Project will help communities to become more connected, and better equipped to help each other with death, dying, loss and care.

Project Manager, Caroline Gibb, said: “I’m delighted to be managing The Truacanta Project, and am really looking forward to working with communities and finding out what matters to them. There is a lot of positive work already happening in this area and I’m sure there will be many creative ideas for how local projects can help improve people’s experiences of death, dying, loss and care.”

“This is a really exciting, innovative project that promises to have real impact on communities across Scotland,” continued Caroline. “I can’t wait to get started and look forward to hearing from interested communities.”

Are you or your organisation interested in being a part of The Truacanta Project? Find our more here: The Truacanta Project

Launch of the Scottish Compassionate Communities Toolkit

Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief and the Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care have launched the Scottish Compassionate Communities Toolkit. The toolkit is a collection of resources for people wishing to make their local community more supportive of people going through difficult times that can come with death, dying, loss and care.

The toolkit brings together work from across Scotland and beyond, providing ideas to help people develop their own projects addressing local experiences of death, dying, loss and care.

The toolkit includes sections exploring...

Getting started

Some ideas on starting a new project and gathering support for local action from across the community.

Creating opportunities

How might you create opportunities for people to talk about, plan for, give support and receive support relating to ill health, death, dying and bereavement?

Encouraging supportive environments

How might you encourage institutions (eg schools and workplaces) and neighbourhoods to have cultures/structures/networks which enable people to give and receivesupport in the face of death, dying and bereavement?

Increasing knowledge and skills

How might you increase people's knowledge, skills and information, enabling them to respond to and support each other through the difficult times that can come with death,dying and bereavement?

The toolkit can be accessed here: Scottish Compassionate Communities Toolkit

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