Hospice’s Christmas Together appeal hopes to keep people connected this Christmas

St Helena Hospice has launched its Christmas Together appeal with the hope that it will help keep loved ones connected over the festive season.

The local hospice charity, which helps local people face incurable illness and bereavement, has suffered a difficult nine months and a devastating loss of income because of Covid-19. It has also had to make changes to the way it provides its services and has restricted visiting to The Hospice.

Lisa Parrish, St Helena’s director of care, explained: “In order to keep our patients, families and staff safe, we are limiting our face to face contact with patients and families in the community, supporting them via virtual consultation and telephone instead where we can.

“Unfortunately, we have also restricted visiting to The Hospice in line with Government guidelines, except for patients in the last days of life. It’s extremely important that our patients don’t feel alone and so our staff have been doing everything they can to ensure those staying at The Hospice who cannot receive visitors, can remain connected to their loved ones. We were lucky enough to receive donations of tablets during the first lockdown so patients are able to video call with their loved ones.

“It’s also incredibly important that patients and families in the community continue to be supported. We’re here 365 days a year. We don’t close The Hospice for Christmas, and our SinglePoint, Virtual Ward and Bereavement services continue to run over the festive season to make sure patients and families facing a crisis are never alone.”

Christmas is the time of year where many people spend time together and for patients living with an incurable or life limiting illness, it’s especially important for them to be with loved ones for what may be their last Christmas.

St Helena Hospice has therefore centred its Christmas Together appeal around connecting people, and all the money raised through its Christmas campaign, will go towards keeping its vital services running over the festive season to support hundreds of local people to remain as comfortable as possible and spend Christmas where they want to be.

One of the ways you can support St Helena Hospice is to join its paper chain - local people are being asked to request a St Helena paper chain link, write the name of a loved one they will be missing this Christmas, and send it back with a donation where it will be joined with the hundreds of others they expect to receive – connecting us all at Christmastime. They will then be used to decorate the Christmas trees and rooms at The Hospice.

Your donation will help support families like George and Hazel Forster.

Christmas ended abruptly for Hazel last year when her husband of 46 years was rushed to hospital after collapsing with a suspected stroke on Christmas Day.

George was discharged from hospital during Christmas week and into the care of St Helena Hospice’s SinglePoint Virtual Ward team.

Hazel said: “Twice a day two girls came round to help with personal care; they were excellent, you couldn't have wished for better.

“They weren't involved for a long length of time but I felt supported and safe. I could ring up SinglePoint at any time; I had the number, I was given all the information I needed.

“Throughout the experience, I could be with him all the time, day and night, which is what we wanted.”

George died at home on New Year’s Eve where he wanted to be, surrounded by his loved ones.

Hazel added: “Christmas and New Year is going to be an awkward time, but I think it's always the first of everything, isn’t it? I know I'm not going to be alone or lonely, but Christmas morning I’m dreading because that was our time together. George and I used to get up, we’d have a bit of breakfast and we’d open our presents.

“I know I’m not the only one in this boat and I try and tell myself it's going to be OK. I know I can phone St Helena’s bereavement team when I am ready to.”

If you would like to support St Helena Hospice and families like George and Hazel, you can donate to their Christmas Together appeal. Other ways to support the hospice over the festive season include taking on their Penguin 5k, giving a virtual Gift for Good, shopping St Helena online, or signing up for its Christmas Tree-cycle. Find out more here

Contact Information
Fundraising

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.

Retail

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

SinglePoint

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

Lottery

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