Hello again, it’s the start of the week!

I can’t believe another 8 weeks has gone by and here I am bringing some great news to share. The My Life, My Decision Age UK East London Local Launch was held Thursday 20th November 2014 at the Old People’s Reference Group AGM Meeting in Beckton, London. The launch was a success and I was pleased with the whole event. We made great links within the community and I want to take this opportunity to thank all those who supported us during the launch. (A BIG THANK YOU!!!)

There was plenty to eat and drink as you can see from the pictures below.

Who is launching next? Have fun!

The past weeks has been challenging but exciting. I have been raising awareness around East London about different areas of the MLMD project. The upcoming weeks will be more exiting as I will be meeting a Sheltered Housing Scheme manager to organise talks and presentation for residents. I am looking forward to that.

Wishing all my readers a pleasant week ahead thank you!


Posted in Age UK East London | 1 Comment

Esther: New Ambitions for End of Life Care

Last week, Esther Nimmo, the Training Lead for the Age UK partners in the North, attended the National Council for Palliative Care’s conference in London. She tells us more below.

P1020241 The NCPC’s conference, called New Ambitions for End of Life Care, was a great opportunity for me to meet delegates from other end of life care and rights projects and to spread the word about our new service, My Life My Decision.

As Training Lead North, for the My Life My Decision project, my role is to support the Project Co-ordinators based at our Age UK partners in Trafford, Lancashire, South Lakes and South Tyneside. I shared with the delegates who visited the CiD stand how My Life My Decision offers awareness raising, training and one-to-one independent advocacy support for people considering and completing an Advance Decision to Refuse Treatment or a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare.

Through these discussions I found many people recognised the need to offer independent advocacy support: someone to sit with and give time to those needing to think through to the complex issues surrounding the details of planning ahead. It’s not easy trying to imagine a time when through lack of capacity, you are no longer able to make both serious and everyday decisions about your own health or welfare options.  It is hard to envisage that this will ever happen and so it’s not an easy topic to raise.

Simon Chapman’s presentation: Does anybody want to talk about it?  was a highlight of the conference for me. Simon, the Director of Public & Parliamentary Engagement for the NCPC and Dying Matters, spoke inspiringly about the need to start talking about death and dying at a community, and not just a professional or medical, level.  He quoted a 2011 poll which demonstrated how important end of life issues are to us compared to other worries:  our fear of pain (83%); of dying alone (67%); of being told we are dying (62%) compared to our fear of losing our job ((38%).  And yet, despite our concerns, 23% of people who are 75+ have not discussed their end of life wishes in any detail.  The conference went on to explore how we might ‘nudge’ individuals and communities to start to talk about death.  Kate Nightingale, Head of Communications at Time to Change (the ‘1-in-4’ mental health anti-stigma campaign) drew clear parallels with the success of their ‘taboo’ campaign and inspired the delegates by encouraging us to see change in terms of a journey where a long term vision is needed.P1020303

As we prepare for the launch of My Life My Decision on 27th November, I was encouraged to see so many people committed to raising awareness and encouraging debate around end of life, or rather living well until we don’t (as one delegate put it) issues. Each organisation is working in their own way, with their own focus but the shared passion and compassion demonstrated at the conference is a great ambition to put into action: making the best impact by continuing to work together.

I returned to our office with a list of people wanting an advocacy support project in their area and a refreshed vision that My Life My Decision is timely and meeting real need to support people in overcoming the barriers to exercising their rights and enable them to live well until they don’t.



Posted in End-of-Life

A letter from Sharon, MLMD South Tyneside!

Hello everyone,

My name is Sharon Morgan.  I am the Project Coordinator for My LIfe, My Decision at Age UK South Tyneside.  I have been in post just over a month and it has flown over.

I have worked in the health and social care field forever, entering it quite by accident in my early 20s.   Since then, I have found a passion for promoting the rights of vulnerable people and ensuring that their voices are heard.  This project seems to be a culmination of everything I have experienced, learned and achieved.   To enable people to openly talk about their values and beliefs and put them into a legal document that will speak for them when they are no longer able to is something to be valued.  And for me to be part of that, in any small way, will be very rewarding.

Since coming into post I have been able to forge some valuable links with local organisations.   The theme I have come across on a regular basis is that everyone agrees Advance Decisions and LPAs are so important and do broach the subject with their service users, but, for most, time and resources limit their ability to support people through the process.  We can be that resource.  Most organizations have speakers and presentations lined up until the new year but would like to get the project involved after that.

We have one volunteer who has expressed an interest in the project and next week we are holding an awareness raising session with potential volunteers to hopefully get some others on board.   We have a number of promotional events booked both in the community and at our base, with the Launch being scheduled for December 3.   We have held our first AgeUK staff awareness presentation which was well received and we intend on providing a few more.  The feedback we got from the session was that it helped to not only raise awareness about the project and its purpose but also to start the discussion within the individual about what they would like to see for themselves.   And that can only be a good thing.

I am looking forward to meeting the other project coordinators in Kendal on Friday.  It will be a good opportunity to exchange ideas and learn from each other.  I would like to thank my line manager Phil Mann, Esther Nimmo and everyone at Compassion in Dying for their support and guidance.  Thank you to Frankie for your patience with talking me through this Blog!

Until next time…





Posted in End-of-Life