By Press Office 03 May 2016

Queen Margaret University (QMU), Edinburgh has teamed up with St. Columba's Hospice to help promote community involvement in death, dying and bereavement, as part of Death Awareness Week (9th-15th May 2016).

Throughout of Death Awareness Week, QMU and St. Columba's Hospice will host a special touring exhibition of twelve photographs by the Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care and award-winning Glasgow-based photographer, Colin Gray.

The exhibition will take place in the 1875 food court at QMU and will pose the question that if it takes a village to raise a child, it also takes a village to support someone who is dying and their family.

The exhibition aims to celebrate everyone who has ever cared for someone who has died, including daughters, sons, parents, partners, spouses and siblings, as well as care home staff, nurses, doctors, hospice staff and home care workers.

This exhibition is open to everyone but is particularly relevant to those involved with palliative care and nursing.

QMU hopes the exhibition will help equip its health care professionals of the future with the skills to talk about death dying and bereavement. Joanna Beveridge, Lecturer in Occupational Therapy at QMU, said: “I’m delighted that we’re able to host the ‘It Takes a village’ photo exhibition as part of Death Awareness Week here at QMU, in collaboration with our partners at St Columba’s Hospice.

“We offer the broadest range of allied health professional degrees in Scotland at QMU, including nursing, dietetics, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, podiatry, radiography, audiology, art therapy, music therapy, and speech and language therapy. It is therefore important to ensure that our health care professionals of the future are comfortable about talking about death, dying and bereavement within their professional roles, as well as their own lives. This exhibition will hopefully enable some of these topics to be broached and discussed.”

Danuta Orlowska, Lecturer in Palliative Care at St. Columba's Hospice, said: "This exhibition creates a valuable opportunity to encourage people to talk about experiences which ultimately touch us all. Having honest conversations can help to prepare us and those we love for the many emotional and practical dimensions of death, dying and bereavement.

“St. Columba’s Hospice is very pleased to collaborate with our colleagues at Queen Margaret University who are hosting this exhibition. Staff from St. Columba's Hospice will be on hand to meet students, university staff and the public who visit the exhibition and want to find out more about Dying Awareness Week."

For more information about the ‘It Takes a village’ exhibition at QMU, contact Joanna Beveridge, Lecturer in Occupational Therapy at QMU, E: JBeveridge@qmu.ac.uk

Notes to Editor

For further media information contact Jonathan Perkins, Press and PR Officer, E: jperkins@qmu.ac.uk, T: 0131 474 0000 Frances Allan, PR & Communications Manager, St Columba’s Hospice, E: fallan@stcolumbashospice.org.uk, T: 0131 551 7741.

Further details about the Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care can be found on its website at: www.palliativecarescotland.org.uk

For further information about photographer Colin Gray, visit his website at: www.colingray.net

Further information about Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief is available here: www.goodlifedeathgrief.org.uk

About St. Columba’s Hospice

Founded in 1977, St. Columba’s Hospice provides specialist palliative care for patients in Edinburgh and the Lothians. The Hospice includes a day hospice, in-patient unit and a community nursing team who provide care services to people in their homes. Specialist care is given to over 1,300 people and their families each year.

St. Columba’s Centre for Education and Research offers a wide range of educational opportunities, from study days and short courses to more formal programmes at degree and masters level. The evidence-based programmes address all aspects of palliative care – physical, psychological, social and spiritual. The Hospice runs undergraduate and postgraduate interdisciplinary courses in palliative care in partnership with Queen Margaret University, and the Education Team participates in the teaching of students at higher education institutions including Edinburgh University, Queen Margaret University and Edinburgh Napier University.

All of our services are given completely free of charge to all those who need care and support. St. Columba’s Hospice is a registered charity and needs £8million a year to continue providing services. The Hospice relies on donations to fund 70% of its running costs.

As well as the highest quality of clinical care, the Hospice also offers emotional, spiritual and practical support to our patients and their loved ones. The Hospice helps people face the most difficult experience they will ever go through, with confidence and dignity.

In 2014 the Hospice moved back to Trinity and into a newly-built state-of-the-art modern building. At the heart of the Hospice is Challenger Lodge, a beautiful Georgian building with spectacular views over the Forth of Forth.

For more information please visit www.stcolumbashospice.org.uk

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0131 474 0000

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