"The thought of the tree really appealed to her love of nature"
Joy Neal lived her life to the absolute full – a nurse for most of her adult life; she was warm, caring, thoughtful and lived to help others. In the words of her daughter, she had so many wonderful qualities that most of us can only aspire to.
In late 2014, having lived with cancer for ten years, the time came for someone else to do the caring, and Joy was admitted to the Inpatient Unit at St Helena Hospice for respite care and symptom control. “It was a time that should have been scary and full of uncertainty, but from the moment we stepped through the door we were all made to feel at home; our fears we were taken away and mum instantly relaxed,” said Joy’s daughter, also called Joy.
“Having never visited the hospice before we really didn’t know what to expect, but we were met with the warmest of welcomes and an environment that was calm and friendly, where nothing was too much trouble. The responsibilities and worries that mum had about being at home were lifted from her shoulders and she was able to enjoy simple pleasures such as having a bath and her hair being washed and set – her hair was her ‘thing’ so this was particularly special.
“On our very first visit to Myland Hall before mum was admitted, we were greeted with the sight of a wall in reception clearly being prepared for something. Mum being mum was instantly intrigued and wanted to find out what was going on. She was told that the wall was going to be home to the Memory Tree – a hand carved tree with individual leaves that could be dedicated in memory of a loved one.
“My mum loved all aspects of wildlife and the countryside, so the thought of this tree really appealed to her love of nature. Over the course of her stay on the Inpatient Unit she watched as the tree was gradually put in place and saw how beautiful it was. “After a month’s stay, mum was able to go home, where, with the help and support of the Community Team; she was kept comfortable until she peacefully passed away a short time after.
“We now have a leaf on the Memory Tree dedicated to mum. For me the leaf is not associated with a memorial, it is more of a celebration of the time she spent at Myland Hall. It was such a positive experience for her and she loved the time she spent there so much, that the leaf represents that.
“Our leaf has now been on the tree for a couple of years and we renew it on a yearly basis. For me the donation not only feels like I am giving to St Helena, it also feels like I am giving my mum a present and that is an amazing feeling.”
To contact the St Helena Fundraising team, please telephone 01206 931468 or email firstname.lastname@example.org , 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.
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
You can contact The Hospice in the Home Team Monday to Friday, between 9.00am and 5.00pm on:
Telephone: 01206 845 566
Tendring community team
Telephone: 01255 221 222
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
The HR Team can be contacted Monday to Friday between 9.00am and 5.00pm on 01206 931 466
To contact the St Helena Finance Team please telephone 01206 931 450 Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 5.00pm
The Volunteer Services team can be contacted Monday to Friday between 9.00am and 5.00pm on 01206 931 466
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
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
To contact the St Helena Bereavement Support team please telephone the bereavement helpline: 01206 984 274, Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 5.00pm
The Learning and Development Centre is open Monday to Friday between 9.00am and 5.00pm and can be contacted on 01206 851 560
For more information on the St Helena Service User Group please contact Chair, Ken Aldred on 01206 751 397
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.
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