Funding for projects to encourage Advance Care Planning conversations

Date published: 16 February 2022


Health Minister Robin Swann has announced seed funding for projects to encourage people to start conversations now, about their wishes for the future.

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Projects could include community engagement activities, videos or works of art. Fifteen seed grants of up to £2,000 each are available.

The move comes just after the midpoint of a public consultation on a draft Advance Care Planning Policy for adults in Northern Ireland which was launched in December.

The draft policy provides a framework for adults (aged 18 years and over), to have greater choice and control over decisions relating to personal, legal, clinical, and financial matters, from creating a will to organ donation. The consultation on the draft policy closes on 11 March.

What is Advance Care Planning?

The Minister said: “The pandemic has shown how quickly our personal circumstances can change. I would urge community and voluntary sector groups to consider applying for this funding to develop creative ways to encourage people in communities across Northern Ireland to plan for the future with the people important to them."

The funding is to be provided to assist the development of projects to inspire communities to reflect on their experiences during the pandemic and employ the arts, crafts and creativity to consider what steps they can take now to plan ahead. Individual projects might explore questions like: What adds quality to our lives? What might I want in the future, if I wasn’t able to make some decisions for myself?

This callout is designed to encourage as wide a group of people as possible to apply for seed grants, through a simple application process. 

Corrina Grimes, Regional Advance Care Planning Lead, said: “While progressing the draft Policy on Advance Care Planning, we often heard how planning ahead helped to alleviate anxiety for individuals and those close to them. They were reassured that their views on their care, treatment and other wishes were known.

“Sadly, we also heard the experiences of people who hadn’t had these conversations. The uncertainty added to distress during some extremely difficult times.”

Dominic Campbell Arts and Cultural Engagement Lead, said: “People use creativity and the arts to construct meaning, or to make spaces for conversation about difficult things. The potential of the arts and creativity to encourage meaningful engagement and support has been known for centuries. How can we draw on this now?”

Applicants can download an application form, or find more information online at Advance Care Planning Seeds Grants Up to £2000 available or by contacting (Advance Care Planning Programme Team).

Applications can be submitted from Thursday 17 March 2022. The deadline for applications for Seed Grants is Friday 4 March 2022 at 12 noon.

Notes to editors: 

  1. Advance Care Planning is a voluntary process and helps a person to make known what their wishes, feelings, beliefs and values are, and to make choices that reflect these.
  2. The consultation on the draft Advance Care Planning policy is available to access on the Department of Health website.
  3. Corrina Grimes available for interview on request.
  4. For media enquiries please contact the DoH Press Office by email at
  5. Follow us on twitter @healthdpt.
  6. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for Media Enquiries Only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The Duty Press Officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110. 

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