Innovative Daffodil Project launched at our Newcastle Hospice

by Helen Forrow Hospice Manager Daffodil project in Newcastle Hopsice

We recently initiated The Daffodil Project, an innovative programme at the Marie Curie Hospice, Newcastle, that brings together school children and hospice day patients. They meet once a week for a total of four weeks, over which the children take part in a range of creative activities.
The Daffodil Project is aimed at 10–11 year old school children and explores the issues surrounding death and dying in a supportive and safe environment. It aims to break down taboos and encourage discussion around what are often sensitive topics. The project also helps children to understand the work that Marie Curie does and what it is like to have a life-limiting condition. The Project’s theme of death and dying feeds directly into the National Curriculum’s Personal Social Health and Economic (PSHE) theme of coping with loss, as well as health and illness. The Daffodil Project began in March 2012, the first of its kind in the North East. Since then, three more sessions have run and over 50 children have taken part in the project. Newcastle hospice day patient Jayne Goodhall said: "I think the project can help the children be less fearful of illness in general. I think like adults, children can have preconceived ideas of what somebody with cancer or any life-limiting illness would look like or act like, and I think they are quite surprised when they come here and see people who can still laugh and still have fun." Read Emma-Jayne Kirby’s BBC Radio 4 report on the project