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

St Helena encourages staff to take time to talk

This Mental Health Awareness Week, St Helena has introduced two new roles to encourage all staff and volunteers to take time to talk and express concerns: a Mental Health First Aider; and a Freedom to Speak Up Guardian.

The role of a Mental Health First Aider (MHFA) is to support people in how to spot the first signs and symptoms of mental ill health and to provide help on a first aid basis. They will listen, reassure and respond, just like physical first aiders do, and will provide short-term help and support until they can signpost the individual to professional help.

The Freedom to Speak Up Guardian (FTSUG) is the point of contact for anyone wanting to discuss a bullying or misconduct issue or concerns relating to patient safety and experience. If an individual doesn’t feel comfortable talking to their line manager about an issue, they can go to the FTSUG who will work with them to advise, guide and help them to seek a resolution, or can signpost them to the correct person to deal with the issue, or in some cases, can take the issue forward on their behalf.

Jo Tonkin, St Helena’s Director of Care, said: “As an organisation committed to supporting our staff and volunteers, we want to ensure we are looking after their mental health, in the same way we do their physical health. We also want to provide a working environment where people feel safe to discuss any issues or concerns, whether that be around mental health, bullying, misconduct or patient safety. 

“Our organisational values include ‘respect’, ‘valuing conversations’ and ‘showing appreciation for all’ and we’re keen to drive home these values as much as we can in everything we do – and introducing these new roles is a part of that.

“In the future, all businesses, as well as charities, should have staff trained in these areas and at St Helena we’re proud to be at the forefront of this, leading other hospices, charities and organisations in introducing these roles.

Jacquie Pamphilon, St Helena’s Performance and Staff Development Officer, has taken on the role of FTSUG, which is a role that is recommended by the CQC and National Guardians Office. She said: “As the organisation’s coach, people already recognise that I have many confidential conversations, and I am happy to listen to and support individuals. Also, in my position, I work with all departments across St HHelena, and therefore have a good understanding of the organisation as a whole.”

Laura Shukla, St Helena’s Head of Clinical Operations, has volunteered to be the MHFA. She said: “I spent 13 years of my clinical career as an occupational therapist working in mental health so it seemed fitting for me to take on this additional role, helping staff to stay mentally well.”

To spread the word internally about the new roles and to encourage staff and volunteers to speak up, Laura has organised ‘Chat & Cuppa’ informal drop-in events across St Helena’s different sites, which all staff and volunteers are welcome to attend to share concerns or find out more about how Laura can support them now or in the future.

St Helena has also displayed posters about the role around its different sites and is sharing updates regularly on Workplace, its internal communications forum, about the two new roles, as well as advice and tips on how to improve mental health and reduce stress. 

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