Monday 3rd December 2012
The Acorn Approach at Oakhaven Hospice helps people learn about the hospice through the eyes of children.
Since the project featured in Mac Voice in spring, it has developed in a number of ways. The hospice team have worked with 800 children and young people, from infant age to 18, and 340 patients and carers. Projects include:
- activities inspired by the model at St Christopher’s Hospice
- work with secondary and sixth form students to underpin health and social studies
- one-off lessons about death and dying, to support specific national curriculum requirements
- talks to classes and assemblies
- bereavement support and signposting to appropriate agencies, such as Simon Says, a child bereavement service in Hampshire, or Macmillan services.
Jan Temenos, Oakhaven Schools Project Coordinator, and the team have more schools wanting to participate than they can accommodate, with projects set up until July 2013. Every project attracts more patients and carers than they can include.
This has challenged the team to think outside the box and they are currently developing leadership roles and appropriate training for enthusiastic and experienced volunteers, to make better use of their skill mix.
They have seen an increase in enquiries and requests for support, nationally and internationally, from professionals interested in adopting the Acorn Approach. They have also supported others through study days, shadowing, and direct consultancy work. The team has presented at conferences in the UK, and Jan is addressing a conference in Australia. Jan was also named 'Cancer professional of the year' at the 2012 Quality in Care Excellence in Oncology Awards.
The Acorn Approach is available as a toolkit at Learn Zone.