When our daughter Gemma arrived at The Hospice, her face lit up when the nurses ran her a fantastic bath full of bubbles. There was music playing in the bathroom as she relaxed for the first time in ages. She had a lovely time.
The Hospice was our home for three months and everybody there was our family. Gemma had the best care she could possibly have, and so did we. There, we could make the most of the time she had left and devote everything to being mum and dad.
Our grandchildren, Dylan and Noah, visited their mummy at The Hospice every day. They felt safe playing in the garden, collecting conkers and looking at the pond.
Just before Christmas, one of the nurses gave the boys a pack of old- fashioned paper chains to make and put up around the room. A real tree arrived and one of the nurses asked them to decorate it. They had fun trying to outdo each other and it was like a little party for them; there were carols playing and the nurses put baubles on the boys’ ears. Gemma’s bed was wheeled out so she could watch and we know she was proud because she gave them the thumbs up at the end.
We’re glad she saw the boys having fun and they will always remember that. Christmas was coming and they were losing their mummy but they were making such lovely memories.
Gemma died on 19th December last year. Going home to an empty house was hard. We couldn’t face Christmas Day and instead took our dog for
a long walk along the beach. We ate our Christmas dinner of cheese sandwiches and soup overlooking the water; it was beautiful. We talked and we remembered Gem.
This Christmas will be especially difficult for us as it will be the first anniversary without our daughter, and the boys without their mummy. We will light up Gemma’s life with memories of our happy and special times together.
From our family to yours, we wish you a peaceful Christmas,
Barb and Andy
Join us in lighting a candle in memory of your loved ones at 4pm on Christmas Eve
This December, we invite you to join us at one of our Light up a Life services which are taking place across North Essex.
Each service will include readings, Christmas carols and time for reflection as we remember our loved ones who are no longer with us.
All services are free to attend, however, we ask that you reserve tickets for the St Helena Hospice Services.
Thursday 12th December 6.30pm
St John's Church, St John's Road, Clacton-on-Sea
Please reserve your tickets here.
Sunday 15th December 4.00pm
St Helena Hospice, Barncroft Close, Colchester CO4 9JU
Please reserve your tickets here.
Friday 6th December 7.00pm St James’ Church, Victoria Place, Brightlingsea CO7 0EB
Sunday 15th December, 4pm
St. Bartholomew’s Church, Frinton Road,
Holland-on-Sea CO15 5UH
You are also able to make a dedication for a loved one online, here you will be able to leave a message and a photo to remember someone special to you.
The names of everyone being remembered through Light up a Life this Christmas will be printed in a keepsake booklet which will be posted out to you in December. If you would like the name of your loved one to be included, you need to make your dedication either online or by post before 22nd November 2019.
To contact the St Helena Fundraising team, please telephone 01206 931 468 or email firstname.lastname@example.org , Monday to Friday between 9.00am and 5.00pm.
24 hour advice: SinglePoint 01206 890 360
SinglePoint is a 24/7 advice and support helpline which helps to coordinate an individual’s care with the hospice. SinglePoint also works alongside other healthcare services such as GPs, Community Nurses or Specialists.
To contact a patient at The Hospice please find the address and telephone number below. Phone calls can be made to patients at any time of the day or week. You can contact Inpatient Services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The Hospice, Myland Hall, Barncroft Close, Highwoods, Colchester, C04 9JU
Telephone: 01206 845 566
You can contact The Hospice in the Home Team Monday to Friday, between 9.00am and 5.00pm on:
Telephone: 01206 845 566
Tendring community team
Telephone: 01255 221 222
You can contact the Joan Tomkins Centre (Colchester) Monday to Friday between 9.00am and 5.00pm on:
Telephone: 01206 848 163
Fax: 01206 752 245
You can contact the St Helena Tendring Centre (Clacton) Monday to Friday, between 9.00am and 5.00pm on 01255 221 222
Tendring Centre Postcode for Sat Navs: CO15 1EU
The HR Team can be contacted Monday to Friday between 9.00am and 5.00pm on 01206 931 466
To contact the St Helena Finance Team please telephone 01206 931 450 Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 5.00pm
The Volunteer Services team can be contacted Monday to Friday between 9.00am and 5.00pm on 01206 931 466
For all media enquiries between 9.00am and 5.00pm, Monday to Friday, please phone the Marketing and Communications team directly on 01206 931 464
If you, or a member of your family has a life-limiting illness and would like to discuss whether St Helena care services can help, you can contact the SinglePoint telephone service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 01206 890 360
To contact the St Helena Bereavement Support team please telephone the bereavement helpline: 01206 984 274, Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 5.00pm
The Learning and Development Centre is open Monday to Friday between 9.00am and 5.00pm and can be contacted on 01206 851 560
For more information on the St Helena Service User Group please contact Chair, Ken Aldred on 01206 751 397
To contact the Lottery team please call 0800 285 1390 or visit the website here, Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm.
If you would like to write to or visit the Lottery team, the address is: Your Hospice Lottery Office Unit 6 The Atrium, Phoenix Square, Wyncolls Road, Colchester CO4 9AS.
Feedback, comments and complaints about St Helena care and support services may be made verbally or in writing to: Director of Care, St Helena, Myland Hall, Barncroft Close, Highwoods, Colchester, CO4 9JU. To speak to a member of our team, call 01206 845 566