Ipswich; Aiming to tackle taboos about death and dying

The St Elizabeth hospice Larch Group:: patient Ian Ewers-Larose and Legal & General employee Laura T

The St Elizabeth hospice Larch Group:: patient Ian Ewers-Larose and Legal & General employee Laura Trainer present their work at the presentation party. - Credit: Archant

Project links up the business community with hospice

Larch Group, St Elizabeth Hospice’s ground-breaking schools project, has expanded its scope by inviting Suffolk businesses to team up with patients.

The project is designed to help tackle taboos around death and dying, with participants working creatively with day care patients once a week for a month.

Staff from Legal & General in Ipswich have become the first group of adults to take part in the Larch Group.

Yvey Marsh, communities manager at Legal & General Ipswich, said “It was wonderful to see the partnerships the patients and our staff formed so quickly, it really warmed my heart.

“The underlying theme was that, despite people sometimes suffering, life goes on, and everyone who has taken part in the Larch Group has shown that.”

Hospice patient Ian Ewers-Larose, 47, of Ipswich, said: “It’s been brilliant – I’ve really enjoyed the interaction with a group of people from outside the Hospice community, and it’s been interesting to get some different perspectives we might not have heard from schoolchildren.”

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Legal & General staff had the opportunity to ask patients questions about their illness and experiences, while the project provides a source of therapeutic group work for those living with a progressive illness.

At the end of the project, patients and participants celebrated their journey at a presentation party.

Sarah Archer, St Elizabeth Hospice’s Fundraising Partnerships Manager, said: “Having seen the brilliant work of the Larch Group with schoolchildren, I’m hugely excited to see it opened up to local businesses.

“We are committed to fostering long-term partnerships with corporate supporters, and the expansion of the project is yet another way we can develop these links, while giving a really meaningful and rewarding experience to our supporters.”

For more information on how your business can get involved with St Elizabeth Hospice, please visit www.stelizabethhospice.org.uk

St Elizabeth Hospice improves life for people living with a progressive illness. Its work is centred around an individual’s needs, which means specialist support, wherever it is required, whether at home, in the community or at the hospice.

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