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News Report Page 9 of 12
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Hospice opens its doors to pioneering health and well being project

ST. Joseph's Hospice will open its doors to the local community, on Tuesday, 9 October 2018, for the launch of a brand new health and wellbeing project, in partnership with Liverpool based charity, The Reader.

The event, which starts at 1pm, has been organised to mark this year's Mental Health Awareness Day, which takes place the same week. The Reader sparks personal and social change by bringing people together and books to life at weekly Shared Reading sessions.

Volunteers from The Reader have been trialling the project with staff at St. Joseph's Hospice for the last few months but, from October, they will also be offering regular Shared Reading sessions to help support members of the local community as well as patients and families currently using Hospice services.

Kirsty Styles, The Reader's National Membership Development Manager, said:- "We're really excited to be bringing our Shared Reading groups to St. Joseph's Hospice. We believe that literature is full of the stuff that makes us human. When we bring great books, poems and plays to life through live reading aloud and group discussion, it helps us to feel connected, involved and valued. By providing a creative and safe space to explore our inner lives, and develop meaningful relationships with others, Shared Reading improves well being and builds community."

The University of Liverpool's Centre for Research into Literature, Reading and Society has found a significant improvement in the mental health of patients living with depression during the 12 month period in which they attended The Reader's Shared Reading groups. There was a positive effect in the alleviation of pain symptoms and psychological wellbeing for those living with chronic pain and also improved mood and reduced agitation for 86% of those living with dementia.

Mike Parr, Chief Executive of St. Joseph's Hospice, said:- "There have been lots of studies in to the importance of reading on mental health. It can reduce stress levels significantly and makes people feel happier so we are really pleased to be involved with this project. We all encourage children to read, not just to improve their general vocabulary and spelling but also for their general cognitive development. But it's just as important for adults, especially those living with mental and physical health conditions. We're really excited about the project and our partnership with The Reader and we hope lots of people will come along and give it a go on Tuesday 9th October."

Volunteers from The Reader will be taking Shared Reading sessions at St. Joseph's Hospice in Thornton from 1pm to 3pm, on Tuesday, 9 October 2018. If you'd like to come along or find out more, please contact Norma Young on:- 0151 932 6044 or email:- Norma.Young@Jospice.Org.UK.

NHS pain service joint 2nd place for national award

AN NHS service that helps people living with chronic pain in Southport and Formby has been nationally recognised for making a significant difference to the people it works with by winning joint second place in a national award.

Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust's Community Pain Service, in conjunction with Pain Clinic Plus, has been placed joint 2nd from 18 finalists that were shortlisted from 300 entries in:- 'The Good Help Award' for being an exemplar of 'good help practice.'

The awards which are run by Nesta, an innovation foundation, were launched earlier this year to recognise and reward organisations or teams that demonstrate they are helping people transform their lives by helping them develop their sense of purpose and confidence to take action.

Dr Becky Simm, Senior Clinical Psychologist in the Community Pain Service at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, said:- "To have been shortlisted and then win joint 2nd place is a fantastic testament to the hard work that our service and volunteers do to make a meaningful difference to people living with persistent pain, and in helping build people's sense of purpose and confidence to act. Our 'good help' approach has been developed in partnership with the people we aim to help and it is wonderful that the judges have been impressed by examples of good practice in our approach."

The service was selected for combining clinical services with peer mentoring from:- 'expert patients' (Pain Clinic Plus) and peer support, including a volunteer led wellbeing choir. Patients are supported to recognise their own strengths, build hope and develop their confidence and self efficacy. As a joint runner up, the service has received ₤5000, which will be utilised to further the work that it does.

The Community Pain Service operates from Ainsdale Centre for Health and Wellbeing to support people with chronic pain. It also operates a volunteer support group for service users (Pain Clinic Plus) which recently celebrated its 10 year Anniversary.

Nesta is an innovation foundation that acts through a combination of practical programmes, investment, policy and research, and the formation of partnerships to promote innovation across a broad range of sectors.

The winners were announced on 13 September 2018 and for more information about the 'Good Help Award,' visit:- NESTA.Org.UK/Project/Good-Help.

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