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International Songwriting Project  for change, loss and grief

An innovative and creative collaboration has been completed between “Galilee” and St Columba’s Hospice in Scotland under the name “International Songwriting Project for change, loss and grief“.

The project was led by St Columba’s Hospice Care in partnership with the Scottish George Heriots Junior School, the NGO Fischy Music, the Greek school “Hellenic Education” and “Galilee”.

The aim of this project was to bring together school children and hospice patients to explore issues of grief and loss and enhance cross-cultural awareness and responsiveness through songwriting. The project also aimed to equip school staff with the skills to have confident conversations with children around such issues.

Change, loss, and grief are issues that affect all of us at some time in our lives. It is recognized that when changes occur in families’ lives or in the social environment around us, children can benefit from learning how to manage these changes to enable them to cope and help aid their emotional and mental health well-being. This program was being developed taking into account these changes and losses, especially due to the pandemic.

This program drew on the outcomes of the 2019 pilot project that won two UK-wide healthcare awards: Best Collaborative Arts Project (Performance) and the Patient’s Choice Award. More information can be found here.

The program started on October 14th, 2021, and ended on December 9th, 2021 including the following sessions:

(a) an introductory meeting for all partners

(b) four songwriting sessions between school children and hospice patients in each country separately

(c) a session for all partners to share songs and experiences, and to prepare for the closing event

(d) a closing event to reflect on the whole project and present the songs.

All meetings were held online.

The band was named by the children and patients “GRESCO agape”, a name coming from the names of the two countries and the Greek word for “love”.

You may listen to the songs written by the project participants in the following video as well as some of audio-visual examples from the process.

We gratefully thank all participants and colleagues!