East Anglian hospices unite to mark Dying Matters Awareness Week 2021 by promoting community support and unity

To mark Dying Matters Week 2021, St Helena Hospice is joining forces with St Elizabeth Hospice and St Nicholas Hospice Care, to offer guidance on how communities can better support one another.

Every year, Dying Matters Awareness Week is held to encourage communities, individuals and organisations to come together and open up the conversation around death, dying and bereavement.

This year the awareness week is running from 10th-16th May and, and as part of the weeklong initiative the Colchester based hospice is collaborating with St Elizabeth Hospice, in Ipswich, and St Nicholas Hospice Care, in Bury St Edmunds, to promote ways communities can support one another during difficult times in their lives through their involvement in the Compassionate Communities project.

Nicola Button, head of partnerships at St Helena Hospice, said: “Dying Matters Awareness Week is as good a time as any to talk about dying and death. It can be an awkward and uncomfortable subject to approach but it is so important to have these conversations with our loved ones about what we want to happen at the end of life, where we want to be, and to share our wishes.

“As well as talking about it, it’s just as vital that we listen to loved ones when they’re trying to have these conversations. Sadly because of the pandemic, people are becoming unwell more quickly and families are separated, so in some cases, people aren’t able to have these conversations; so take the time now, whilst you can, to sit down with those close to you and talk about what’s important to you and them.”

Compassionate Communities is a national approach which supplements the support given by healthcare providers, by offering resources and guidance to enable the public to feel more confident in having conversations surrounding the ‘taboo’ topics of bereavement, death and dying.

Nicola added: “St Helena is in the early days of developing our Compassionate Communities project, and we’re delighted to be working with our neighbouring hospices to share learnings and best practices to help shape the future of the project.

“Our aim with Compassionate Communities is to educate and empower our local community so they feel more able to cope with issues of dying, death and bereavement; to ensure all dying people in the area and their families are supported to achieve the end of life wishes that matter to them; and to address and reduce the inequity in access to end of life care for minority and hard to reach groups.”

The collaboration between the three hospices will see them host a number of online events which will offer guidance and equip the public to support each other with kindness during some of the most difficult times in their lives, such as the death of a loved one or the diagnosis of a serious illness.

More than 30 events will be held both online and in person during the awareness week including Care and loss during COVID - How do we Heal?’, “We’re all going to die, so let’s talk about death”, an open and frank conversation between two young men and ‘Thinking ahead – planning for end of life’.

A number of practical online workshops will also be hosted, for the public to learn more about Compassionate Communities and support available for bereavement and end-of-life care, with a full programme of activities available to view at www.compassionatecommunitieseast.com

St Helena Hospice helps local people face incurable illness and bereavement, supporting them, their families, friends and carers. It also helps adults in north east Essex who have been bereaved, regardless of how or where their loved one died.

To find out more or to get involved, please email compassionatecommunities@sthelena.org.uk 

More information about St Elizabeth Hospice can be found by visiting www.stelizabethhospice.org.uk/compassion/ and further details about St Nicholas Hospice Care can be found at www.stnicholashospice.org.uk.

Contact Information

To contact the St Helena Fundraising team, please telephone 01206 931 468 or email fundraising@sthelena.org.uk , Monday to Friday between 9.00am and 5.00pm.


To contact the St Helena Retail team, for enquiries about our shops, donation centre and house clearance service please telephone 01206 890 165.


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.

The Hospice

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

Hospice in the Home

You can contact The Hospice in the Home Team Monday to Friday, between 9.00am and 5.00pm on:

Colchester/Halstead team
Telephone: 01206 845 566

Tendring community team
Telephone: 01255 221 222

Day Therapies

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

Human Resources

The HR Team can be contacted Monday to Friday between 9.00am and 5.00pm on 01206 931 466

Finance Team

To contact the St Helena Finance Team please telephone 01206 931 450 Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 5.00pm

Volunteer Services Team

The Volunteer Services team can be contacted Monday to Friday between 9.00am and 5.00pm on 01206 931 466

Media Enquiries

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

Patient Referrals

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

Bereavement Support

To contact the St Helena Bereavement Support team please telephone the bereavement helpline: 01206 984 274, Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 5.00pm

Learning and Development Centre

The Learning and Development Centre is open Monday to Friday between 9.00am and 5.00pm and can be contacted on 01206 851 560

Service User Group

For more information on the St Helena Service User Group please contact Chair, Ken Aldred on 01206 751 397

Facilities Hire Enquiries

01206 851560


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.

Comment, compliment or complaint

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