A day at Treetops Hospice
Many of you will know that our Public Grants programme is available to people of all cancer types at any stage of their cancer journey. Newly diagnosed and long term diagnosed people can apply for a grant to help improve their quality of life and that of their family. This could be help with shopping bills, childcare assistance, complementary therapy and much more. We’re still a very young charity and as such it’s important for us to make ourselves heard, particularly with local cancer support services. So, we’ve been busy getting out and about recently visiting local health and social care services to raise our awareness.
Simon, our chair, spent a morning with members of the staff team over at Treetops Hospice in Risley. Treetops Hospice provides respite and palliative care for adults with illnesses such as cancer, motor neurone disease and multiple sclerosis. It also provides help and support to their carers and families. The Risley facility has a Day Care Unit for the public and a Bereavement Service for adults and children.
The Treetops Hospice at Risley doesn’t have any beds. It is more of a day service whereby people living with a terminal illness usually come to the centre once a week for respite care, a change of scenery and an opportunity to take part in a range of activities and therapies ranging from arts/crafts, aromatherapy, reflexology and much more.
It sits in beautiful grounds; 12 acres of lush green fields and tall trees surround the centre. Large windows let the lush Derbyshire light in filling the centre with a natural warm glow.
Lizzie Banks and Alison Hembrow took their time showing me round the centre asking and answering questions as we went along. Lizzie told me about the Hospice at Home service:
“This service has been developed for patients who wish to be cared for at home wherever possible. Our team of qualified nurses and health care assistants offer support day or night. Overnight stays give carers the chance to have a good night’s sleep, while a few hours during the day gives carers a break to go shopping or have time for themselves.
The Hospice at Home team are all trained and experienced in caring for people who have palliative care needs. All our care is delivered in accordance with the District Nursing care plan, and we work closely with the patient’s Primary Health Care team.
Hospice at Home is available 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. A nurse visit will last between 3 and 9 hours depending on your needs. Our standard night shift is 10pm – 7am, giving carers the much needed rest to support their loved ones during the day.
Our nurses offer both nursing and emotional support to patients and their families. We give families the opportunity to be as involved as they wish in caring for their loved one, whilst recognising and promoting both privacy and dignity at this very difficult time.”
Simon and Alison in the new Bereavement facility – The Cheetham Centre for adults and children.
Alison went on to tell me about her role as Support and Information Nurse Specialist:
“When people are faced with a life limiting illness many things are thrown into turmoil and there are always questions. Our Support and Information service offers help in a variety of ways. People may just need a sounding board to make sure that they have understood what they have been told or they may need things clarifying as what they been told hasn’t quite sunk in yet or they’re a bit confused by it. People may just need to come and talk to someone over a cup of tea who has an understanding of what is happening to them so that they don’t feel so alone through what can be a difficult and challenging time.
I offer support and information in many areas including symptoms and treatments, finances and benefits and have many links with local support professionals and groups. ”
The centre truly is an amazing place. The hospice’s £3 million a year running costs is predominantly self-funded, with some services supported by health contracts. As you’d expect, the fundraising team is a very busy team always on the lookout for new ideas to help bring more donations in. Volunteers play a key role in community fundraising, businesses too. Short-term activities and challenges help people to feel like they’re doing their bit to support the centre. There is also the opportunity to support Treetops on a longer term basis by either offering your time (as a regular fundraiser, admin roles, counselling support and more), a regular monthly donation or leaving a gift in your will
I came away feeling at peace, humbled and inspired to build on this meeting. At its core is a highly dedicated staff and volunteer team, all committed to supplying the highest level of care, dignity and support for patients, carers and families.
Services are free for everyone, they’re not means tested at all.
I’m really looking forward to working with Treetops to promote and facilitate our Annabel’s Angels grants programme. The Annabel’s Angels team will continue to support the work of Treetops and look for new ways of working together in partnership to support more local people living with cancer to improve their quality of life.
For more information about Treetops Hospice visit www.treetopshospice.org.uk
For more information about Annabel’s Angels visit www.annabelsangels.co.uk