One of our patients, Tommy, tells us how he’s gone from repairing 40tonne wagons to #woodcarving ! #hospiceheroes #hospicecareweek #hospicecare #wearehospicecare

Tommy Collins 1Tommy Collins was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2000 and an operation to remove it in 2001. 17 years down the line and Tommy has been receiving chemotherapy. His specialist referred Tommy to Wirral Hospice St John’s.

“The only word that stayed with me during our conversation was ‘hospice’. I assumed you walked into a hospice to get fitted with a wooden overcoat to be carried out in so I was not looking forward to my first visit!

I arrive with a closed mind and was trying to come to terms with why I was here. The staff and volunteers greeted us with a smile and a cup of tea, and I was introduced to other patients. I had an appointment with one of the consultants, which was followed by a lunch (soup and a sandwich). Back to the Day Therapy room for some relaxation exercises then time for home.

I had much to think about but was not sure the hospice was for me; it was not what I’d imagined. I decide to give it another go next week though just to see.

Having returned the following week, things became clearer and I received good advice and information about health, social and financial matters and details of care support teams I could access for help. I was also given help in managing fatigue and breathlessness with COPD and met with a counsellor, which proved very helpful.

I was introduced to the craft table and given a lump of clay. I used to repair 40 tonne wagons on the side of motorways, so clay stood no chance and I made two mushrooms successfully!

I soon got around to making a nuisance of myself but I think I have helped to brighten the day for others a little. I have come to really look forward to my visits!

As well as clay mushrooms, I’ve also started making lots of wooden pieces: a wishing well, garden chair, tables, cake stands, planters and lots of bowls. I have really enjoyed this. It’s a good distraction for me and I find working with natural materials very therapeutic.

I would advise anyone to give the hospice a go if they are unsure but have been referred to it. Please don’t let the word ‘hospice’ put you off – they have been so supportive, not only to me but to my wife too. We have been given a refreshed perspective on my illness and everyone has been so supportive, I can’t thank the hospice team enough.”

Tommy’s wooden pieces will shortly be for sale in our Facebook shop – watch this space!

Pic with staff and vols

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Blog post on #HospiceCareWeek by our Chief Executive @Julie_Gorry

julie_gorry‘Connecting Care’ is the theme for this year’s Hospice Care Week, which starts today and is co-ordinated by Hospice UK. This is a topic that we hold very dear here at Wirral Hospice St John’s. One of our greatest aspirations is that people who are reaching the end stages of their lives should receive seamless, wraparound care, freeing them from worry and concern as they try to access different services.

We want people to understand that the work we carry out, although specifically for people who need palliative care, is an integral part of the services available to the community, and Hospice care reaches out to not just patients but families and carers too.

Our Hospice is a micro-community in its own right, and is unashamedly tapping into the current move to enjoy creating and tasting delicious things. We’re having our very own ‘Bake Off’ on Sat 10 Oct, when staff and volunteers are pitting their culinary skills against one another to produce a winning confection.

Please come along and try out the entries – make your own judgment too – between 10am and 2pm, and take the opportunity to see the Hospice.

John Bear, Wirral Hospice’s mascot, is rumoured to be coming, and you know what bears are like when there’s cake around!

Author: Julie Gorry, Chief Executive
Twitter: @Julie_Gorry
Or contact Julie via Jill Cheseldine, PA to Chief Executive 0151 334 2778 / jillc@wirralhospice.org

Wirral Hospice proudly supports #HospiceCareWeek

13027 HCW sticker BLUE_whiteHospice Care Week, which began today, aims to show everyone what exactly ‘Hospice care’ means.  Wirral’s own Hospice, Wirral Hospice St John’s, is inviting Wirral residents to take an active part in the week by launching a full programme of activities.

Come and find out about the work carried out by Wirral Hospice by dropping into The Hub café, which is right in the heart of the Hospice on Monday 6 and Wednesday 8 October between 1.30 and 3pm.

The Hospice’s brand new Information Point will be opening its doors for the first time, so visitors can see how the Hospice aims to help not just patients, but also their families and carers too. Staffed by volunteers, the Information Point will help people to see what help is available to them, from helping them access the matrix of professional care to finding out where the nearest B&Bs and hotels are.

 

Local businesses are invited into Wirral Hospice on Friday 10 October in order to see the work of the Hospice and also to see how invaluable their support is to its running. Please contact Michelle Talgam, Fundraising Development Manager on 0151 343 0778 or at michellet@wirralhospice.org if you would like to be added to the guest list.

As part of the Hospice’s Families Matter Appeal, pupils from Wirral Grammar will be sharing thoughts on what it’s like to be aged 17 with patients and staff, and seeing if the challenges they face now are very different to generations who have gone before them.

Young children are also included, with the launch of a primary school art competition.

During the week, Wirral Hospice will also have a presence at The Light cinema, in New Brighton.

“We hope that everyone on the Wirral will be touched in some way with the projects the Hospice is running during Hospice Care Week,” said Teresa Nightingale, Head of Fundraising. “We look forward to seeing people and helping them to find out more about our special work.”

For further information, please contact Wirral Hospice’s main reception on 0151 334 2778.

Author: Liz Rice, Hospice Volunteer

Gleek chic #hospiceheroes #volunteersweek

It’s a family affair, if you forgive the pun…

Alice Meehan, Wirral Hospice St John’s Clinical Support Administrator, sings out with Gleek Club Pop Choir. Her Mum, Pat, who regularly volunteers at the Hospice in Fundraising, and her sister Cathleen also sing with Gleek.

They have been in the choir for 2 years and practise with them each Monday night at Heswall Royal British Legion Club.

Alice, Pat and all the ladies from Gleek all got into the spirit of last year’s Hospice Care Week. Every member of the choir pledged to talk to at least five other people and to let them know why Hospice care is so important.

Well done and thank you to our tuneful trio and their fellow singing colleagues in Gleek; you’re definitely harmonious Hospice Heroes!

It’s a family affair with Gleek Club Pop Choir for Alice, Pat and Cathleen

The ladies from Gleek Club Pop Choir taking the pledge as part of Hospice Care Week

Author: Liz Rice, Hospice Volunteer

Pledging together to promote Hospice care for Wirral

wirral_hospice_hcw_gorry_quinn - CopyWirral Clinical Commissioning Group and Wirral Hospice St John’s came together to make a joint Pledge as part of the national Hospice Care Week campaign.

Sarah Quinn, Commissioning Manager for Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group, and Julie Gorry, Chief Executive for Wirral Hospice St John’s, made the pledge to tell at least five other people about how important and valuable Hospice services are.

They both agreed to spread the word on how the Hospice and its staff care for people who are affected by cancer and other life-limiting conditions at the time when they, their families and their loved ones most need it.

By signing the pledge, they joined more than 400 other local people at Wirral Hospice St John’s and online to educate at least 2,000 residents in the Wirral community about the work the local Hospice carries out.

Across the UK, more than 100 hospices took part in this year’s Hospice Care campaign and many supporters took the pledge to help to get this important message across.

 Sarah says, “supporting those living with cancer and other non-malignant conditions and caring for needs of those dying from these illnesses are amongst our main priorities. We want people living in Wirral to think about the difficult choices that need to be considered when facing life threatening illness and to help them be aware of the options available to them”.

She continued “We have taken the pledge to raise awareness about Hospice Care locally because we are committed to working with clinicians and health professionals to make sure that those in need of end of life, or palliative care as it is known, can have the choice to receive this at the local hospice, Wirral Hospice St John’s, or in the comfort of their own homes through their Hospice@Home initiative”.

Julie added  ”As the local provider of Hospice services for adults on Wirral, we want to make sure that people know about our quality services and if they are affected by life limiting illnesses, that we are here to help with end of life care for patients, families, carers and those who matter to patients.”

[Image – Wirral Hospice St John’s Chief Executive, Julie Gorry, right and Sarah Quinn, Commissioning Manager for Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group, left].

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