The Life Café Kit video

Life Cafe

The Life Café video

As phase 1 of the Design to Care Programme with Marie Curie comes to a close, Lab4Living researcher Helen Fisher has been working closely with Design Futures Packaging to get the Life Cafe kit production ready! Following her film and editing training with Raj Madaan at Madaan Media, they have created a promotional movie to share what the Life Café Kit is and how it can be used.

Background to the project

The last decade has witnessed a demographic change on an unprecedented scale. As well as living longer, people are also dying much later as a consequence of multiple, complex long-term conditions including non-cancer illnesses such as dementia.

Meeting individuals’ end of life care needs within existing models and approaches of care is unsustainable and a radical new approach to the design of services is required. These services need to provide high quality care irrespective of diagnosis and be effective, affordable, integrated and equitable.

In 2017, Marie Curie commissioned an ambitious programme of research to inform the development of new models of palliative and end of life care.

A key finding of the research was that people generally did not have the opportunity to talk about what was important to them and how they gave and received care. What also became apparent was that the conversations about end of life were really more about living: about values, meanings, motivations and elements that the individuals saw as a priority. The Life Café is a space to enable and explore these conversations.

Life Cafe idea

The Life Café Kit has been developed by a team at Sheffield Hallam’s Art & Design Research Centre, including Lab4bLiving design researchers (Helen Fisher, Claire Craig and Paul Chamberlain) and Design Futures packaging specialists (Peter Macqueen, Nick Waddington and John Kirkby). It contains resources and activities that promote and support conversations about what people find meaningful in life and in care. Hundreds of people have participated in Life Cafés to date, contributing to the design and shaping it to what it is today.

Making videos to share research

Helen recently undertook training in video production and editing to support the research projects she is currently working on. Helen said:

“We realised that a lot of the projects have physical outputs that are quite complex. Putting across projects such as the Life Café kit in writing can be quite tricky. People often don’t ‘get it’ until they see it in action. Having a visual form can explain it in a simple and effective way. Video is a good medium to show what that output is and how it works.

Helen was supported by audio visual production service Madaan Media filming ‘on the job’ and then with editing afterwards. The film can now be viewed on YouTube. Her newly acquired skills will now be used to support dissemination in a range of Lab4Living projects.

Life Café Kit in production

The Life Café Kit is a self-contained unit which is now available for use in community groups, care homes, hospices and other care settings. The manual in the kit contains step by step instructions and activity ideas.

As Helen says,

“It has been designed so that anyone confident in running a group can facilitate a Life Café.”

Using the Life Cafe kit

Using the Life Cafe kit

Find out more

If you’re interested in obtaining a Life Café Kit, or would like to know more about how it might work in your organisation, contact Helen Fisher. You can read more about Lab4Living’s work in end of life care and the Life Cafe project on the Lab4Living website.

Watch the video here: