Hitchin pupils completed first Garden House Hawthorne Schools Project
PUBLISHED: 13:27 12 April 2019 | UPDATED: 13:27 12 April 2019
A group of Hitchin schoolchildren have become the first to graduate from an innovative, ground-breaking project at Letchworth-based Garden House Hospice Care.
Eight Year 5 pupils from William Ransom Primary School received certificates and goodie bags following their successes in the inaugural Hawthorne Schools Project.
The programme ran for a total of three weeks at the hospice and has been created to help build relationships between patients and pupils, as well as raise awareness and disprove any misconceptions about the hospice’s work.
After such a successful pilot, it’s hoped the initiative will be rolled out to more schools in September.
The activities in the scheme are “carefully linked to the PSHE National Curriculum” and include “very subtle messages about loss and bereavement” according to the hospice’s schools co-ordinator Susannah Perry.
Hospice CEO Sue Plummer said: “We organised this project to encourage healthier attitudes toward life-limiting illnesses, dying and death and to introduce schools to hospice care in a safe and non-threatening environment.
“The children were encouraged to ask patients questions about their illnesses and experiences under the support and guidance of our staff. It was wonderful and very moving at times to see the children interacting with our day services patients.”
William Ransom School’s Year 5 teacher, Julie Hall, said: “It’s been fabulous to watch the children building relationships with the patients and adults they don’t know over the last three weeks.
“They have learnt so much about science, the immune system, medical equipment and germs. They have also talked about worries and loss.
“The programme has really helped to take the stigma away from the hospice being a sad place – it is one that can be fun and full of laughter.”
Any primary schools in the North Herts area interested taking part in the programme should contact Susannah Perry on 01462 679540 or via email using firstname.lastname@example.org.
To find out more about Garden House Hospice Care, go to www.ghhospicecare.org.uk.