The Acorn Project is a healthy approach to long-term illness and palliative care. It brings children and patients together in a safe, supported and happy environment to raise awareness and understanding of long-term illness, end-of-life care and issues around death and dying.
All of these topics are an important part of the national curriculum. These are challenging subjects that many schools and colleges find difficult to teach. With this in mind, Oakhaven Hospice has been exploring ways to address important topics surrounding long-term illness with local children and young adults. It has proved to be extremely enjoyable and effective for everyone involved.
Inspired by a similar model at St Christopher’s Hospice in London, our Acorn project began in 2010. Its aim has been to create links between the Hospice and local schools in-keeping with the National End of Life Care Strategy, which promotes a good understanding of palliative care by encouraging thought and discussion around the subject of death and dying.
It also looks at the ways in which society views death and dying and how that can contribute to the experiences of people receiving end-of-life care, as well as to the experiences of their carers.
The Acorn project offers an opportunity for visitors to learn more about the Hospice through the eyes of children. It also works extremely well in giving patients and carers space to talk about their very personal experiences. Many of the children involved may have been touched by a family member who has a life-threatening illness or who has died and the Acorn approach has helped immensely in breaking down the barriers around death and dying.
If you are interested in getting involved with the Acorn Project please contact Jane Askham at email@example.com