When Janet Daniels had a heart attack three years ago, she spent a positive week at the Hospice.

There, not only was her pain relief managed for a spinal condition, but where she had the opportunity to address her concerns about her future through speaking with St Helena’s counselling and chaplaincy teams. Janet explains:

We live locally so we’ve heard about St Helena Hospice for a long time and all the wonderful work they do. It wasn’t until I had a sudden heart attack and was taken in to the Hospice for a week, I realised how wonderful it is.

It came on very suddenly and they didn’t think I would survive the night at the time. I didn’t realise what was going on but for my family it was quite bad. I went to the Hospice and I had wonderful care. It was like a hotel and everybody was kind.

And the food! If you didn’t like what was on the menu they would go out of their way to cook you something else. Everything was fresh. The thing I really loved was the homemade soups and the toast! And also the porridge made with lovely full fat milk in the morning! You could go and help yourself to teas, coffees, whatever you like, and also to the ice cream.

It was especially nice for my husband that he could come and have a meal with me of an evening.

It was wonderful because I was in a room on my own and I could look out onto the garden. It was late November time so it was a miserable old month but the garden was so lovely to look out on. The thing that I couldn’t get over was there was such a lovely feeling when you went into the place. A very caring loving feeling, not the sort of feeling that you thought you’d get of death and people that were ill. It was just like a hotel with a lot of lovely people and a lovely atmosphere.

While there I was able to speak to a counsellor and talk openly about the future and my feelings. It was so lovely to be able to do that. All the various departments came to see me to see if they could be of any help too.

I do have a strong Christian belief and the chaplain came to see me every day and we had a chat which really helped. She carried on that visit to us at home right until lockdown. She would do communion with us which was wonderful to have that at home. I felt that the care they give you at the Hospice doesn’t stop when you leave.

After the heart attack I gradually got better, but Dr Beata still helps me at home to monitor the pain I have. I have a spinal condition where I have continuous pain in my spine. There’s nothing that can be done, it’s just a matter of living with it. She makes every effort to come and see me. I have no worry about visits from St Helena during this pandemic because I haven’t any other choice. It’s very good; they are always masked up and everything and I’m more than happy to see them.

I also have the SinglePoint number and it’s reassuring to know they are there and if I need them I just ring the number and there would be somebody there who would help.

When I came out of the Hospice, I went to some weekly sessions up there about heart conditions. Somebody would speak and show us exercises, and they went through all the medications and what they are for and why the cardiologist had given them. There was also a session on death; that sounds morbid but it wasn’t.

They said if anyone would like a personal chat about anything that was worrying them, then they could sort it out. So I went to see a counsellor there, Wendy, and also my husband went to see somebody as well, which was wonderful.

Now Wendy gets in touch every so often; ‘hi Jan, are you aright, do you need a little chat?’ Absolutely wonderful. A few weeks ago, I did ring her up an absolute wreck, and we’ve been having chats for the last few weeks.

Without St Helena I don’t think I would be here, and I think a lot of people can say the same.

Janet’s husband, Mike, has also seen the benefits of St Helena:

When Jan was staying in the Hospice, it was a great source of comfort and help, not only for her but for me as well. What Jan went through with her heart attack was a very traumatic experience, and the support she had there was a marvellous help.

The room she was in was beautiful; it looked out on the garden and it was just before Christmas so we saw the guys putting the Christmas tree lights on the big tree outside. It’s a lovely environment.

We have had a lot of support from the chaplain, Vickie Peters. Bless her heart, she came to see Jan when she was in the Hospice and subsequently has paid a number of visits to us at home and taken communion with us. Up until the COVID lockdown she was coming every other month, and that has been a source of great comfort to us. We thoroughly appreciated her and the support of sharing our Christian faith together.

I had a little bit of counselling and I was invited onto a pilot scheme two years ago all about sharing experiences for people who were going through times of trauma, for carers. I was sceptical at the start whether I would get any benefit but I got a lot out of it, and I think I was able to contribute to it too.

It’s wonderful because we have actually seen Dr Beata on a regular basis since and she has been extremely supportive. It has been a comfort to know that she’s there and is able to help us or point us in a particular direction.

We both have many reasons why we are grateful to St Helena Hospice.

Contact Information
Fundraising

To contact the St Helena Fundraising team, please telephone 01206 931 468 or email fundraising@sthelena.org.uk , Monday to Friday between 9.00am and 5.00pm.

Retail

To contact the St Helena Retail team, for enquiries about our shops, donation centre and house clearance service please telephone 01206 890 165.

SinglePoint

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

Lottery

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