Let’s talk about the elephant in the room: East Midlands hospices create innovative animation to dispel myths

3rd October 2016

Eight hospices from across the East Midlands have joined forces to create a hard-hitting animation entitled ‘The Elephant in the Room’ addressing head-on the subject of dying and aimed at raising awareness of hospice care within local communities.

The 90 second animation features a character who is told he is dying and his fears and worries become his own ‘Elephant in the Room’. The character and his elephant follow a journey through difficulties and challenges to then understand and receive hospice care and support.

The East Midlands Hospice Group have been working together for over a year and will be featuring the Elephant in the Room across their social media channels and websites during national Hospice Care Week (3-9 October).

The group includes St Barnabas Hospice in Lincolnshire which provides care and support for adults and their families across the county.

Chris Wheway, chief executive of St Barnabas Lincolnshire Hospice, explained the importance of the project:

“It’s hard to imagine the complex emotions that a person experiences when they find out they are terminally ill. It can be hard to hear and even harder to talk about and can quickly become ‘the elephant in the room’.

“Hospice care is there to help a patient and their family to talk openly and honestly and to come to terms with any fears they may be facing. Our teams are there to help address the elephant in the room and to support them through their journey.

“Together with hospice support those affected by a life-limiting illness can live their life as fully as they were able for however many days, weeks or months they have left.”

After receiving a terminal diagnosis hospice care is able to support a patient and their family through the journey, as Jane Callingham, aged 75 from Lincoln, explains.

“When I was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis I went into complete shock and for a while my husband and I thought we would have to face this diagnosis alone. When we discovered St Barnabas could help us we sat and cried together in sheer relief.

“The hospice staff and volunteers have been with us every step of the way, and most importantly, they have always been incredibly open and honest about how my condition will progress and what to expect at the end.

“This has helped me to feel like I have taken back some control and talking openly helps to relieve some of the anxieties that I often feel. Acknowledging the elephant is vitally important and has helped us to make the most of the time we have.”

Collectively, the eight hospices involved care for more than 13,000 people which over 5,000 people are supported in their own homes and the community. They need to raise £35,204,000 annually.

For more information and a full list of hospices involved, visit www.mylocalhospice.co.uk #mylocalhospice

The hospices involved include:

• Ashgate Hospicecare

• Blythe House Hospice

• Beaumond House Hospice

• Dove Cottage Day Hospice


• Nottinghamshire Hospice

• St Barnabas Hospice

• Treetops Hospice Care

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