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19th April 2022

St Helena is growing community services in Tendring

St Helena Hospice is growing its Hospice in the Home services in the Tendring district, with 1,890 patients and families facing incurable illness and bereavement being cared for last year (April 2020 to March 2021)

In fact, 52% of people supported by St Helena Hospice live in Tendring, compared to 48% in the rest of north east Essex. 

More than 90% of the local charity’s care and support is provided to people in their usual place of residence, such as their home or care home, as this is often their preferred place of care.

End of life care and bereavement support is provided over the phone via the St Helena SinglePoint 24/7 phone line; through phone or virtual consultations; and through home visits by nurse specialists, physio and occupational therapists, family support counsellors and virtual ward healthcare assistants. 

Becky Gatt, clinical nurse specialist standing on seafront at Martello Bay, Clacton-on-Sea

A few years ago the local charity announced its plans to close and sell its Tendring Centre in Jackson Road, Clacton. The centre is being sold to a local developer who will be restructuring the interior of the building to turn it into flats, providing affordable accommodation in Clacton. The sale will complete in May.

The decision was originally taken because: it was an expensive resource to maintain, making the costs of delivering services there disproportionately high; it was too big for the needs of St Helena, with less than 40% of the capacity of the building being used; and growing its services for the local community could be done much more effectively without being tied to the building, and through the release of funds from the sale. 

Since the beginning of the pandemic the centre has been closed and has not reopened for clinics, consultations or groups that used to run there. Despite this, St Helena Hospice has supported more people facing dying, death and bereavement in the last couple of years than it did when the building was fully open in 2017/18, signifying that the needs of local people can be met through St Helena’s valuable community services, without the need for a physical building in the area. 

In 2020/21, 1,890 people were supported, compared to 1,634 in 2017/18. 

All the money raised from the sale of the building will be reinvested into growing St Helena’s vital services to ensure they can meet the increasing demand for end of life care and bereavement support across north east Essex.

Mark Jarman-Howe, chief executive at St Helena, said: “The sale of the Tendring Centre understandably may cause some upset and concern to local people who contributed towards the building of the centre 20 years ago and whose loved ones have experienced group support or attended clinics there. 

“However, we want to reassure the local community we are as committed as ever to ensuring local people facing dying, death and bereavement can receive the care and support they need. 

“We are in fact able to support more people now than we did when the centre was fully open and we hope to continue to grow our services to help ensure everybody in our community has dignity and choice at the end of life; and all adults and children have access to the bereavement support they need following the death of a loved one.

“Our commitment to Clacton extends to our fundraising efforts too, with our first mass participation event in three years, Pier to Pier, taking place between Clacton and Walton on Sunday 8th May.”

Read more about our hospice services and bereavement support


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