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Celebrating Excellence in End of Life Care and Campaigning for Change

Martin House Children’s Hospice and Intergenerational Music Making (IMM) won the End of Life Care Award and Campaigning for Change Award respectively at the Markel 3rd Sector Care Awards 2020.

Closing the series of features celebrating 2020’s winners, Victoria Greensmith, Director of Clinical Services at Martin House Children’s Hospice and Charlotte Miller, Director and Founder of IMM, reflect on the impact of their services and look forward to ongoing support opportunities.

Martin House Children’s Hospice was praised for its inspiring end of life care service that enabled people and their families to make informed decisions about the future. The hospice’s leadership team was highlighted further for its involvement in supporting bereaved families.

Family first

End of life care has always been a central part of the service Martin House offers to families. Our care is holistic and family-centred, and we work hard to ensure that the care we offer at end of life is flexible and tailored to the needs and wishes of the child and their family, which can encompass parents, siblings and grandparents.

Families can bring their child to the hospice for end of life care, or we can support them at home, and we also have cooled bedrooms, where a child or young person can stay for up to five days after death, where their family and friends can come to spend time with them, to say goodbye or make keepsake memory items. Our team can support and guide families in making arrangements and decisions they
need to make, while making them feel safe and cared for.

Constantly evolving

It’s been important to us to innovate and ensure our end of life and bereavement care is responsive and reaches as many families who need this support as possible. In recent years, we have extended our care beyond the children and young people who have life-limiting conditions and have used Martin House during their lives, to accept referrals following any sudden deaths.

We’ve also worked with the Yorkshire Organ Donation and Transplantation Service to take referrals of children who have been organ donors, which was a national first. More generally, our clinical nurse specialists work closely with hospitals in our region to enable discharge to the hospice or people’s own homes for end of life care, depending on the families’ wishes.

Recognising differences

End of life care is bespoke to each family, depending on their needs and wishes – we are always guided by what the family wants, whether that’s to be at home, in hospital or at the hospice. One of the things we champion is the use of advance care plans, which gives families the opportunity to make difficult decisions and record their wishes ahead of time.

We offer bereavement counselling to every family, including one-to-one support and group sessions, and our bereavement care encompasses the whole family, recognising the different ways family members can feel grief.

Defying adversity

 Our biggest challenge has been through the pandemic, which has brought so many extra regulations and restrictions, particularly the need for PPE, which can feel like a barrier when providing care and support to families at what is an emotional and distressing time. We’re very proud of the fact that we continuously remained open to families throughout these last two years, so they always had access to end of life care and care after death at Martin House.

Listening and learning

Our families tell us our support is invaluable to them, both at the end of their child’s life, and in bereavement support. Losing a child is the most painful experience a family can go through, and we want to make sure families don’t have to experience it alone. We’re continuing to work really hard so we can support more families in the future and provide excellent end of life care and bereavement support where and when they need it.

Victoria Greensmith is Director of Clinical Services at Martin House Children’s Hospice. Email: Twitter: @martinhousech


IMM received recognition for relentlessly pursuing its cause, engaging with both ministers and the wider Government to lobby for change. It’s national response to COVID-19, Care to Create, promoted the use of music and creative arts to bring people together.

Keeping people connected

When the pandemic started, IMM was unable to offer the artistic, intergenerational services that many of our clients relied on and therefore, we felt it was vital to approach the pandemic imaginatively and creatively. Social isolation and loneliness are nothing new to IMM and, now more than ever, we believe the arts have the transformative power to bring people together in ways no one could have foreseen.

The work IMM delivers is built upon values of empowerment, inclusion, creativity, trust and respect – we work to champion and amplify the voices and stories of people across generations and sectors. Over the last two years, IMM has been determined to develop ways in which people could stay connected, access creative resources and develop their practice.

Championing inclusivity

The first response to the pandemic was Care to Create, an inclusive online platform to stimulate and support people of all ages. The Care to Create hub aimed to support and nurture clients, their carers, NHS staff, families, children and young people through this challenging and isolated time. The creative content encouraged community connection, intergenerational relationships and positive wellbeing for all.

The Care to Create hub launched in June 2020 with a live, free family fun weekend of online creative activities attended by 300 people. Care to Create linked local artists and creative practitioners offering creative, educational or performance-based content with people in the community who might benefit from its impacting on their mental health and wellbeing.

Collaborative working

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, IMM has been the driving force in the formation and consolidation of successful partnerships. IMM’s work throughout the pandemic was continuously evaluated, which enabled our team to develop and refine their approach based upon service user feedback, engagement levels and digital approaches. The research behind Care to Create offered a new understanding of digital disenfranchisement amongst the older generation, safeguarding digital platforms for schools and care homes and staff capacity.

This learning fuelled the development of Together with Music (, a national, intergenerational platform launched in December 2020 in partnership with Care England. Together with Music (TwM) has over 1,200 members and has reached over 60,000 individuals. TwM delivers workshops, training, projects and resources, creating partnerships with a variety of social care, health, education, researchers, council and civil society organisations.

The work delivered by IMM during COVID-19 has enabled older and younger people to maintain valued connections and create new ones. Participants have been supported to make contact through a variety of media in ways they felt to be beneficial for their wellbeing. The most successful activities involved active and reciprocal exchanges of stories, music and other content with personal meaning. In addition, those which demonstrated feelings of mutual responsibility and care for others within and beyond their own communities.

Gaining momentum

Throughout the pandemic, IMM has demonstrated the power that music and creativity have within both our individual and collective wellbeing. Our vision is to create a clear working infrastructure, one that sits at the heart of the community, which will enhance and develop a clear care pathway between the NHS, care sector, education and community. IMM believes that by placing health and wellbeing as part of our collective vision for prosperity and aligning this with education, skill sharing and development, we will secure better outcomes for people.

As we all begin to recover from the pandemic, IMM believes that TwM can act as the mediator between the health, arts, social care and education sectors. It can be at the heart of this new thriving community ecosystem – one that empowers caregivers and communities and champions both young and old voices. TwM can encourage cross-sector working and strong integrated care networks across the UK whilst offering training and employment opportunities to enhance public health and civil society. All built upon the joy of musical connections.       

Charlotte Miller is the Director and Founder of Intergenerational Music Making. Email: Twitter: @IntergenTwM 

New host and venue for the Markel 3rd sector care awards

Care Management Matters (CMM) is thrilled to announce a new host and venue for the upcoming Markel 3rd Sector Care Awards. The awards will be hosted by TV and radio presenter Len Goodman. Also taking place at a new venue for 2021, The Grand Hotel in Birmingham, the ceremony promises to continue to celebrate outstanding achievements in the not-for-profit care and support sector.

CMM and the National Care Forum came together to work on the concept, giving national recognition to the care workforce in a different way. Established in 2014, the awards have gone from strength to strength. CMM is delighted to have the headline sponsorship of Markel and others so it can continue to offer free ceremony tickets to finalists, as well as keeping the awards free to enter.

The Markel 3rd Sector Care Awards focus on creative arts, community engagement, innovation, quality improvements, integration, technology and governance. These categories and the entry criteria have always been based on specific strategies – from Government and the sector – and have evolved over time to maintain relevance in an ever-changing landscape.

The ceremony will be held on Friday 11th February 2022 from 10.30am to 4.00pm and includes a drinks reception, three-course meal and entertainment. Nominations for the awards have now closed and the finalists have been selected. Ticket purchasing options are available to view on the CMM website. As the ceremony is planned to be a face-to-face event, CMM will be following Government guidance and working with the venue to ensure all COVID-19 guidelines are met.

You can take a look at last year’s winners and finalists to see what truly makes the Markel 3rd Sector Care Awards such a remarkable event or you can catch up on the virtual awards ceremony here. To stay up to date with the Markel 3rd Sector Care Awards 2021, don’t forget to follow CMM on Twitter: @3rdSectorCare and use the hashtag #3rdSectorCareAwards

For more information on the Markel 3rd Sector Care Awards, please contact the Awards team on 01223 207770 or email

A note from Markel UK, our headline sponsor

Markel UK is proud to be associated with the Markel 3rd Sector Care Awards, a fantastic event, which rewards the hard work, dedication, innovation and excellence of everyone working in the not-for-profit sector. Markel UK has been involved with the awards for the last five years and is delighted to once again be the headline sponsor for 2021.

Every year we are in awe of the individuals and charities that put entries forward, all demonstrating the diversity and capabilities of charities up and down the UK, all of which do so much good. We’re sure this year will be no different, with numerous outstanding entries, each worthy of recognition. We know that the care industry has been particularly affected by the pandemic and this is a great opportunity to celebrate the innovation and resilience of those in the sector.

Markel has vast experience of the UK’s care sector and supports over 10,000 care customers to protect against the unique risks that care organisations face. We provided extensive support to the sector throughout COVID-19 and while many insurers pulled back, we doubled our efforts to give businesses confidence and financial certainty when they needed it most.

As one of the largest care sector insurers in the UK, we understand the challenges faced by organisations in this industry and have developed a suite of bespoke services to help providers operate in safe and compliant environments.

As part of this year’s event, we are pleased to offer each category winner a year’s free access to Markel’s online legal portal, Law Hub. This service provides a wide range of legal self-help guides and template contracts on subjects ranging from health and safety to employment, to help care organisations navigate their day-to-day challenges.

Having held the last event virtually, we look forward to returning to a live event in February. If you haven’t booked your tickets yet, we would encourage you to attend so you can share in the celebrations and toast the winners. Past winners have subsequently won a Queen’s Award for Innovation, gained valuable publicity and secured extra funding for their organisation.

All that’s left is to wish the best of luck to all the finalists!

Why not join us for this annual celebration at The Grand Hotel Birmingham on 11th February 2022?  Find out more and buy your tickets here

About Victoria Greensmith

Victoria leads the care team at Martin House, a multi-disciplinary team which includes specialist paediatric palliative care doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, clinical nurse …

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specialists, a social worker and family support and counselling staff. Trained as a physiotherapist, Victoria has been at Martin House since 2017, as Deputy Director of Clinical Services, becoming Dir ector in 2020.

About Charlotte Miller

Charlotte Miller is the Director and Founder of Intergenerational Music Making (IMM). Over the last 20 years, Charlotte has worked as a Music Therapist within a variety of schools, care homes and NHS …

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hospitals, delivering intergenerational music, health and education related services. Charlotte created IMM in 2018 to harness the power of intergenerational music making to improve the lives of peopl e living with dementia whilst creating new and healthy communities for all. In December 2020, IMM launched Together with Music in partnership with Care England. To date, the programme engages with 68, 000 individuals. In June 2021, Charlotte received the Prime Minister’s Points of Light Community Award for the programme’s cross-generational impact on mental health and wellbeing.

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