Nourishing the Spirit: A Conference Exploring Spiritual Wellbeing

Date and time

29th November 2019 9.15am - 4.30pm Registration from 9.00am for a prompt 9.15am start


Price: £100.00 per person
Concession for full time Health & Social Care students: £25.00 per student - Proof maybe required


LOROS, Groby Road, Lecester, LE3 9QE
Groby Road

About this conference

People who are very unwell and facing the very real prospect of dying in the near future need support in four dimensions: the physical (addressing problems like pain and sickness); the social (supporting their family and making sure they have the carers they need to be safe at home); the psychological (support in coping with the emotional impact of their situation); and the spiritual. While for some, spirituality equates with religion and religious practices, spiritual care goes beyond this and focusses on activities that help people find meaning, comfort, and hope in their lives and in preparing for death.

This conference will explore a diversity of approaches to supporting the spiritual wellbeing of patients and families and for ourselves as carers at the end of life and in bereavement. The conference will include opportunities for interactive learning.

We have a programme of expert and fascinating speakers.

  • Karen Elsworth who is a physiotherapist will explore wellbeing in bio-psycho-social-spiritual integration.
  • Karina Croucher, an Archaeologist in Bradford University will lead a workshop on how archaeology can facilitate discussions about death, dying and after death care. Be prepared for some fascinating artefacts and case studies!
  • Angela Baxter and Elaine Godber who work at LOROS will lead a workshop on our use of immersive films. You will get a chance to experience this via a headset
  • Andrew Goodhead, chaplain at St Christopher’s Hospice in London, will discuss his research which looked at memorial service and books of remembrance in hospices
  • Sharon DeCaestecker will get us all laughing after lunch to fill our own spirts with joy.
  • Sara Mackian leads a fascinating research programme at the Open University. Using social science and art combined, she explores the relationship between the real and the imaginary, the body and the spirit, this world and the otherworldly.
  • Lesia Smaditch is musical director at the Musical Village, which welcomes all who love singing and want to share the enjoyment and fun with the community. We will sample that as we end the day on this high ‘note’!

See the full programme here.


Karen Elsworth BSc(Phys)MCSP MA, Chartered Physiotherapist, Craniosacral Therapist

Karen Elsworth Karen is a grandmother, mother and wife. Her work as a physiotherapist has evolved into an integrated health model incorporating various complementary approaches while still being grounded in evidence. She has a special interest in Spiritual Wellbeing and embodied spiritual practices and has worked as a hospice chaplain. She runs workshops and study days on integrated health. She is a former Anglican priest.

Dr Karina Croucher, Senior Lecturer in Archaeology, University of Bradford

Karina Croucher Karina's research focuses on archaeology for social well-being, and she leads the projects 'Continuing Bonds: Exploring the meaning and legacy of death through past and contemporary practice', and 'Continuing Bonds: Creative Disseminations'. These projects bring together researchers and practitioners in archaeology, nursing, end of life care and psychology, and use archaeology to facilitate conversations around death, dying and bereavement, as well as challenge biases and assumptions around 'normal' behaviour around death and bereavement. She has also worked with a team of colleagues to co-produce the Dying-to-talk video, with and for young people, encouraging discussion around bereavement and building resilience around loss.

Rev Dr Andrew Goodhead, Spiritual Care Lead, St Christopher's

Andrew Goodhead Andrew Goodhead joined St Christopher’s as Chaplain in January 2005. In his role at St Christopher’s Andrew is concerned to ensure that all End of Life Care professionals have the skills and confidence to offer spiritual assessment and ongoing support to all patients and their families. He has a particular interest in the concept of spiritual pain as a way of understanding spiritual need. For patients with faith needs Andrew is developing the pastoral and religious role of the Spiritual Care Lead.

Andrew worked with a team from Hull University on a major research project ‘Remember Me – The Changing Face of Memorialisation’. His strand of the study considered how those who have experienced the care of a family member or friend under a hospice service are invited to remember the deceased in memorial events and through free writing. The results of this study have been published by Mortality (2019) Hospices as Facilitators of Memorialisation. Andrew is a co facilitator for the Spirituality Education Group of the European Association of Palliative Care and a member of the Spirituality Taskforce of the EAPC.

Dr Sara MacKian, Senior Lecturer in Health & Wellbeing, The Open University

Sara MacKian Sara is a Senior Lecturer in Health and Wellbeing at The Open University. As an artist, writer and lecturer she has a curiosity for how people interact around issues of health, wellbeing and the otherworldly. Her research is wide ranging, but she has a particular interest in alternative spiritualities and the role of spirituality more broadly in contemporary British society. Using social science and art combined, she explores the relationship between the real and the imaginary, the body and the spirit, this world and the otherworldly.

Author of MacKian (2012) ‘Everyday Spirituality: Social and Spatial Worlds of Enchantment’ (Palgrave) and Bartolini, MacKian and Pile (Eds) (2018) ‘Spaces of Spirituality’ (Routledge).

Sharon de Castecker Registered Nurse, Specialist Palliative Care

Sharon de Castecker Sharon de Caestecker is a registered nurse and has worked in specialist palliative care for over twenty years working both clinically and within the education setting. Sharon is passionate about supporting patients and carers at the end of life and has a particular interest in challenging communication and psycho-social issues. Seven years ago, Sharon chose to pursue another passion in the realm of health and wellbeing. She undertook additional training as a Laughter Yoga Leader and Health Coach and now supports individuals and businesses in developing a holistic approach to wellbeing through lifestyle changes including nutrition, movement, resilience and perhaps one of the more ‘interesting’ approaches, that of laughter yoga!

Angela Baxter Complementary Therapy Manager, LOROS Hospice

Angela Baxter Angela Baxter is the Complementary Therapy Manager at LOROS she has worked there for 14 years. Before becoming a Complementary Therapist she was a nurse for 13 years. She is now trained in a variety of different therapies including Aromatherapy, Bowen, and Hypnotherapy. She teaches Mindfulness and is passionate about improving the wellbeing of patients and their families. She is also the clinical lead for Virtual Reality. She lives with her husband and two children.

Elaine Godber, VR Lead, LOROS Hospice
Elaine Godber Elaine Godber has worked at LOROS Hospice for 7 years, taking on the role of I Experience VR Lead 2 years ago having previously worked in the Finance Industry. Elaine enthusiastically shares the growing library of relaxing and therapeutic Virtual Reality films with patients, carers and staff looking for an escape, a distraction or just for fun. Following the success of LOROS VR for Good film competition these include a variety of immersive experiences from all over the world bringing mountains, waterfalls, sea and sand within easy reach of our patients benefiting mind and soul. Elaine is married with three children, a dog and a goldfish!

Suitable for

Anyone interested in spiritual wellbeing and end of life care and bereavement including health and social care workers, students, volunteers, counsellors, Death Doula’s and the public.

Register online

How would you like to pay?

View all prospectus items