“Hello, I’m just calling on behalf of an organisation called ‘Gather My Crew’,” Susan said when she rang in to Jon Faine’s ABC Melbourne Known Unknowns program to discuss ‘the good death’.
We were taking calls from people about how we can help each other improve today’s experience of death. Gather My Crew is a free online help roster that turns offers of support into something practical, when we’re experiencing a crisis. So it’s ideal for those occasions when a sudden death has just hit a family, or when a family is caring for someone dying at home.
“Asking for help can be hard. We make it easier. Gather My Crew has the power to turn offers of ‘let me know how I can help’ into the support that is really needed,” its website explains.
When Susan chatted on the radio, she described how valuable it can be when family are looking after someone dying at home: “One of the things we do know about people who don’t end up dying in their place of choice is that often it is due to family burnout.
“Family go in with the best of intentions but as things go on and on and on they need more support than they’ve got. What we’ve produced is an online help roster and we’re funded by the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation and it’s completely free to use.
“And what it allows people to do is coordinate help from friends, family neighbours and their communities to give them extra support during this really challenging time. So it can free people up to just sit at the bedside and be with that person.”
Gather My Crew allows people to offer very specific help. People often say “Anything I can do to help”, but without being assigned a simple task, they don’t know what to do.
And you can end up with too many offers of one type of help, most typically cooked meals, when what is needed is something else, for example, someone to walk the dog.
‘Gather My Crew’ helps us to help each other. And it helps connect people in existing networks without the fuss, embarrassment and self-consciousness that so often accompanies trying to help when you feel so small beside the people you know who are going through a really big, dramatic experience.
To connect with Gather My Crew, go to: https://gathermycrew.org.au/
Have you got an idea for a community based activity that could do with a funding grant? When Susan rang Melbourne’s Known Unknowns segment on ABC Radio Melbourne to discuss it, she mentioned her initiative is supported by a grant from the (Melbourne) Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation. Maybe this could help fund your community support project?To find out more, go to: https://www.lmcf.org.au/about
To find out more about community initiatives in the ‘death space’ go to the resources section of A Good Death: a compassionate and practical guide to prepare for the end of life. To find out where to buy your copy, go to: https://good-grief.com.au/a-good-death-book-margaret-rice/