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Charity launch new initiatives to support adults with a Learning Disability and/or Autism

A local charity will launch a campaign next week to highlight the work they have been doing to ensure that people with a learning disability and/or autism have access to fair, accessible and inclusive palliative, end of life and bereavement care.

Hospice at Home West Cumbria (a BECBC member) will share information across its social media platforms to promote the work they have been doing which includes a new Easy Read Information section on their website, Easy Read versions of their literature, and planned Learning Disability and/or Autism Champion roles for staff, as well as training for staff and volunteers.

The charity said it received very few referrals for people with a learning disability and/or autism, which prompted the start of a piece of work to engage with harder to reach groups and encourage early referrals to the service.

Karen Pirt, Senior Family and Bereavement Support Worker and Learning Disability and Autism Champion Coordinator said: “Hospice at Home West Cumbria is passionate about providing high quality palliative, end of life and bereavement care and support. We know that there are inequalities in end of life care and this includes care for people with a learning disability and/or autism. We have been working hard on our aim of ensuring that adults in West Cumbria with a learning disability and/or autism, and those important to them, have fair, accessible, inclusive palliative, end of life and bereavement care. This week we are launching some of the initiatives that will help us to achieve this including; easy read versions of information and an easy read information page on our website; Learning Disability and/or Autism Champion and Coordinator Champion roles, engagement with the learning disability and/or autism community as well as planning training and a newsletter for all staff and volunteers. This is just the beginning and we have many future plans to keep improving and learning. We know that death, dying and bereavement is a difficult subject but we are asking people to talk about it, share where to get support and ensure that people with a learning disability and/or autism receive the very best palliative and end of life care and support.

Karen added “We are very grateful to a number of trusts and foundations who have supported this service, including an award through a grant programme funded by Cumberland and Westmorland Freemasons through the MCF and managed by Hospice UK.”

Please visit Hospice at Home West Cumbria’s Facebook page from Sunday to follow daily updates about the project. Information can also be found on the ‘Easy Read Information’ section on their website at www.hospiceathomewestcumbria.org.uk.