Dawn is learning to adapt to a new life with a disability with support from the hospice. In this short video, Dawn describes how since she was diagnosed with primary progressive multiple sclerosis in June last year aged 51, she has been taking each day as it comes.

Here you can read the transcript:

Whatever happens, happens; I've accepted that now. I have a care plan with the hospice and I’ve said that if the worst comes to the worst I would like to be in the hospice to pass away I don’t want to be alone. It is not always a nice subject for people to talk about but at the end of the day it is what it is. I can’t walk away and say it’s happening to somebody else.

I have multiple sclerosis. It does have quite an aggressive way of going so I’m not going to be around forever. I don’t think I will last more than maybe June.

The OT that came to visit me at home suggested that there were groups I could go to that might help but they were at the hospice and I think I was a bit mortified because like everybody you kind of think hospice is only for people who are very close to passing away. And I actually had no idea of all the other things that the hospice can and will do.

I went to my first group meeting in Clacton with a lot of apprehension and thinking well I’ll see what it’s like but if it’s not for me I won’t do another one. And I found it almost like walking in to a place like going home. You’re in a place where everybody can accept you as you are whereas in the outside world you just become a disabled person. Lifesaving for me. And I definitely need the social side of it to come out to. When you live on your own it can get very, very lonely so having something to look forward to and people to come and see and people who can sort out any problems you’ve got medically, it is wonderful.

It’s just been adapting my lifestyle to become a new person and to have a life with a disability, to know my limits, to know when I need to stop and on a good day to enjoy it as much as I can.

They’ve sorted out my medication and I’m not in any pain anymore. And I feel well, I feel happy, I feel better than I have done in months because without pain you I can move better and I can do more and I can feel more like the me that I was instead of the disabled me I was when I first started this journey with the hospice. They have done a fantastic job.

Contact Information

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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.

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

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The HR Team can be contacted Monday to Friday between 9.00am and 5.00pm on 01206 931 466

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To contact the St Helena Finance Team please telephone 01206 931 450 Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 5.00pm

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The Volunteer Services team can be contacted Monday to Friday between 9.00am and 5.00pm on 01206 931 466

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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

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To contact the St Helena Bereavement Support team please telephone the bereavement helpline: 01206 984 274, Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 5.00pm

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The Learning and Development Centre is open Monday to Friday between 9.00am and 5.00pm and can be contacted on 01206 851 560

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For more information on the St Helena Service User Group please contact Chair, Ken Aldred on 01206 751 397

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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