This project uses art-based approaches to encourage people with learning disabilities to have conversations about the end of life. With funding from Hospice UK, the project uses arts workshops to help participants explore different ways to have important discussions that they may find challenging.
No barriers Here was initially developed in co-production with Dudley Voices for Choice, individuals with learning disabilities in the Dudley community and Dr Jed Jerwood. It uses art-based methods to support people with learning disabilities to have discussions about what matters most to them and plan for their future care. It also included the development and co-delivery of education to health care professionals, a community artwork collaboration and a No Barriers Here film.
Gemma Allen, our Diversity and Inclusion Lead here at the Hospice, said:
“It is a privilege to win this award for The Mary Stevens Hospice and we are delighted that Hospice UK have recognised the work that we have been doing to tackle inequalities in palliative and end of life care. Improvements are required in the quality of palliative and end of life care that people with a learning disability and other undeserved populations receive, and everyone should have the opportunity to have conversations about their choices and wishes for future care and the end of life. No Barriers Here enabled people with a learning disability to be involved and included when planning for the end of life and we are delighted with the response that this work has received.”
The project has been fundamental in breaking down barriers for people with learning disabilities and the work has been shared on an international level, with the co-production team ensuring that the project is accessible and inclusive for all.
Claire Towns, our CEO at the Hospice, said:
“We are delighted to receive this award from Hospice U.K. There are many groups within society whose voices aren’t heard in relation to end of life care and personalised planning. We are passionate at Mary Stevens that no matter what barriers are perceived to be in the way they can be overcome. The No Barriers Here Project, developed and led by Gemma adopted a unique approach to include people with learning disabilities in conversations around their care at end of life. As a hospice we are exceptionally proud of this project and are looking forward to diversifying this work to other groups.”
At the awards ceremony, Hospice UK CEO, Tracey Bleakley said:
“Congratulations to the Mary Stevens Hospice on winning the Innovation in Tackling Inequalities Award. Their dedication and commitment to providing vital hospice and end of life care has been amazing to see, and without doubt has made a huge difference to the many people who rely on their support.
We had some incredible entries for our awards this year. In spite of a difficult 18 months, there are so many inspiring projects, people and volunteers who’ve made a huge difference in their communities by helping people get the vital care they need.
Whether helping to raise awareness about what end of life care is, making sure everyone in the community can get help they need or supporting families through the loss of a loved one, each of our winners has made a massive difference to the care people with life-limiting conditions and their families receive.”