My name is Sean I am the Maintenance Manager for St Helena.
We provide maintenance support for not just The Hospice but across all the sites, in retail and offices off site. We do everything from day to day maintenance tasks to blood runs, pharmacy runs, we also take patients to the hospital when needed as well as refurbishments in the old and new shops, pretty much the lot.
Hospice care takes a lot of patience, a lot of smiling and sometimes it’s just saying yes to something small that can make someone’s day. For something that could take you 5 minutes could make someone’s day or week. For example, I have just been out for half an hour to collect a TV for one of our patients which for him means that the whole time he is here he can watch the rugby. It’s those little moments that can make a huge difference to someone else. For us, the client isn’t just the patients, it’s all the staff here as well, we have a duty to look after their rooms and help out with projects when needed. We have to look after all the people that work here, to make their lives easier. So it does take a lot of patience and we can deal with a lot of frustration sometimes, but if you just smile and say yes then it’s all fine. Saying ‘yes’ is our motto.
Hospice care is a big package, it’s not just about looking after the patient, but the family as well. It takes a lot of resources from the ward to look after all the different patient needs, as well as the catering team for example, who are able to supply such a variety of food. It is such a big cycle to give someone the best end of life care.
From 18 years old I have worked in a hospice, I use to work at St Elizabeth Hospice in Ipswich where I completed my apprenticeship and worked for a couple of years. A job then came up with St Helena with a bit more responsibility and job prospects so I took the leap to come to Colchester and that was probably the best thing I ever did. I really do like working in a hospice environment, it’s a very different environment and it does take a special character to be in hospice maintenance, because it’s not just on the tools and trawls, it’s more about being around our patients and staff to help them. That’s why I enjoy it, you’ve got friendly staff wherever you go, from the nurses, to HR, fundraising, marketing, finance, retail, we work with them all so we get to see everyone, it’s a really nice environment to work in.
We were recently able to help a gentleman who was visiting his wife here at The Hospice, he loved going to jumble sales and bought a lot of things but needed to take some stuff to our donation centre. We were able to help him by organising for his items to be taken to the donation centre so he had more time to spend with his wife here at the hospice. So like I said, it’s about doing those little things to help someone else. He was still able to do his hobby but we were taking the stress away by taking things to the donation centre for him. It’s those little moments that really make it for me. My perception of the hospice has changed since I started working here. I think the more you see and the closer you are to patients and relatives the more you get to see about what we are actually giving. The support that we give to people in the hospice is extensive, all the way from the pinkies, to the maintenance, to the catering team, it’s all supporting them. We get to see how much there is beyond just the nursing and how that really does help. The fundraisers that come over, they might just walk through the ward and say hello, but it’s that interaction that can really make a difference. Some patients might not have relatives so just seeing all the staff can really make a difference to them, it’s so nice to see. Working here really does open your eyes, you can stress about things at home but then you come into work and think why am I stressing about these things, there’s people that are in much worse positions than me so why am I so worried. Everyone looks after each other because of where we are and that why I enjoy working here.
Sean Buckner, Maintenance Manager
To contact the St Helena Fundraising team, please telephone 01206 931 468 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