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Ever heard of a Padlet? It’s Weldmar’s new digital tool to help support bereaved relatives

Members of our Family Support Services team have been working on new digital resources to provide additional support to the people they care for

One of the key services that Weldmar Hospicecare provides is family support for the patients that we care for, offering counselling and activities for individuals and groups who have lost loved ones who have been looked after at home or at our Inpatient Unit.

This has been challenging during lockdown, with many sessions taking place over video or phone calls, and with the use of a new digital resource – Padlets, which can be accessed by those in our care on computers, tablets, or phones, as and when they are needed.

“It is a way of organising information and accessing it quickly”, says Emma Weston, Weldmar’s Counselling and Bereavement Lead.  “It’s a bit like a PostIt note, containing snippets of information. We can reorganise the items pinned and delete once obsolete. The bit we like most is that we can put these articles to one side and come and find them again quickly – either as a resource for sharing or for our own reference. Padlets are a great way of sharing a range of information at once, without needing to send lots of web links.”

The content on the Padlets includes topics such as healthy eating, wellbeing, sleep hygiene, bereavement, grief and loss, thinking and some links to yoga and pilates videos.

Emma says, “We hope that the Padlet will help to encourage people to think about wellbeing and we know that being human is a work in progress and sometimes we need a bit of help. The Padlet is a way of sharing useful wellbeing information that can be of benefit. As therapists, a part of our role is that of facilitator in helping people to help themselves.”

There are different Padlets with content specific to the needs of adults, young people, and children.

Kate Hyde is Weldmar’s Children & Young People’s Bereavement Support Practitioner, and says, “The children’s Padlet is a resource for parents to dip into if there is something in particular they are wanting support with. It is not designed as ‘homework’ or activities to keep children quiet but more as a place where shared activities can be found for parents to do alongside their children to allow discussion.  Some of the information includes links to sites where parents may find additional support or resources, including book recommendations. There are also suggested apps that parents could allow children to use alone if they felt comfortable with them.

“None of these resources are designed to replace counselling but may help families to communicate about feelings or just have fun and relax together.

Some of the activities may be things that children would want to share with their counsellor either by doing them during a session or by bringing something they have done at home to share during a session. We see the young people’s Padlet as being used more autonomously.”

Jane Askew is a Bereavement Counsellor, and says that Padlets are a good way of directing people to the digital resources that are right for them. “Quality resources are valuable, but there is a lot of junk on the web too. We believe this is just part of the future of bereavement counselling, and that we becoming more ‘blended’ therapists as a result of technology, which has certainly been fast tracked because of COVID19.

“We have shared resources more and more since lockdown. It is important to note that we see technology as something that can help support, but it is not a replacement for face to face therapy or groups that we offer.”

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