This event is now rescheduled for the 29th of October 2021. 

In this experiential workshop, Vidyamala and Gail will introduce ways mindfulness and compassion can help staff and patients take care of themselves and others well when facing the end of life.

Caring For Others, Caring For Yourself

For those who care for the dying in hospices, hospitals, or in the home, preventing empathic burnout is essential. Mindfulness and compassion training have been shown to do this very effectively and are crucial elements of a self-care strategy. This masterclass will introduce you to these practices, show what makes them effective and how they can help you to take care of others while taking care of yourself. The day will also be suitable for those who are facing the end of life, and who wish to learn how mindfulness and compassion can be invaluable tools for the dying journey.

Mindfulness and Compassion to Ease Suffering

When you are familiar with these coping strategies, it is natural to want to share them with those in your care. Gail has been running a popular mindfulness programme for patients and families at St. Michael’s hospice since 2016, and the benefits are clear. This masterclass will also introduce you to the skills of sharing mindfulness in a clinical setting, to help those facing pain and difficult emotions.

An Experiential Masterclass

The best way - perhaps the only way - to learn mindfulness and compassion, both for yourself and to share them with others, is to experience them deeply. This is what the masterclass will be focused on, and one couldn’t ask for two better guides than Vidyamala Burch and Gail Calthrop, who will be leading the masterclass.

Vidyamala is the founder of Breathworks, an international organisation which has taught mindfulness & compassion techniques as tools for chronic pain and health conditions since 2001. Her book, Mindfulness for Health, won first prize in the British Medical Association book awards for popular science in 2015. She will introduce the core principles of mindfulness and will lead practices that help patients, staff, and family members feel more able to cope with difficult decisions and to face whatever arises with equanimity, care and dignity.

Gail is a Registered General Nurse and works full-time as a mindfulness teacher at St Michael’s hospice, and has been instrumental in establishing the hospice as a centre of excellence in mindfulness within the end of life care. She will share how mindfulness augments her knowledge as a staff nurse and how she helps patients and families in both one-to-one and through more in-depth mindfulness courses. She will also share how she uses mindfulness to help staff cope with the inevitable pressures of end of life care.

Continuing Professional Development Certificate

This event is a valuable CPD opportunity - a certificate of attendance with 5 hours CPD will be available to all attendees on request. Mindfulness and compassion practices are receiving more and more attention as part of sustainable, evidence-based treatments for both physical and emotional difficulties.

Who is this event for?

The masterclass is suitable for people coming for their own personal benefit, as well as mindfulness teachers, and others who wish to incorporate mindfulness and compassion into their work with others, including NHS Staff and other Health Professionals, and mindfulness teachers and practitioners. 


This is a non-residential face to face event, at St Michael's Hospice, Hereford.


Refreshments, lunch, and a certificate of attendance with 5 hours CPD, which will be sent after the masterclass upon request. 

The Masterclass Leaders

Vidyamala Burch

Originally from New Zealand, Vidyamala sustained life-changing spinal injuries in her teens. 35 years ago she started exploring mindfulness and meditation to help her manage her pain and disability and she has been a dedicated practitioner since that time.
In 2001 she started running mindfulness courses and in 2003 co-founded Breathworks, an internationally successful organisation dedicated to offering mindfulness and compassion to people suffering from pain, illness and stress.

Vidyamala’s vision in establishing Breathworks was to translate ancient Buddhist practices into language that is accessible to anyone living with difficult circumstances - regardless of faith, culture or race. Her particular interest is how to work with physical suffering, but her approach can be applied to working with any sort of pain or difficulty. There are now nearly 500 Breathworks teachers in over 35 countries. Vidyamala teaches and speaks internationally. She specializes in mindfulness and compassion retreats and workshops.

She has written several books:

  • The best-selling Mindfulness for Health – a practical guide to relieving pain, reducing stress and restoring well-being (with Danny Penman
  • Living well with Pain and Illness – the mindful way to free yourself from suffering
  • Mindfulness for Women - declutter your mind, simplify your life, find time to ‘be’ (with Claire Irvin). www.mindfulness4women.com

She has also published a number of guided meditation CDs and DVDs available at www.breathworks-mindfulness.org.uk and is featured on several meditation apps.

Gail Calthrop

RGN and Breathworks Mindfulness Practitioner

Gail has been a Palliative Care Staff Nurse working within hospice settings for 25 years and mindfulness became part of her life about 12 years ago. Following being part of mindfulness for stress course at work, Gail began a thought-provoking, re-evaluation of how she was leading her life. She recognised that where she works and the situations she finds herself in, holding and supporting those at end of life, their family, friends and colleagues, is a journey which is often bearing the unbearable.

Learning to be kindly supportive of herself is an integral part of Gail’s daily life. Mindfulness has offered endless kindly ways to help relate helpfully to all that was, and is, happening in her life. Having trained as a Breathworks Teacher, Gail loves sharing mindfulness practices and approaches with all the people she comes into contact with, and finds that fostering these kind and compassionate mindful approaches richly rewarding and fulfilling.  

Book a place

Ticket Quantity Price Enquiry

Individual Rate - End of Life Masterclass


Concession Rate - End of Life Masterclass