Girls Night Out 2016 is on it’s way.

There is still plenty of time to register for Girls Night Out 2016, or sponsor someone who has already, before the event on 10th September. We’ve been floored by the number of registrations so far, with the number still climbing fast this year’s event is sure to be something special.

Girls Night Out 2015 Participants

You find more information by visiting the Girls Night Out 2016 website. You don’t want to miss one of Suffolk’s most exciting fundraising events of the year, so tell your friends, family and coworkers and be a part of this incredible event with us!

Nominations now open for Dementia Friendly Awards 2016

Alzheimer's Society Logo

From the Alzheimer’s Society website:

The Awards will recognise communities, organisations and individuals as well as partnerships and innovations that have championed the rights of people affected by dementia to remain included and supported in their daily lives. This year’s categories are detailed below, please see individual award webpages for specific entry criteria.
 There are nine categories to enter in 2016

  • Dementia Friendly Community of the Year
  • Dementia Partnership of the Year
  • Dementia Innovation of the Year
  • Young Person(s) Contribution of the Year
  • Dementia Journalism Award (England and Wales only)
  • Dementia Friends Champion of the Year
  • Dementia Friendly Organisation of the Year
  • Inspiring Individual of the Year
  • Outstanding Contribution of the Year

The deadline for nominations is midnight on Monday 1st August, so if you work or volunteer in this area, give some thought to nominating a deserving person or organisation.

Unlike some other awards, their website has a breakdown of what they’re looking for in each category, which is great.

Read the full announcement.

Funds from the Ice Bucket Challenge help identify a new gene associated with ALS.

Nicky Woolf writing for The Guardian:

But the proof of the pudding was in the eating: the campaign raised more than $100m in a 30-day period, and was able to fully fund a number of research projects.
 One of these was Project MinE, a large data-driven initiative funded by the ALS Association through ice bucket challenge donations, as well as donations from the organization’s Georgia and New York chapters. The project’s researchers announced on Monday that they have identified a new gene associated with the disease, which experts say could lead to new treatment possibilities.

Read the full article at The Guardian.

It’s wonderful for ALSA to be able to draw a direct line from a high-profile campaign like the Ice Bucket Challenge to a discovery like this, as it can be tough for fundraising teams to provide people with specific examples of effects their giving to an individual campaign has had.

A few different places reported this news, but it was interesting how few actually linked to the original announcement from ALSA. I noticed this especially on the two Guardian opinion pieces covering this story, both of which include “re-use this content” links, but that didn’t take the time to attribute the original source.

Pokemon Go Places PokéStops in Memorials and Cemeteries.

Gabby DaRienzo writing at Medium about the incredibly popular Pokemon Go (Not sure? Here’s everything you need to know):

Though most likely unintentional, the inclusion of PokéStops in cemeteries gives Pokémon Go players the opportunity to learn more about local memorials, to explore their own thoughts and feelings around death and cemeteries, and potentially have discussions about it with their friends or partners. Although some might argue that players visiting these memorials are mainly there to capture virtual pocket monsters, PokéStops are still presenting the opportunity to visit places they most likely wouldn’t normally, and learn something about them — like I did with the murals and graffiti in my own neighbourhood.
 That being said, it is absolutely imperative for Pokémon Go players to be extremely mindful and considerate when considering visiting these PokéStops, as many of them can be found in cemeteries that still actively host funerals, or home loved ones with living relatives or friends who still visit and mourn them.

Augmented reality has been used in cemeteries, but this is something new. The young people in our office are all playing Pokemon Go . It can be a struggle to convince them to go outside during the day rather than watching YouTube videos, so this is a welcome activity as far as I’m concerned. I’ve seen swarms of people locally, young and old, playing too.

I agree with Gabby, this is an opportunity for those playing to explore and learn, not something to be met with too much cynicism, especially with the friendly and positive tone of the game. It’s early days for Pokemon Go and augmented reality as a whole, but if the developers of this and other apps are able to provide a way to flag anything that could be sensitive (perhaps a shared, open map of sensitive locations?) that may help prevent issues in the future.

Read Gabby’s full piece here.

Government commits to high quality end of life care.

An announcement from Health Minister Ben Gummer:

The government has made 6 commitments to the public to end variation in end of life care across the health system by 2020. These are:

  • honest discussions between care professionals and dying people
  • dying people making informed choices about their care
  • personalised care plans for all
  • the discussion of personalised care plans with care professionals
  • the involvement of family and carers in dying people’s care
  • a main contact so dying people know who to contact at any time of day

The commitments are in response to an independent review of end of life care.

Coincidentally, Ben Gummer is my local MP.

An interesting note at the end of this statement:

Additionally, the NHS will support the increased use of electronic patient records for people nearing the end of their life to enable the recording and sharing of end of life care choices by 2020.

Like all organisations, if the NHS is to do more with less, then efficient use of digital services is key. Patient data is sensitive, end of life care choices are sensitive, I really hope that they can overcome a not-good history of digital patient records systems.

Read the full statement at

A portrait of Heather Meyerend, a hospice nurse in New York City.

A portrait of Heather Meyerend, a hospice nurse in New York City.

Larissa MacFarquhar for The New Yorker:

Heather is not brisk or efficient, as nurses in hospitals are. She is purposely inefficient, in fact. Most of the time when she visits patients, she doesn’t have much to do: she takes vital signs, she checks that there are enough supplies and medications in the house, she asks if old symptoms have gone away or new ones developed. If she were rushing, she could do all that in about five minutes, but her visits usually last an hour or more. Sometimes there is a complicated medical situation to take care of. Sometimes she does something non-medical that needs to be done, which is the hospice way — she might sweep a floor, she might heat up dinner. But, even when there’s nothing else to do, the idea is to be around longer, to chat, to sit close by, to put her hands on the patient’s skin as she goes about her checkup. Her visit may be the high point of the day for the patient, who may not be able to get out of bed, or for whoever is taking care of the patient, who may not have left the house or seen anybody else for a day or two; either or both of them may be going a little crazy and may badly need interruption or variety of any kind, ideally someone different to talk to. So Heather moves slowly; she sits down; she delays; she lingers.

That’s a long quote, but only a small section of a wonderful piece. Sad, uplifting and beautiful in simply describing Heather’s work.

Read the full article at The New Yorker.

Registrations for Girls Night Out 2016 are open.

A quick reminder that registrations for Girls Night Out 2016, St Nicholas Hospice Care’s annual sponsored moonlight walk in Bury St Edmunds are now open.

Thanks to our new event registration system in Echoleft, registration for you, or a whole group is simple. Everyone who registers will receive a free t-shirt, pin badge and, most importantly, a pair of flashing bunny ears. Be sure to pick out your best pair of pink pajamas and register soon, as the deadline for cheaper registration fees on 31st May 2016 is fast approaching!

Girls Night Out 2016 logo

We’re absolutely astounded at the number of groups of friends, coworkers and families that have already come together to register for this amazing event. You can be a part of something special with us by registering your group for Girls Night Out 2016!

The Good Funeral Awards 2016 Announced

We had a great time at last year’s Good Funeral Awards, meeting people from across the funeral industry. We were in good company, on our table were the winners of Best Funeral Directors, the lovely A R Adams Family, and Best Coffins, the equally-lovely Cath Pratley from Cradle To Grave.

This year’s Good Funeral Awards is a lunch event on Thursday 8 September in the Porchester Hall in London.

From their announcement:

This year we have 24 categories, the same number as they have at the Oscars in Hollwood.
 New categories include: Modern Funeral Director of the Year, Best Maker of Hand Carved Memorials and Best Green Funeral Product.
 Our role in funeralworld has been to bring the traditionalists and the innovators under one roof to give the the public a better idea of what we’re about.
 We’ll kick off at about midday and there will be a three-course meal served up by Anna Corless of Anna’s Kitchen.

Tickets are available now.

Elderly People Look At Their Younger Reflections In This Beautiful Photo Series By Tom Hussey

Wow. I know these were created for an ad campaign, but they’re still great.

From Digital Synopsis, where you can see the rest of the photos, all of which belong to Tom Hussey:

‘Reflections of The Past’ is an award-winning photo series by commercial advertising photographer Tom Hussey. The photographs show an elderly person looking pensively at the reflection of his/her younger self in the mirror. Hussey was inspired by a World War II veteran who said “I can’t believe I’m going to be 80. I feel like I just came back from the war. I look in the mirror and I see this old guy.”

Source: Digital Synopsis

Echoleft powering registrations for Girls Night Out 2016.

We are hugely proud to be working with St Nicholas Hospice Care as part of their largest fundraising event of the year, Girls Night Out.

We’ve built a new website, full of useful information and we’ve made it even easier for you and your group to sign up and pay your registration fees using Echoleft.

Last year’s sponsored walk around Bury St Edmunds, which saw over 1,800 of you taking part dressed in your favourite pyjamas, raised £190,000 to help the hospice care for those affected by long-term illnesses.

This year’s Girls Night Out will be held on Saturday, 10th September, starting at Angel Hill in Bury St Edmunds. We have no doubt that this year’s event will be even more successful and we can’t wait to see you all with your flashing bunny ears! It’s a great feeling knowing that our work with charity event registrations and donations is helping to power one of the most exciting fundraising events in Suffolk.

Girls Night Out 2016 Logo

For more information about Girls Night Out 2016, including how to register, visit the Girls Night Out website.

Ready to walk? No problem, you can register now.