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 /

John Bear, Wirral Hospice’s mascot reveals all… #familiesmatter #hairy

wirral_hospice_john_bear_dancingHi I’m John Bear! As Wirral Hospice St John’s friendliest (and hairiest) member of the team, I get to do lots of fun stuff!

The whole point of the Hospice is to look after people who need special caring. Although I can’t do that – for a start my paws are too big and none of the uniforms fit me – I can help raise a smile and also cheer on and encourage the kind people who do their very best to raise funds to keep the Hospice going.

I also visit schools as part of the Hospice’s schools’ project, which is specially designed to help children cope with their emotions when someone near to them is incurably ill. The special team at the Hospice can also provide training for teachers to help children when someone close to them dies.

I love going to the schools and meeting all the children. I hear lots of funny stories and sad ones too, which is exactly why I’m there – to help children talk about their feelings and encourage them to share their experiences with friends. My role is to teach children that it’s ok to laugh when remembering a loved one and that’s ok to cry and be sad sometimes too. I help them know where to turn when they want to talk to someone or need a hug.

There has been a lot of sport going on lately. I like to keep active, even though I get really hot and sweaty in the sunshine. Anyway, I was getting really into the World Cup football fever, well I was up until England lost their chance of winning.

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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 »

John Bear gives seal of approval for new roof #familiesmatter

wirral_hospice_john_bear_roof_1Before the scaffolding started to come down, we had some fun sending John Bear up to check how the wonderful workers from Mellwood Construction Ltd had got on with our new roof. We can confirm that John Bear was very happy with the building being fully watertight and deemed everything shipshape and in top condition!

As some of you may recall, Wirral Hospice St John’s was very fortunate to be awarded a Dept of Health grant for £550,000 last year to help pay for some of the renovation that is currently underway. Building work has been carried out over the last few months and although the scaffolding on the outside is in the process of coming down, there is a still a lot more work that needs to be done inside the building before we are ready to open it.

Hospice care has evolved so much over the years and so the building work we are doing is a reflection of what is now needed to deliver care and support to our patients, their carers and families – both here at the Hospice itself but also out in the community.

Now that the actual building work is getting closer to being finished, we will be providing weekly updates on where we are with progress and also talking more about how the new building will enhance our care and support. We will also be talking more about how people and businesses can get involved in supporting our Families Matter Appeal, which is aiming to raise £250,000 to help pay for some of the additional cost of the building work, as well to equip and furnish the building.

We are so grateful to everyone for the support they already give us to help with paying for the Hospice’s running costs, which are more than £3million annually, and we appreciate that this is an additional ask of everyone for their money and time. However, we hope that when we explain more about what is already and what more will be happening with our Hospice care, that people will be keen to give that extra bit of support.

We look forward to updating you with more information next week, in the meantime if you have any questions please contact or call Teresa Nightingale on 0151 343 0778.

Author: Teresa Nightingale

Ways of supporting our Hospice’s work #charity # fundraising #volunteering #kindness

wirral_hospice_john_bear_craneJanuary and February are notoriously tight months; usually spending as little as possible to try and recover from the hit of Christmas presents and all the social events during the festive months (that have been known to start before September is even over. For some people at least!). Lots of big hearty home-cooked meals, rather than takeaways, and cutting back on non-essential spending, like expensive frothy coffees and shop-bought lunches.

Many of us use these early months as a great opportunity to kick-start or get back into fitness programmes. Aiming for a more honed, toned and healthy body by the time the sun makes a fleeting appearance later in the year. Well that’s the plan we initially dream of, some of us fall victim to temptation along the way.

Usually people feel a bit more relaxed financially by the end of March so it’s a good time to assess finances and the time we can offer to those around us. Running a family home can be expensive and can often take all of our time, we are all too aware of that, so not everyone can easily afford to spare money at the end of each month or volunteer for good causes.

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