The Cheshire Living Well Dying Well Partnership hosted the “Let’s Do It!” event on Friday 29 January 2016. Ninety individuals attended the event from a wide range of organisations across Cheshire.
The purpose of Let’s Do It was to identify individual, community and organisational assets and consider how they can used to enable, inspire and empower people to live well, age well, die well and grieve well.
So, what are assets?
We all have them. They are linked with where we live, where we socialise or play and where we work or volunteer. Public health evidence shows that asset based approaches help to build resilience, increase social capital, and importantly, recognise local expertise.
The “Let’s Do It!” participants identified their own assets, which included networks and connections at work and in the wider community. Examples included the golf club, rambler’s clubs, local gym, toddlers and parents club, the local pub and many workplaces.
Knowledge and experience were seen as important and included the confidence to talk to people, legal knowledge, computer and digital expertise, photography and experience that comes with ageing. Participant’s also described a wide range of interests and skills.
Participants spoke about the trust and Influence they have within the local community, which can be utilised and how physical assets such as workplaces and community organisations can be used to promote the Cheshire Living Well, Dying Well programme and to host events.
The vast majority of participants agreed to take at least one action during the next 6 months. Many people agreed to take multiple actions.
People stated that they would have conversations with family members, friends, neighbours and work colleagues. A participant said they would speak to local MP, while another said they would talk with the head teacher at their local school. Many people said they would discuss the importance of taking key steps to live, age, die and grieve well with patients and service users.
People agreed to provide booklets to friends and family and service users and their family and friends. Writing a will, setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney and creating a My Wishes Folder were common actions people agreed to do.
A number of people stated they would publicise the Cheshire Living Well, Dying Well programme where they live, work or play. This included shops, sport facilities and cafes including a ‘local builders and plumbers café’. Some people agree to promote the programme via their local newspaper and the parish magazine and others by social media including Twitter and Facebook.
Following a participant describing how people at their local pub write-down their funeral plans on the back of a beer mat, which is then placed securely on a wall, another participant agreed to replicate this action at their local.
People agreed to organise a Living Well, Dying Well open day in their organisation, brief intervention training and a Crafting Memories session. A number of people said they would become a Cheshire Living Well, Dying Well Champion. One person agreed to inform and educate their student who was on placement in their organisation about taking steps to live well and die well throughout the lifecourse.
The Cheshire Living Well Dying Well Partnership team are currently analysing the entire “Let’s Do It!” plans. This will help the team to provide support and resources such as leaflets, community sessions and training in a timely and fair way across Cheshire. The team will then contact all the participants in three months time and after six months. We look forward to reporting on what happens next.
Thank you to everyone who attended the “Let’s Do It!” event and agreeing to take action in support of living well, ageing well, dying well and grieving well. All actions are important and sometimes seemingly small actions can make a big difference.
Cheshire Living Well, Dying Well Partnership Team