Get involved in talking about end-of-life care and funeral planning

Thanks to Sarah Gibson, Research Associate, Victoria and Stuart Project at Kingston University for submitting this extended blog on the Victoria and Stuart Project. 

Preparing well for death is one of the most important things we can get right for the people we support and care for. As one of our advisors pointed out it is only irrelevant for people who are immortal!

Helping people who are facing serious illness to talk about and think through plans for what we want whilst we’re still alive is also vital.

We know it’s not easy for any of us to think & talk about being very ill, death and dying.

But that is what the Victoria and Stuart Project led by Professor Irene Tuffrey-Wijne at Kingston University has been doing for the last couple of years.

To read the full version please click here 

If you’d like to help test our end of life care planning toolkit by:-

  • try out the resources during December 2023 or January 2024
  • give us feedback on what you did and how it went (by end of Jan)

If so, please sign up as a Toolkit Tester in our study

  1. Read our Participant Information sheet here
  2. Sign up as a Victoria and Stuart Project Toolkit Tester here
  3. Contact Sarah Gibson with any questions

Volunteers needed!

L’Arche Kent is a community of people with and without learning disabilities, including Support Assistants, volunteers, friends and neighbours, based in Canterbury. It is a model of creative and inclusive practice in the provision of support to its members (beer brewing features very highly in its activities), and refers to its voluntary Community Support Group (CSG) in advancing its goals of mutual service, promoting community, boosting spirituality and maintaining outreach to the wider society. The CSG meets quarterly, and our meetings are always dynamic, lively and fun! However, we are now in need of more members. If you would like to know more, and become involved with this wonderful community, please contact Cathy Bernal on I can guarantee that you will not be bored – and that you will meet some very impressive individuals!



Books Beyond Words – ‘Loving Babies’ Book Launch

Kent Surrey Sussex Learning Disability Community of Practice event will be hosting the new Beyond Words book launch at the event at Kingston University on 1st December.

Beyond Words is delighted to be launching the second word-free picture book in their series on maternity and parenting. Loving Babies is the much-anticipated follow-up book to last year’s Having a Baby. Expertly co-created and trialled by professionals and experts by experience, Loving Babies is a picture story showing the realities and triumphs of early years’ parenting.

The book is designed to be used by people with learning disabilities or who find pictures easier to understand than words. It depicts two different households caring for and loving their new children. Loving Babies and Having a Baby can be used together to open conversations about pregnancy, parenting, and having children.

At the event, Baroness Hollins will be presenting this new publication and in their will be a lunch time book club to explore this new publication. 

Loving Babies Book Beyond words cover


Community Steering Group Expression of Interest

The Community’s Steering group is keen to recruit new members from Kent, Surrey and Sussex.

We welcome all that feel they have a contribution to make to supporting people with learning disabilities to live healthy, safe and fulfilled lives, this includes people with lived experience and that gained from work roles. 

The steering group has experience of making reasonable adjustments to support contribution, please let us know how we might do so.

There is easy read information about being part of the steering group by clicking here 

To express your interest in joining the steering group please complete the below form. 

This deadline for submitting the form will be 5pm 8th December 2023.



New Guest Blog post – Oliver McGowan Training, A Midwife & Mothers perspective.

Hayley Coffey has kindly shared her reflections on undertaking the Oliver McGowan e-learning training, her role as an academic, a midwife and a mother, the implications for education and clinical practice and ultimately autistic people and people with learning disabilities. 

This blog can be found by clicking here

If you would like to submit a reflection on enabling and supporting people with learning disabilities to live healthy safe and fulfilled lives, please see details for doing by clicking here.