Conversations around Diagnosis, Death and Grief: Exploring relationships, love, compassion and empathy.
Highland Hospice is delighted to partner with St Mary’s Hospice in Birmingham, Inverness College UHI, part of the University of the Highlands and Islands, and Grief Dialogues Health Care Education to host two thought provoking and powerful plays, which will be available to view online on May 25th.
‘Homeward Bound - Seth's Story’ and ‘Hospice: A Love Story’ are a creative and valuable educational resource that help to open up important conversations about death and dying, and shed light on the human impact receiving a terminal diagnosis can have on a family.
Siobhan Neylon, Highland Hospice’s Organisational Lead for Learning and Development explains, “I approached Dr Lesley Mickel from Inverness College UHI around four years ago, asking about the possibility of collaborating on a healthcare education project through drama.”
“Lesley was extremely enthusiastic about the idea, and this resulted in the play, ‘Homeward Bound - Seth's Story’, becoming part of a project which was first delivered by the drama students three years ago. “
‘Homeward Bound’ is based on the true story of Seth and Lesley Goodburn and the 33 short and heart-breaking days from Seth’s diagnosis with pancreatic cancer to his death. Originally written as a play in 2016 and developed by the National Council for Palliative Care and Pancreatic Cancer UK to help improve end of life care, it is now widely recognised as a valuable educational resource for health care professionals.
The second play, ‘Hospice: A Love Story’ is written and based on the experiences of Elizabeth Coplan (Founder and Chief Playwright for Grief Dialogues Health Care Education in the USA). Focusing on death and all its complications – relationship, physical, spiritual – the play tells the poignant story of a ‘crisis at the bedside’ between two sisters trying to come to terms with death of their mother who had cancer.
It was through their mutual relationship with Elizabeth that brought Highland Hospice and St Mary’s Hospice together to collaborate on this project.
Dr Lesley Mickel, programme leader for the BA (Hons) Drama and Production course at Inverness College UHI, added: “The use of drama to communicate a message is incredibly effective, and these plays really highlight the importance of conversations around dying and grief. It is a wonderful learning experience for our students to work with Highland Hospice on tackling a subject of this nature, and we are constantly expanding our involvement in this partnership. This has grown from the staging of a play to the formulation of a whole wider project.”
Airing live, via Zoom at 6.00pm on 25th May, the performances feature Inverness College UHI drama students Sophie Wink and Luke Carmichael.
After the performances, both Lesley Goodburn and Elizabeth Coplan will be available to discuss and answer audience questions.
Siobhan Neylon concluded, “We are always seeking out new and innovative ways to share our knowledge and expertise to help improve palliative and end of life care for patients and carers. Working with our partners at Birmingham St Marys Hospice, Grief Dialogues Health Care Education and Inverness College University of the Highland and Islands on this project is a real privilege. Our commitment is to engaging and reaching as many people as possible, and this is an incredible way of helping to achieve this.”
“Anyone working in a health and social care setting should find them of interest, as well as patients and carers. It’s exciting to be bringing education alive creatively through these live performances and hope people find them a valuable educational resource.”
The performances will be shown on Tuesday 25th May at 6pm via Zoom.