Cornish Project receives National Lottery funding for a fresh approach to end-of-life care
No One Dies Alone Cornwall (NODAC), a Community Interest Company which seeks to change the way we approach end-of-life care, has received £10,000 from the National Lottery Community Fund to undertake grassroots work across Cornwall.
Much of the funding will be used to run Tender Loving Care Retreats, delivering NODAC’s message of compassion, support, and understanding as carers – professional and unpaid – navigate the last days of life alongside patients and loved ones.
Between February and August NODAC is offering free places on these retreat days to unpaid carers caring for family members with a life limiting condition, and can also contribute towards travel expenses; there are between 8-10 spaces available on each course.
Anna Sadler, who runs NODAC alongside Co-Director Liz Bateman, commented: “Our aim is for Cornwall to be a leader in holistic end-of-life care. We want to embed a different and less isolating approach to palliative care in our communities, working alongside the wonderful teams at Marie Curie, Age UK, and Cornwall Hospice Care.”
Anna, who very nearly lost her life to catastrophic organ failure in 2010, founded NODAC after training with Felicity Warner of the School of Soul Midwives in Dorset.
Felicity, who is considered an expert in the field of holistic palliative and end of life care, originally designed the fully certified and widely respected Tender Loving Care Retreats programme, which Anna will now deliver in Cornwall.
These day-long workshops for carers – held in a converted barn surrounded by beautiful gardens in the village of Devoran – take a person-centred approach to meeting the emotional, social, cultural, and spiritual wellbeing of people nearing the end of life.
Designed to ‘care for the carers’, rest and rejuvenation is encouraged as participants are nourished by healthy food, and a range of beneficial wellbeing practices are offered, from walking to singing, yoga to aromatherapy.
A mix of unpaid family carers and healthcare professionals can attend these sessions, providing a useful exchange of lived experience and perspectives, and bursaries are available for those struggling to make ends meet.
For frontline workers, the training provides a holistic framework for end-of-life care – something which is not already part of the formal training to become a carer or nurse – with the goal being to bolster preparedness and nurture good mental health.
Building resilience and support networks for people confronting the prospect of grief is a cornerstone of the NODAC project, and follow-on monthly meetups will encourage carers to forge connections, share skills, offer support, and find moments of light in the darkest of times.
Anna explained: “For too many people, providing end of life care to a loved one is a very isolating experience. The process of dying and loss is less frightening when shared, and we can help people have those difficult conversations about what really matters to them as they prepare to say goodbye.”
She continued: “The process of dying is made less frightening and more peaceful for all involved through preparation and sharing the burden with others. It’s incredibly difficult to talk about death and dying, but it is possible to replace fear and silence with compassion and companionship.”
NODAC also offers a companionship service by fully trained Soul Midwives for people who are palliative or at the end of life.
To find out more about any of the services and workshops offered by No One Dies Alone Cornwall C.I.C, visit https://nodac.co.uk/.