Founder Hermione Elliott began in 2007, to run a series of public workshops called Death Matters and What is a Good Death. She recognised a need to encourage people to consider death and dying as an inevitable part of life and an important subject for everyone.
Participants shared their experiences, hopes and fears and many described a loss of confidence and skills to support friends or family in death. Others expressed regret at the lack of opportunity to encounter it in a natural and normal way, as one of life’s most profound events.
It became clear there was a need for support and companionship at the end of life – a non-medical, non-professional role - a person to hold the wisdom, able to inform and advocate for others. This led to the development of the first End of Life Doula Training in 2010.
We have been fortunate to work with many wonderful people, comfortable with the subject of death and dying, and who resonate with the values and aims of LWDW. Importantly they are willing to take a journey of discovery through the training with a desire to give back to society and others in their community.
The course is the only Certificated End of Life Doula Training in the UK and holds a Crossfields Institute Quality Mark. The programme is regularly reviewed and updated, and as a Learning Centre, our systems, business, policies, quality assurance are reviewed annually.
The Doula network continues to grow and has formed into vibrant and exciting community of practice with the formation of End of Life Doula UK which is part of the Living Well Dying Well Network. This fulfils a support role for Doulas who have trained or are in training and acts as an information resource for people who need a Doula.