#hospiceheroes Ruth & Olwen – the Gruesome Twosome


Ruth and Olwen helping at Light Up A Life

Two of our more infamous volunteers are known as the ‘Gruesome Twosome’ when they volunteer on general duties at Wirral Hospice. Ruth and Olwen met when they began volunteering and soon became fast friends. Between them they have been supporting the Hospice for over 23 years and when asked why they love to be here they describe the Hospice as a special, necessary and fantastic place which is welcoming and friendly.  Dedicated volunteers, they support general duties in the main Hospice, the Gift Shop in Fundraising, fundraising events, Reception in the Fundraising Office, and providing refreshments for the memorial services.  Like all our volunteers they like to be involved in much of the work the Hospice does.

Over the years the twosome have been involved in many capers, from dressing as scarecrows, to covering a stall creatively in crepe paper for a competition. Olwen nominated Ruth for ‘Volunteer of the Year 2010’ in the ‘Unwaged Volunteer’ category which Ruth went on to win.  They agree that volunteering at events have invariably ended up with hilarious stories, on one of the funniest occasions Olwen ended up soaked from the water from a marquee at a particularly wet event.

Olwen craft

Olwen sewing one of the reindeer

Currently most of their time is dedicated to the creation of a wide selection of quality handmade gifts for their own stall at the Hospice Hobby & Craft Fair in Heswall on Sat 25th October (put the date in your diary!).  They began preparing in April and have been working hard at the design and creation of many items including reindeer (apparently these are causing both Ruth and Olwen nightmares – they won’t be at the 2015 craft fair!), Christmas decorations, Christmas stockings, peg bags, children’s aprons, cushions and other household goods.

Together they create amazing creative masterpieces – we can’t wait to see what these two Hospice Heroes come up with!


 Author: Jacinta Warwick


By land, by sea, by air #hospiceheroes reach new heights for Wirral Hospice

With over £2 million to raise each year from our local community, we can’t put into words how much of an impact our supporters make to the future of Wirral Hospice. We receive fantastic support from incredibly generous individuals through a number of different avenues including legacies, trusts, charity shops, corporate support, regular giving, lottery and community events. For those individuals who chose to support us through means of a more adrenaline-inducing nature, challenge events make up a vital part of our fundraising.

We are extremely lucky to have the opportunity to utilize local landmarks for various fundraising activities, including historical Leasowe Lighthouse – a 101 foot 18th century building that is certainly supporting local charities today. During April, many brave individuals faced their fears to raise money for Wirral Hospice, boldly scaling the lighthouse through an abseil. With over 70 people abseiling throughout the day, Wirral Hospice could proudly say that 17 of those 70 were Hospice challengers.

We did not expect to have so many individuals requesting registration forms, wanting to show their support – our numbers tripled! It was a lovely surprise and very touching.SAM_0987

Councillor Ian Lewis took part in support of the Hospice, describing the experience as an opportunity he “just couldn’t pass up”.

“The easy bit was climbing the stairs and coming down. The difficult, rather terrifying part was leaving the safety of the balcony, holding onto the handrail and being told to lean back, when your natural inclination is to lean forward”. With over £600 raised in sponsorship for the Hospice, we’re certainly glad that Ian didn’t pass up the opportunity to get involved and make a difference.

Some readers may find this slightly off-putting, however it wouldn’t really be a challenge without the fear-factor, would it? Ian shares his advice for future abseilers wanting a piece of the action; “smile for the camera. Oh and don’t look down!”

From 101 feet to 15 miles, the Wirral Coastal Walk is an event that has helped to support local charities within our community for many years. Despite fingers being tightly crossed for another warm, sunshine-filled event, walkers were greeted with a more-than-bracing wind that really increased challenge levels. Luckily our walkers are made of tough stuff and we had no doubt that they would complete the walk with a smile on their face!

Watching thousands of people walk together side by side is a visual reminder of the dramatic impact community spirit can have on local charities. We are extremely lucky to have this rotary-organised event available to us, actively supporting charities and their fundraising.

With our own fundraising benefitting immensely from the Wirral Coastal Walk every year, we are always looking for other local events to add to our calendar. but all raising sponsorship for the same cause. Fundraising events such as these are fantastic opportunities to increase support as they appeal to so many different people.

Hospice supporter Louie Stiles, 12, thoroughly enjoyed the event, showing no fear throughout the entire challenge. Louie’s dad, Rich received care at Wirral Hospice before sadly passing away in September 2012. Through the generosity of his friends and family, Louie zip-wired his way to raising over £500 in sponsorship for Wirral Hospice.

Also zipping his way to making a difference was supporter Ethan Akers, who travelled from Sheffield especially for the event. Taking part to raise money in memory of his Nan, who received care from the Wirral Hospice team, Ethan raised over £300 for Wirral Hospice.

“It is fantastic to see young individuals get involved and support the Hospice by taking part in an activity they may not have thought they would ever do. It is important to engage with the younger members of our community so that they are able to gain knowledge about Hospice care and the importance of the community in supporting it”.

Thank you to all of our supporters who work so hard to support the work of the Hospice. You’re a brave bunch!SAM_1337

To find out more about our forthcoming events or for information about how you can help Wirral Hospice, please call the Fundraising Office on 0151 343 0778.


Author: Kerry Threadgill


Update on Drayton Motors planning application

no_pubA quick update on this topic. Wirral Hospice St John’s have recently been advised by the Planning Officer at Wirral Council that the applicant (Greene King, brewery) has withdrawn their application in relation to the Drayton Motors Volvo garage site. It is understood this is mainly due to them being advised it was looking likely the application would be refused due to 1) planning policy issues and 2) the strength and number of objections. Thank you to all who supported the Hospice in letting our concerns be known. Obviously any applicant has the opportunity to re-submit at a later date so we will keep you updated on any future development applications. Thank you again, your support was overwhelming and very much appreciated!

Author: Teresa Nightingale, on behalf of the staff and trustees at the Hospice

  Our original blog post on the subject: https://wirralhospice.wordpress.com/2014/03/19/wirral-hospice-objects-to-planning-application-to-build-amenity-restaurant-nearby/

Elaine Pugh, Outpatient Services Manager on patient care and the new build #familiesmatter

wirral_hospice_elaine_pugh_outpatients_services_managerElaine Pugh has been a health and social care professional for thirty years, and Outpatient Services Manager at Wirral Hospice St John’s for the last two. She is passionate about supporting patients, their families, and also the wider circle of carers who surround them.

“People can live well with cancer and other life-limiting illnesses. We support patients with a whole range of services, including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, social care, creative therapies, spiritual support and complementary therapies. Treating each person on an individual level is so important to ensuring that they get care and support that is tailored specifically to their needs.”

To this end, Elaine has researched the views of patients through focus groups to identify how best the Hospice can enrich its care. She is fired with enthusiasm as she sees the organisation increasingly reaching out in its quest to create a ‘Hospice without walls’.

“This new building at the Hospice is going to be a fantastic resource. It will give us the ability to help all those patients affected by these serious conditions and also support the professionals who care for them.

We can now welcome in other professionals who would normally be based elsewhere, sharing our skills with them and theirs with us. For example, instead of just seeing a specific patient, an expert such as a dietician will be able to use our facilities and help to join-up the care.

Sharing knowledge with each other will give us all more insight into how patients can be helped. Of course, this principle can be replicated over so many areas. Read the rest of this entry »

Julie Gorry, our Chief Executive thanks Wirral supporters #familiesmatter

wirral_hospice_julie_gorry_wed_21_may_2014 Julie Gorry, Wirral Hospice St John’s Chief Executive talks about how Hospice care has evolved and how the building work, currently underway at the Hospice, will enhance our care and support for patients, their carers and families. All thanks to our wonderful Wirral supporters!

“During the nine years I have been at Wirral Hospice St John’s, public understanding of the work we do has changed quite substantially, and continues to do so. We are constantly adapting to the needs of patients but also the changing needs of the community as a whole.

It is quite apparent that people wish to spend as little time as possible as an inpatient, much preferring their condition to be managed in such a way that allows them to enjoy as high a quality of life as possible, ideally in their own homes. Patients come to our 16-bed Inpatient Ward for only as long as it takes to stabilise their condition. Often, this can be for just a few days.

Then, as outpatients, they take advantage of our Day Therapy unit, and now we are reaching out with Hospice at Home, where teams of professionals visit and care for people at home.

The extension and refurbishment of the oldest part of the main Hospice, currently underway, means that we will be able to implement even more efficiently the vision of Integrated Shared Care. This aims to bring all the health and social care professionals together, allowing them to work even more effectively, and offering the patients, their families and carers wraparound care.

We like to think of this new way of working as a ‘Hospice without walls’. In essence, more patients will be helped to live as comfortably as possible with their illness, and we believe that those supporting and caring for them will also benefit, feeling recognised and supported during what can be an extremely difficult time. Read the rest of this entry »

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