Referrals: 01206 890 360
The Hospice: 01206 845 566
Fundraising: 01206 931 468

Share your favourite poem and make sure that “Dying Matters”

People from across NE Essex are being encouraged to talk openly about death and share their favourite poem as part of a national campaign designed to break down taboos and make dying well part of a good life.

GPs from NE Essex clinical commissioning group (CCG) are encouraging people of all ages to start planning for their futures in the run up to Dying Matters awareness week, which begins on Monday (13 May).

 The drive supports the campaign by St Helena which aims to raise awareness of the importance of putting plans in place early.

 Called ‘My Care Choices’ it encourages people to talk about death and make a record of their preferences by completing the ‘My Care Choices Record’, which details the care they would like to receive in the future, including if they wish, their priorities for care at the end of life. This can include, but is not limited to their preferred place of care, who they would like to be contacted, as well as medical details and information about resuscitation.

 The week also comes in response to statistics which show that nearly one in three people are not comfortable discussing dying with friends and family, while only 35% have written a will. In addition, just 7% of people have documented their end of life preferences, which is the only way of making sure they receive care in line with their wishes if they are no longer able to make decisions for themselves.

Dr Karen Chumbley, GP, and Clinical Director for St Helena, said: “Many people find it hard to talk about death and dying, and it remains one of the biggest taboos in our society.

 “It is time we talked about death. We will all die, yet we fail to prepare. Grief is hard anyway, without having the trauma of trying to guess your loved one’s last wishes. This awareness week gives us a real opportunity to start the conversation and recognise that preparing for death is our right, and can also help empower our families by ensuring we leave a positive legacy behind.

 “We want to encourage people to talk openly about dying and plan ahead so that they can make the right choices about end of life care, where they want to die and their plans for their funeral. Talking about death won’t bring it closer – but sharing our wishes well in advance will make it easier for our loved ones when we do reach the end of our lives.”

During the week, people will be given the chance to share their favourite poem on the theme of loss, bereavement and end of life. The NE Essex Alliance partners will be sharing poems picked by local people with first-hand experience of death and dying to encourage others to start the conversation.

For more information on My Care Choices visit:

Contact Information

To contact the St Helena Fundraising team, please telephone 01206 931 468 or email , 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. 

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