‘Thank you’ to our amazing volunteers - 24 May 2018
There will be daily events including corporate volunteering by BP, a tea party and a quiz night.
Vanessa Hill, Volunteer Manager said: “Volunteers are central to the work of the Hospice and we are lucky enough to have more than 1,200 people volunteering in over 100 different roles at the Hospice, in our shops and in the community. We simply could not provide the services we do without their support; they add enormous value to everything we do and so we want to mark this week by saying a big ‘Thank You’ to them.”
For many charities the week will also be a chance to showcase the range of volunteering opportunities on offer. In the case of the Hospice, we are looking for volunteers for our shops particularly in Epsom, Raynes Park, Twickenham, Banstead, Chertsey, Sunbury, Staines and Walton on Thames.
We are also looking for volunteers to support patients in the wider community. Anybody wishing to volunteer should email email@example.com or for more information visit pah.org.uk/volunteer
Launch of new community volunteer role - 15 May 2018
Commissioned by Surrey Downs CCG, the project involves volunteers who will meet weekly for four – six weeks with a member of the community living with a life-limiting illness to go through the process of Advance Care Planning. The volunteers will offer people an opportunity to consider their future care and write their wishes down, which can then be shared with the people important to them and updated long afterwards. They will be supported to think through important decisions in the hopes that this will help them to put those decisions and wishes into practice when they need to.
The role is being launched in East Elmbridge Hub at Molesey Community Hospital, and will be extended to the Epsom & Leatherhead Hub in the coming months. Anybody interested in the role supporting the Epsom and Leatherhead Hub should get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org
Zoe Byrne, Deputy Director, Community Engagement said: “This is an exciting project which supports our objective of reaching more people. It will enable the Hospice to work in partnership to support community members who are not Hospice patients but who are approaching the end of their lives”.
There are 100 different volunteering roles available at the Hospice, in its shops and in the community. Whilst the Community Hub Volunteers will offer short-term support, our Compassionate Neighbours role involves regularly visiting someone approaching the end of their lives. Full details of these and other roles can be found on our website www.pah.org.uk/volunteer
Dying Matters…to us all - 15 May 2018
The week will run from 14 to the 20 of May; there will be hundreds of events across the country asking “What Can You Do… in your community?”
Zoe Byrne, Deputy Director, Community Engagement, said: “With an ageing population we are a nation on the brink of a significant rise in the number of people dying each year. Within our care area alone we expect the number of people receiving our direct care and support to nearly double in the coming years. This makes it all the more important to do everything we can to break down the barriers around the issues involved with death and dying.
“By empowering our communities to talk to their families and friends openly about their wishes at the end of life – practically and emotionally – we hope to reduce the anxiety and heartache that many people are often faced with when a loved one dies, or when they are approaching the end of their lives.
“The Community Engagement team has been working with our partners to organise events which offer a safe and friendly space for people to feel inspired to ask difficult questions and think about a subject that will, inevitably, affect us all.”
On Monday 14 May we will be launching our newest volunteer role – ‘Advanced Care Planning Volunteer’. This is an exciting new partnership between the Hospice and East Elmbridge Hub. Volunteers will empower and support patients to think about and record their wishes for their end of life care. East Elmbridge Hub will match volunteers with a patient in the local community. Our volunteers will be having a briefing session at the Hospice followed by a launch celebration.
As well as internal events for Hospice staff and volunteers, Dying Matters week kicks off publicly on Wednesday 16 May with an information stall at the entrance to St Peter’s Hospital, Chertsey between 11am and 12.30pm – pop along, pick up some information and have a chat.
Between 2pm and 4pm on Wednesday 16 May there is a drop-in ‘I did it my way’ café at St Helier Hospital for anyone interested in talking about death and dying.
On Friday 18 May there will be a Death Cafe in the Pink Room near the main entrance at Kingston Hospital between 10am and 11.30am where people can come together to discuss death and face their fears in a supportive environment.
These events are free and will provide a unique opportunity to share ideas, experiences, hopes and fears.
Man Shed makes Charity Awards shortlist - 15 May 2018
Zoe Byrne, Deputy Director of Community Engagement said: “The Civil Society’s nomination process was rigorous and demanding involving up to 3,000 words of copy to satisfy six ‘Hallmarks of Excellence’ in:
- Outcomes and effectiveness
- Value for money
- Replicability and scalability
- Best practice
“We were aware that we were up against some big names in the charity sector. The last hospice to receive a Civil Society award was Julia’s House Hospice in 2012 in the Healthcare and Medical Research category for a project to expand palliative care for children in their homes.
“Man Shed is a cross-organisational project to be extremely proud of. Operational for less than two years – it was officially opened on 20 June 2016 – it is hard to imagine what life was like before it was built. It is only the second shed to be opened by a hospice in the UK and the first to be volunteer-led; rapidly becoming cost-neutral and making a good profit.
“Kathy Birch, Day Services Programme Lead, who presented the original idea and led on the project, was told about the shortlist news before she left for her Churchill Fellowship. She was absolutely delighted and sorry that she cannot make the awards ceremony which takes place at The Pavilion, Tower of London on Thursday 7 June.”
Mums Join Our Compassionate Neighbours Programme - 27 April 2018
They were able to do the training because the experienced staff at the Clarendon Children’s Centre ran a crèche for their young children. Six of the mums successfully finished the course and will soon be matched with a community member living with a life limiting condition who they will visit once a week. Many of them intend to take their young children with them, recognising the power and importance of inter-generational contact.
Chief Executive, Nicki Shaw, presented them with their Compassionate Neighbours certificate, t-shirt and badge at an event at the Hospice on Thursday 26 April.
Maddi Burgess said: “After having my little girl I’ve been at home and feeling, like a lot of new mums, rather lonely. I started to wonder how many other lonely people there might be in the same position and found the Compassionate Neighbours Programme through my mother-in-law who is the manager of the children’s centre. I signed up for the training hoping to make new friends, get involved and do some good in the community.”
Rusa Parascovia said: “I am interested in taking the idea of Compassionate Neighbours and the ‘hospice world’ to my home country of Romania. I joined the programme to show and teach my children all about respect for older people and those in need.”
Zoe Byrne, Deputy Director of Community Engagement for the Hospice said: ‘This has been an amazing partnership that has removed the barriers to volunteering for a truly inspirational group of women. It has been a fantastic start to our aim of nurturing ‘Compassionate Ashford’ where people are confident and able to support people as they approach the end of their lives, or struggle with grief and loss. We would love to hear from anyone interested in getting involved with our Compassionate Communities initiative, either in Ashford or elsewhere in our care area.
Sue Burgess, manager at Clarendon Children’s Centre said ‘We know how important volunteering is in building confidence and helping young parents return to work and this initiative has increased the confidence, skills and motivation of the group who are now able to help their local community. They are a real support to each other as well, which is so important.”
Marathon runners do us proud - 27 April 2018
A team of 15 ran in this years’ Virgin Media London Marathon to raise vital funds for the Hospice. The team included three members of staff: Community Engagement Programme Lead, Anne Cullen, who retires in May, Consultant, Clare Smith and Hospice at Home Locality Team Leader, Nina Kale – all finished in good times and smashed their fundraising targets.
Claire Woodward, Event Lead said: “Our runners were absolutely amazing. Each and every one of them – despite the heat – arrived at The Carlton Club for the post-race reception with huge smiles on their faces.
“So far, and people are still donating, they have collectively raised more than £55,000. This is the highest total ever raised from the London Marathon for Princess Alice Hospice.
“Thank you to all our fantastic runners and to everyone who has sponsored them, supported them on this journey and to all the volunteers, trustees and colleagues that contributed to the success of the event.”
If you would like to do something amazing and support the Hospice, enter next years’ Virgin London Marathon 2019 ballot which opens on Monday 30 April 2018.
Raynes Park Shop Hosts Art Exhibition - 17 April 2018
Our Raynes Park shop held a special Art Exhibition on Sunday 25 March 2018. The shop, which is open seven days a week and is well known locally for its wide selection of specialist high quality items, displayed a range of oil paintings, first edition children’s books, designer clothes (including a clerical cloak with the original brass fastening), handmade children’s wooden toys, beautiful jewellery and some marvellous original artwork.
Shop Manager, Maureen Creely and her amazing staff and volunteers raised more than £2,150 on the day and they still have some bids to consider for some of the items. The local Waitrose and Co-op gave their support supplying wine, orange juice and glasses for customers and Gleeson Framers assisted with some items which needed some TLC.
Maureen said: “There was a constant stream of people in and out of the shop and local interest and support was really high. The income that we raise from generous donations from the public helps us to provide vital care and support to patients and their families and carers.”
If you’d like to find your nearest Princess Alice Hospice shop visit https://www.pah.org.uk/how-you-can-help/visit-our-shops/find-local-shop/
Our very own Day Services Lead awarded prestigious Churchill Fellowship - 13 March 2018
The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust (WCMT) announced on Friday 9 March 2018 that Kathy Birch, our Programme Lead for Day Services, has been awarded a Churchill Fellowship in the ‘Health and Wellbeing’ category for her project ‘Extending the scope and reach of palliative day services’.
Kathy is one of up to 150 candidates chosen from approximately 1,000 applicants; the 2018 Fellows will travel to 48 countries across six continents to explore global best practice, gain knowledge and experience and bring back fresh ideas to benefit others in their UK professions, communities, and society as a whole.
Kathy joined the Hospice in 2001, initially as a physiotherapist followed by therapy team lead. In 2009 she became the Therapies and Day Services Manager while also continuing her work in physiotherapy, and in 2017 she became Programme Lead, supporting the strategic development of palliative day services at the Hospice, and implementing new programmes for people affected by a life-limiting illness.
Kathy – now a life-long Churchill Fellow – will travel to Singapore, Australia and New Zealand for six weeks in early May. She said: “I feel very honoured to have been given this unique and once in a lifetime opportunity. I know that different approaches to palliative care have been developed and adopted overseas and I am keen to learn and to explore new ways of supporting and reaching out to more people through day and outpatient services.
“This trip will also give me the chance to establish new professional connections. I want to explore how other services support minority and ‘hard to reach’ groups, how informal caregivers are trained to look after their loved ones and see how digital technology is starting to be used to reach more people. I’m sure I’ll pick up lots of new ideas which I will share with my colleagues, both locally and nationally, when I return.”
On her way to Australia, Kathy will stop over in Singapore where she’ll look at their palliative day care provision. She’ll then visit health care professionals in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney before travelling on to Auckland and Wellington in New Zealand.
Chief Executive at the Hospice, Nicki Shaw said: “We are all incredibly proud of Kathy’s achievement. We know that in the coming years we’ll see enormous pressure put on the provision of end of life care and support for families and carers. Kathy’s learning will be invaluable in helping us shape our future services to make our care go further.
“We wish Kathy the best of luck in her travels. Not only is she an inspiring ambassador for the Hospice, she’ll also prove to be an excellent ambassador for the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust.”
If you would like to know more about Kathy’s trip, take a look at her blog.
Coping with grief this Mother’s Day - 7 March 2018
We recognise that Mothers’ Day can be very difficult for many people, for a range of reasons.
Sarah Dowd, Senior Social Worker at Princess Alice Hospice, has the following suggestions which may help if you’re contemplating a special day without a loved one.
- It’s OK to feel sad – it’s likely to be a difficult time and you should allow yourself to grieve
- Ask for support if you need it – those around you may feel awkward asking but keen to help however they can
- Think about how you want to spend your time
- Is there a family tradition that you’d like to continue, or is that too painful at the moment? You can always start a new tradition
- If you do want to be out and about, think about the type of places that may suit your mood – for example gardens may provide peace and tranquillity
- If you don’t want to do anything at all, that’s fine – just take some time for yourself and maybe a moment to reflect
- Look after yourself – because grief can be very tiring and draining
- Share your memories with family and friends
- You may like to mark the occasion by doing something to symbolise shared times, or by simply lighting a candle in your loved one’s memory
- It’s OK to enjoy yourself and feel happy – you shouldn’t feel guilty
Launch of our Family Focussed Animation - 17 January 2018
The film was created for the charity by award winning animation studio Plastic Milk, based in Kingston. The powerful animation Family Time, tells the story of the Pearcey family and how the Hospice offered comfort and advice at every stage of their loved one, Sarah’s, illness and death.
The film shows how creating memories and sharing special moments with the family is vital to a patient’s wellbeing and how children need and want to be involved.
Leo Ellmers, Senior Social Worker at the Hospice said “It’s not always easy to have the conversations you need to have when someone you love is dying. We help them find a way to have that conversation and to be open with one another. Children especially want to know what is happening, they want to be involved and play a role. We try to normalise things for the patient and their family, whether they are in the Hospice or their own home. The film really captures this. I hope it raises awareness of the care we offer, which is only possible with the support of our local communities.”
Death doesn’t discriminate and having a family member with a life limiting illness impacts on all aspects of family life. It can be a difficult story to put into words.
Duncan Raitt Head of Animation at Plastic Milk explains “Such an emotional story works really well as an animation, as it allows us to tell it in a way live action wouldn’t. We put a great deal of time and effort into making the film, as we not only wanted to do justice to the family’s story but also to capture the warmth and joyfulness of the Hospice and staff. I wanted Thomas Pullin to illustrate it. He’s an incredible talent and able to convey so much of the story from a single image. I found the Pearcey family’s story very powerful and moving. We all did. It really brought home to me how any one of us could find ourselves in a similar situation. How any one of us might need the support of a hospice like Princess Alice.”
Martin Pearcey said “I like the fact that people can hear our story as it may help others. Talking is important. The Hospice looks after the whole family, not just the individual and you don’t know how much the Hospice does to support people until you are in that position. I want the Hospice to be able to offer this kind of support to every family who wants and needs it.”
Princess Alice Hospice is highly regarded for its innovative and pioneering work with young people and families and is here for patients and their families when they need it most, helping them to feel better, to do more and to make the most of the time they have.
To view animation ‘Family Time’, find out more, get involved or donate please visit https://www.pah.org.uk/familiestogether
Bringing death into the open - 17 January 2018
The Chair of the Board of Trustees, Professor Fiona Ross CBE, set out the organisations new five-year strategy which has one over-arching ambition; to reach out to deliver care, not just to the few but to the many, ensuring that everyone in its communities will have the best care before, during and after death.
Sir Martyn, a great champion of the hospice movement said: “In developing their plans for the future the Hospice has asked some difficult questions around the enormous pressures that will be put on providing end of life care in the coming years; they are already progressing effective solutions to address those questions while continuing to embrace their communities with their five star, Rolls Royce level of care.”
After recounting some amusing stories from his 32-year career as a television journalist and news anchor Sir Martyn went on to say, “The hospice movement as a whole is what I call a ‘real’ democracy in action – people on the ground getting together to provide help when it is needed the most.
“Princess Alice Hospice’s ‘news story’ is about tomorrow and getting it right and given their track record of being at the top of the tree in the work and innovation they deliver, I know they will succeed. “
During the event, the Hospice premiered its new powerful animated film – ‘Family Time’ – which tells the story of a family who is being supported by the Hospice and shows how the Hospice helps families stay involved and together to the very end.
The evening concluded with Leo Ellmers, Patient and Family Support Team, interviewing Martin Pearcey and Tariq Hassan, both of whom were left with young children after their wives died and are being supported by the Hospice’s specially trained bereavement team. “The Hospice has become my extended family”, Tariq said. “You are allowed to find your own path and are supported all the way in a space where you are not alone.”
To view the animation ‘Family Time’, find out more, get involved or donate please visit the website https://www.pah.org.uk/familiestogether
To see an interview with Chief Executive, Nicki Shaw on That’s Surrey TV regarding our plans for the future visit http://youtu.be/Iz-7dXc9wB0
How we made a difference at Christmas - 15 January 2018
Kathy Birch, Programme Lead for Day Services said: “For people with life-limiting illnesses, Christmas can be quite a daunting time. For some, Christmas Day may seem just like another day, interrupted only by short visits from a carer. One patient said that the party effectively was his Christmas. We know how important it is to make it as special as possible for those who rely on our support – and this year was no exception – with staff and volunteers pulling out all the stops.”
Everyone was encouraged to wear Christmas outfits or jumpers and volunteers decorated jumpers for some patients who did not have one. The rest of the Hospice, including patients and families on the wards, were invited to join in with the carol singing, the magical sound of which could be heard throughout the building.
In readiness for the celebrations, Norman converted his mobility scooter into Santa’s sleigh at the Hospice’s Man Shed, which was opened in 2016 enabling people with terminal illness or those affected by bereavement to work together on practical projects.
“Norman attends a weekly social group and is one of our many keen ‘shedders’. It was wonderful to see him dressed as Santa arriving on his sleigh” Kathy says, “These events not only help to create memories, the underlying therapeutic benefits are significant, allowing patients some normality and to feel relaxed and happy…something that many of us take for granted.”
Light up a life Service of Remembrance 2017 - 12 January 2018
The Service was led by our Chaplain, Revd. Dr Steve Nolan, and included the following dedication and prayer:
Gardens are places where people work together with nature. Plants and other objects that are intrinsically beautiful are arranged and given an order that enhances their beauty and that inspires those who enjoy them. Gardens are places that are ever-changing. As the seasons turn, the garden is now awakening, now bursting with life, now yielding us fruit, now returning to its winter’s sleep. Gardens are places where the cycle of life is played out across the year. They teach us that all things must pass but that we nevertheless remain connected; and they provide a space in which we can pause and find peace to remember and reconnect.
Favourite gardens offer all these things: inspiration, enjoyment, fun, reflection. They also provide a place to remember; a place to walk with our memories, good ones and difficult ones; a place to reconnect and to know that the one we have loved and are remembering may be gone but they have never left us.
In these moments of reflection, surrounded by others who are walking with their memories in this garden, I invite you to tend your particular memories, to nurture them and cultivate their strong growth, and in the nurturing to foster your connection.
who walks the garden
to be at one with creation,
hold us in your memory to nurture us and be at one with us.
As we walk with the memories
of those we have loved and lost,
tend the memories we cherish that they may endure.
And as we walk the garden planted with sweet recollection
and quiet celebration,
may reminiscence be an inspiring fragrance,
and memory a path to healing.
Thank you to all our guests, and everyone who contributed to the service to make it so special.
Festive Fun Run Raises Over £40,000 - 12 January 2018
Runners both large and small, on four legs and on two and in teams or individually ran a collective 3,520 miles in aid of the charity in memory of loved ones, neighbours and friends who have been cared for either at home by Princess Alice Hospice specialist teams or at the hospice in Esher.
Over 500 runners donned Santa suits and Elf hats to take part in the fun family event at Richmond Park on 3 December, with a further 500 runners taking part at Bushy Park on 10 December.
The money raised helps to provide vital funding for the hospice, as 74% of their income comes from fundraising.
Richmond and Twickenham both fall within the hospice’s large care area with many patients choosing to be cared for at home.
Nigel Seymour, Director of Fundraising said: “We are so grateful to all our festive fundraisers, as the money raised really does make an enormous difference to the care we can provide. It costs £1031.96 to pay for a Community Princess Alice Nurse for a week and it really is thanks to fabulous support like this we can provide free hospice care to those who want and need it. We need to raise £9.5 million every year and the Santa Fun Runs are key events for us. Merry Christmas and many thanks to all our wonderful supporters.”
Prudential RideLondon - 18 July 2017
The place to see all of the action and cheer on the riders is the Thames Ditton Supporters Hub at Giggs Hill Green, Thames Ditton. It is run by volunteers to help raise vital funds for the Hospice and Thames Ditton Cricket Club.
During the day there will be plenty of attractions to keep the whole family amused. Refreshments will be available in the form of a licensed bar, tea/coffee/cake stand, delicious BBQ, Bratwurst Stall, and ice cream vans. For the younger ones there will be face painting, a fun fair, music from the Capital Radio Bus and opportunities to join in with football (Esher FC) and cricket (Thames Ditton CC)!
Hub Event Director, Danny Russell, says, “With many of our local roads closed during the day we wanted to provide an opportunity for the local community to come together to enjoy this hugely successful event. Thames Ditton Supporters Hub at Giggs Hill Green will be a great place to watch the cyclists and will be open all day – from the first amateur rider in the morning to the final professional rider in the afternoon. We have organised everything you could possibly want to make your day special and the money we raise will go to Princess Alice Hospice and our hosts, Thames Ditton Cricket Club “.
Tim Iredale, from the Hospice Events Team, added, “We have over 20 people taking part in the challenge to raise vital funds for the Hospice. The Prudential RideLondon event is a really exciting opportunity for cyclists of all abilities to follow the route made famous by the likes of Sir Bradley Wiggins during the 2012 Olympics. We’ll be at Giggs Hill Green to cheer on our supporters who are taking part as they whizz past and soak up the brilliant party atmosphere.”
So, if you are in Thames Ditton on Sunday 30 July, come along and join us for a fantastic family day while helping to raise money for a great local charity.