Six students from Woking High School have joined with Woking & Sam Beare Hospices for the launch of their new twinning project with the aim to dispel young people’s misconceptions about hospice care.
Freya Balkwill, Mia Chereau, Sophie Holcroft, Katie Mitocariu, Bailey Roberts and Hafsah Sharif accompanied by their teachers Mrs Chris Wilkinson and Mrs Helen Taylor visited the hospice for the first time in February 2018.
“At first I was very nervous about visiting the hospice” said Freya Balkwill “But as I walked in I felt immediately at ease by the warm greeting we received”.
On their first visit they were met by Paula Mitchell, Head of Children’s Services and Clare Lawrance, Practice Development Sister they spent the day meeting staff from all the departments including clinical, nursing, counselling, fundraising and volunteer services.
“I was very excited to be sharing the hospice and all the work we do with the students” commented Paula Mitchell “It is so important to be able to educate young people on the vital services we offer and show them how many different areas of expertise are needed to provide our care”.
The twinning project between Woking & Sam Beare Hospices and Woking High school has spanned over six months with the students regularly visiting, meeting with staff and learning about the services on offer and the care provided. Gathering knowledge and inspiration from their visits the students were asked to work together to challenge their preconceptions of what hospice care is and produce posters, short films and a presentation that they would deliver to members of staff at the Hospice at the end of the project.
“I was excited, but still nervous as I am not a very good public speaker” commented Hafsah Sharif “But I managed to overcome my fears and deliver my speech confidently”.
Staff from across the departments the hospice were invited to watch the student’s presentation and the feedback on the quality of the work they had produced was overwhelmingly positive.
“This has been a very transformative experience, before coming to the hospice I believed it to be depressing and morbid, however, this could not be further from the truth.” commented Bailey Roberts “I now know the hospice is a place of light and love, filled with joy and laughter”.
“We are delighted with the outcome of this project” added Clare Lawrence “It is crucial to involve and educate young people about hospice care”.
Three of the students taking part in the project have since returned to the hospice for a week’s work experience spending time with fundraising, marketing, day care patients in the Bradbury Wellbeing centre and the hospice retail shop in Goldsworth Park.
Woking & Sam Beare Hospices hope to carry on their twinning work with other local schools in the area to support young people in understanding what hospice care is.