This September, Rowcroft’s Education Team launches a new six-month programme of well evaluated courses aimed at health and social care professionals. Our education service is developing as a beacon for end-of-life care training in South Devon. Rowcroft’s Head of Education Kerry Macnish, considers what this means for our community and what we’re working to achieve through the suite of learning events we provide.
“Rowcroft’s five-year strategy includes the aspiration to grow our services to become a ‘Community Beacon’ for our local communities. I have been pondering on this meaning for the education service, especially as we have successfully embraced digital technology with new online teaching over the last nine months.
“Wikipedia says that a ‘beacon is a conspicuous device designed to attract attention to a specific location…..commonly a lighthouse’. As the granddaughter and great granddaughter of Scottish lighthouse keepers, I was personally thrilled to make the link. Of course, I’m keen that our free six-monthly education programme is conspicuous and that our website education pages and all our events, online and at Rowcroft’s Rainbow House, are locations that health and social care professionals first look to when needing further knowledge and skills about palliative and end-of-life care. Goodness, the Rainbow House building even has a domed glass turret like that of a lighthouse!
“But it is more than that, because a lighthouse is not the only resource, and there are other beacons too, including people like you. The Collins Dictionary reminds me that a ‘beacon’ can be used as a noun: ‘If someone acts as a beacon to other people they inspire or encourage them.’ This is what we aspire to, yes, sharing our own expertise and insights about great end of life practice but also lighting up others to do so. We always encourage our learners to share what they have learned with colleagues, patients, and also their own families. Much of our teaching is about social and community engagement, encouraging us all to consider and talk more openly about death, dying and planning ahead for when things might change. With our passion and commitment for teaching and learning, we can help others feel confident to be the best they can be in supporting people with progressive illness in South Devon and beyond our own local horizons.
“For example, one of our course participants, Hannah, told us: ‘I have found this training, together with other sessions attended, very helpful to underpin, as well as expand, my knowledge in the factual sense but also very importantly understanding the emotional aspects around some very sensitive subjects.’
“In this way, learning is passed on and on and on to others, and the Education Team plays a vital role in helping to realise Rowcroft’s aim to increase our current support of one in three people in South Devon with a life-limiting illness, to one in two people by 2023, and two in three by 2030.”
To find out more about our education programme and the courses we offer, please click here.