Tour helps bust myths for school children around hospice care

In June, we welcomed nine Health and Social Care students, along with two of their teachers from Gosforth Academy into the Hospice for a tour.

The school reached out to us to ask if their Year 11 students could get involved with the Hospice to help with their learning.

The group met in our chapel with Spiritual Care Lead, Davina Radford, plus Matron of the Adult Inpatient Unit Anne Tuck, and Palliative Care Registrar Max Charles.

The students were initially asked what they thought a hospice was. Unsurprisingly, they answered it was a place ‘people came to die’.

After a chat with members of the team, the students and teachers were taken on a tour of the Hospice, including the wards, family room and the main garden.

Spiritual Care and Wellbeing Coordinator, Carole Taylor, then joined the group in the Wellbeing Room to discuss the different activities she does with patients.

We got some lovely feedback from the school about how much everyone enjoyed the tour. Crucially, the students were asked if their perceptions of what a hospice is had changed.

Among the replies were:

“They treat everyone differently.”

“A hospice is nothing like a hospital – you’re allowed pets and your family members to stay.”

“You can bring pets in, get glasses of wine, have family over and have a movie night.”

“[Patients] don’t come to die – they come for aftercare and they live freely.”

“They do [patients’] bucket lists and make their dreams come true. They can get married!”

“I learned that it is just like a home but in a hospice.”

“A hospice isn’t just about dying, it’s about making people comfortable.”

One young man even said that he was so inspired he wanted to work at the Hospice, while another said they were going to apply to volunteer in one of our shops!

Our staff who were part of the tour also reported getting a huge amount out of the collaboration between the departments and enjoyed learning and refreshing their knowledge about the Hospice.

If you would like to arrange a tour of St Oswald’s Hospice and see first-hand all the different services and activities we do, please email our Communications and Marketing Team on

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