"They are my inspiration, the lovely people there who accept me for who I am"
Denise tells us how she views her future has changed since St Helena’s Day Therapies have given her confidence. Denise explains:
I’d given up. I didn’t want to go on anymore.
I was too scared to go out my front door and had been stuck indoors for about five years. There wasn’t any point.
A relative contacted adult social services for me and somebody rang me back to ask how they could help me. And I said, I don’t know; I don’t know anything that goes on outside my front door anymore. A lovely man said I’ll look up some things that may be able to help you and I will email you a list of things – and one was COPD support.
I knew I was having a lot of trouble with breathing. The COPD nurse visited me at home and referred me to St Helena’s Breathe Happy group. Marvellous!
I have been to different Day Therapies groups since and now I’m at FAB*. Oh, what does the F stand for? Fatigue! I’m too tired to get out of bed in the morning, how can I possibly forget fatigue!
If I’ve had a bad week I think to myself, if I can just get to my group it’ll give me a boost. I meet new people there with problems too, really quite serious illnesses and issues. New people who I don’t have to be frightened of if I look a bit different. The staff are gorgeous. They always make you feel so welcome and make everyone there so relaxed. You can have a bit of a whinge if you want to about how rubbish you’re feeling. I’ve only got my sons to whinge at and I don’t like to upset them by whinging at them.
They always make you feel so welcome and make everyone there so relaxed
And so I love it. I don’t know what I would have done without it. I dread to think really.
This second hand mobility scooter I’ve bought is a right old heap of junk, but because I have support from St Helena I think right, I’ve got to set myself goals. For about a year now I’ve had a goal about getting to the shop down the road. And now I have been to two shops! And I wouldn’t have got the mobility scooter if it hadn’t been for the fact that I have support from the hospice. One of the chaps from the group said to me, ‘get on that scooter, get down the road to the shop!’ And I’m going to! It’s all a bit of ‘come on and do it’ at the groups; it’s all very positive. The more encouragement I can get the better, and St Helena is doing that.
They are my inspiration, the lovely people there who accept me for who I am.
I set myself a goal to do more chair exercises and the mindful movement techniques I was shown at the FAB group. I should make more of an effort to move more in a mindful way! I have been learning how to cope with worsening symptoms, like when I really can’t breathe I used to panic, but the breathing groups have taught me coping mechanisms.
They are my inspiration, the lovely people there who accept me for who I am
If St Helena hadn’t got involved with me, I’d probably be dead. I was that low. When you’re so depressed and so low… I was so alone I thought I could see a future of nothingness. Until I started going to the groups, I barely saw anyone.
Life hasn’t allowed me to be who I want to be; I don’t want much, just a little bit of normalcy. It’s easy to get defeated looking at a stretch of just sitting here being on my own. But by going to the groups, I have confidence that I can do something, that there will be a way forward.
*Fatigue Anxiety and Breathlessness group
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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
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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
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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