Meet Robyn, the Community Networks Coordinator working with St Luke's Hospice Plymouth

Published: 10th January, 2019

At Luke's Compassionate Friends

For terminally ill people living in rural areas like Kingsbridge, it can be more difficult to get the specialist end of life care they need at home – if that’s where they choose to be looked after – than it is for their urban counterparts.

Last year at the Who Cares in Kingsbridge event, local people expressed their desire to work together in a supportive network to enable choice and encourage compassion for those in their community for whom time is running short. However, they highlighted the need for a properly co-ordinated approach to harness their efforts.

In response, St Luke’s Hospice Plymouth – whose specialist care extends to surrounding areas, including Kingsbridge – has appointed Community Network Co-ordinator Robyn Newport, whose role will meet this need.

Robyn, whose appointment has been made possible thanks to funding from Hospice UK, is looking forward to getting to know local business owners, voluntary groups and health care services to help establish a Compassionate End of Life Care Community within Kingsbridge.

She said: “I’d like to encourage everyone in our community to think about how they support others through bereavement, to feel comfortable talking about end of life care wishes and help people think about their own supportive network. I hope this will help alleviate some of the anxieties and fears we all have about having these difficult but very important conversations.”

Robyn will also be delivering free Compassionate Friend, Compassionate Champion and Compassionate Network Co-ordinator training.

A Compassionate Friend is someone who lends a helping hand or a friendly ear to friends or neighbours who have a life limiting illness or are affected by loss. The two-hour awareness session gives you the skills and confidence to have open, honest and sensitive conversations and also helps you to think about ways you can support those in your community.

As a Compassionate Champion you will join Robyn for training, after which you will be able to deliver the awareness session within your community. Ongoing support will be provided by Robyn and regular forums will be established, so you can meet fellow Champions.

As a Compassionate Network Co-ordinator, you will learn specialist skills to enable you to bring together non-healthcare support for an individual in your community. Again, ongoing regular support will be provided by Robyn.

Robyn said: “St Luke’s is committed to working with our local communities to realise the potential of informal networks and develop more effective ways to provide compassionate carer support and choice for those at the end of life, so that they can die at home with those they love.”

If you’d like to meet Robyn or are interested in becoming a Compassionate Friend, Champion or Co-ordinator, please contact the St Luke’s Education Team on 01752 964250 or at [email protected]