“It’s been the nurses from St Barnabas that have kept me going”

“These last few months have felt like I have been walking down a long, lonely road. I’ve felt very, very low. Really, it’s been the nurses from St Barnabas that have kept me going.

“I have been in the wars for a long time now. I’ve had a condition with my spine for many years and then recently my heart pretty much decided to stop working. I have a mini defibrillator inside me, and it’s saved my life more than once. Earlier this year, I was told my heart is finally failing and it’s now just a matter of time, they don’t know how long I’ve got. And then the pandemic started; and so I’ve been stuck here at home for the last 5 months.

“It was my heart nurse at the hospital who suggested we get in touch with St Barnabas. I thought it was a mad idea – I wasn’t dying tomorrow, how could they help me? But these special people have become my carers, my friends, my lifeline.

“Jess is ‘my’ nurse and she calls me at least once a week, more if she thinks I need it. She finds out how I’m doing, gives me advice on my medications. Mark is my counsellor and we speak once a week. I can share with him how I’m feeling, I find I can express thoughts and feelings with him that are a struggle with people I love.

“Sonia is my occupational therapist. She was the one who came out to my house and saw that I needed some specialist furniture and things like that – so I can get about more easily and be a bit more independent. Sonia got a powered wheelchair sorted out for me – and organised a ramp so I could get in and out of the house.

“And I also have Zoe, ‘my’ physiotherapist. Zoe has given me back mobility I never thought I’d have again. When Zoe came out to see me she looked round the house and then I took her down the stables to meet my horses. I’ve always kept horses and over the last few months they’ve become so precious to me, I can go and see them and forget about things for a while.

“Zoe asked, “What do you want to achieve?” I told her I hadn’t been able to ride, it had been 18 months since I’d been able to get on my old horse, Monty (and don’t tell the others, but he’s my favourite!). Zoe went away and worked up a physio plan just for me, to give me the strength to get back in the saddle. Three weeks later (with help) I was able to sit on Monty once more.

“At the top of my bucket list is to ride Monty on the beach one more time. But my horse box was stolen last year and so I didn’t think I’d make it. But then St Barnabas told me that one of their nurses keeps horses – and they’re hoping to arrange a trip out for Monty and me.

“St Barnabas’ team have all been utterly dedicated to me – and I can say, hand on (dodgy) heart, that it is their care that has kept me going.

“I know they need funds now to keep them caring, for lots of people like me, over the next few months. I can tell you from first-hand experience; that care is priceless.
I hope you can help.”


If you would like to donate to support people like Lisa please go to StBarnabasHospice.co.uk/get-involved/donate/crisiscare/

National Payroll Week – Lorraine Atchison

It’s National Payroll Week, so what better opportunity than to celebrate the incredible work undertaken by our Payroll and Cash Officer, Lorraine Atchison! Lorraine has been one of our key workers during the coronavirus pandemic and her support has not gone unnoticed.

Lorraine started working for St Barnabas Hospice in June 2017 after taking some time out from work. She had followed and supported St Barnabas for over 15 years, so when the job came up it seemed the perfect fit.

Lorraine said, “St Barnabas is a wonderful local cause which I have supported for many years. Although my friends and family have never needed hospice care, none of us ever know if we will need the support of the Hospice at one point in our lives. To work for a charity that does so much good in the local community is a privilege and I’m very happy here.”

Day-to-day, Lorraine’s role involves making sure 366 St Barnabas staff members are all paid on time. She looks after the different pensions and guidelines as well as HMRC payments, NHS payments and additional payments. This role was made even more complex when the coronavirus outbreak led to some staff members being placed on furlough.

Lorraine said, “I feel lucky that I was able to adapt well to working from home when lockdown began. As you can imagine, the workload for anyone in payroll was stressful at times and often technology wasn’t on my side. There was an increased workload which came from dealing with furlough adjustments, as well as having to do forecasting calculations for staff members wanting to know what their next pay day would look like.”

The biggest challenge Lorraine has faced in her role at St Barnabas was bringing the payroll system into the modern world when she first started the job.

Lorraine said, “There was some tidying up that needed doing and it was a huge job to make everything paperless. It took a whole year to tidy up payroll reconciliation, timesheets are now all electronic and I managed to fast track this work to get rid of paper when the coronavirus hit. It’s great to know we are doing our bit for the environment.”

Natalie Golledge, Head of Finance at St Barnabas added, “Lorraine has made a huge impact on St Barnabas, helping reduce the workload for other team members who were required to do additional checks and reconciliations in the past. She delivers presentations at staff inductions – something which she volunteered to take on for the good of the wider organisation.

“During lockdown, Lorraine volunteered to collect all the post from our closed Day Therapy Centre to ensure the Finance department could keep on top of processing. She plans her holidays around her very tight deadlines and is such an asset to have on the team. We are all very proud of the work she has done and continues to do.”

Lorraine said, “I have so many lovely memories from my time working at St Barnabas. There is always laughter in the office, and I love seeing the achievements of my team and of colleagues across the organisation. I am inspired by the diverse personalities at St Barnabas and have developed both personally and professionally because of my colleagues. Being a part of the St Barnabas experience is such a reward for the work I do, and I always try to support the Hospice outside of work where I can.

“Three generations of my family attended the fabulous Karen Millen event hosted by our Retail team and we always used to love the It’s A Knockout event. I play the Hospice Lottery and am always popping into my local charity shop too. Even my local pub supports the Hospice!”

We want to say a huge thank you to Lorraine for her incredibly hard work over the past three years. She is a wonderful lady and we are proud to have her in the St Barnabas team.

#PraiseForPayroll #HaysWallOfPraise

‘DRIVE-THRU’ Donations in Lincoln

Had a clear out while you’ve been stuck at home? Have you got piles of lockdown loot that could be donated to charity? Then St Barnabas Hospice wants your generosity as it opens its first appointment-only ‘Book and Bring’ donation drive-thru event starting on Monday 29th June.

Those who want to drop off their clothes, books, music, entertainment and anything else they’ve uncovered in the last few months are invited to use an online booking system to secure their time for drop-off at the charity’s Central Warehouse at 12 Cardinal Close, Lincoln, LN2 4SY.

St Barnabas’ Head of Retail, Caroline Peach, said:

“We’re really excited to be able to get our shops open again in the coming weeks, so really want to make sure we hit the ground running with some fabulous donations from our ever-reliable supporters. We have already had a fantastic reaction, so have decided to run the service until at least July 10th.

“If you’ve had a good tidy over the past few months while we’ve all been in lockdown, then this is the perfect opportunity to clear out those closets and help us make up some of the shortfalls we’ve been experiencing as our retail outlets across the county have been closed.”

Once booked on with a drop-off time, supporters are asked to join a specially-created one-way system that ensures donations can be dropped off and collected safely, all while social distancing guidelines are being met.

Caroline continued:

“We’re anticipating a lot of donations and our booking system is already busy with people getting slots. We’d ask that people donating limit themselves to just six bags of clothing, bedding or toys and four boxes of books or homewares. We’re also limiting households to one booking per week, so please be mindful of this when you book! This will mean our teams of volunteers can sort, process and have our stores fully-stocked when we do open. To help with the safety of the event please do not come if you haven’t got a booked slot, as you may be turned away to avoid long queues.”

How to book…

St Barnabas has 26 shops across the region, since 2012, the hospice has sold around 750,000 items with a turnover of more than £16,000,000 for its essential end of life care and associated services.

Two awards at the East Midlands Charity Awards

Following several awards wins last year, we won not one, but two more titles at the East Midlands Charity Awards, namely ‘Best Social and Digital Media’ and the ‘Outstanding Charity Support by Large Companies’ award which has been won in association with our corporate partner, HomeLet

We also made a mark in the overall ‘East Midlands Charity of the Year’ award, coming away with a ‘Highly Commended’ trophy.

“We were over the moon on Thursday evening, our Forget-Me-Not campaign was an amazing one that really struck a chord with our supporters and our social media made people aware of that,” said Head of Income Generation and People at St Barnabas, Michele Duggan. We’re so proud of the Marketing and Fundraising teams for thinking creatively and running such a widely-shared campaign.

“The campaign has been one of our most successful as it raised more than £104,000 and was beautifully-displayed at Lincoln Castle. It is also something that has inspired and shaped our current Dragonflies campaign and the idea of remembering a loved one forever with a keepsake. We are also so pleased to share an award with our valued partners HomeLet, as they are incredibly supportive and it’s great to have that recognised. Credit must go to our staff and volunteers who work tirelessly to provide what we know is an absolutely essential service for those families who need our support the most during what can be very difficult times.”

The awards were handed out in a virtual ceremony due to coronavirus but are set to return in full form next year.


International Nurses Day – Our Specialist Nurse Practitioners

We have three fantastic Specialist Nurse Practitioners working for St Barnabas Hospice, and we wanted to highlight their incredible skill and knowledge on International Nurses Day.

Our Specialist Nurse Practitioners (SNPs) are Ryan Jewitt, Mary Hall and Majella Wright. Majella has put some words together to describe how their role impacts the care we provide each and every day.

Majella said:

“Before joining St Barnabas, my previous roles have been Clinical Nurse Specialist in Lung Cancer at The Royal Marsden Hospital Surrey, Clinical Researcher for the Institute of Cancer Research and a Palliative Care Macmillan Nurse in North Yorkshire. These roles equipped me with skills necessary for an Associate Specialist Nurse Practitioner and I have extensive knowledge and expertise in complex cancer care management, specialist practice, life-limiting illness and end-of-life care.

“As SNPs, our role is to be key accessible figures within the Clincal team at St Barnabas. We act as a specialist resource for GPs, community teams, community hospitals, nursing homes and St Barnabas staff. We often initiate advance care planning discussions and facilitate difficult conversations with patients and their families. This enables an individual to have choices as they approach the end of their life. We also support care home staff to have advance care planning conversations with their residents. This is important as we recognise that the staff have established relationships with residents and their families.

“We are all excellent listeners and strong communicators when dealing with people. It is integral that we have a mature, compassionate and sensitive manner. We are clinical supervisors, therefore must ensure that staff have a confidential, safe and supportive environment to discuss emotive issues that arise from caring for people and their families at the end of their life.

“Many of our patients have complex and challenging care needs. Developing a rapport and coordinating care is an essential part of our roles.

“Ultimately, we all die. We have one chance to get it right and our focus is always on the patient and their carer. I believe health care professionals should be enabling people to live well until death. How we get there is engaging with people, asking appropriate questions and having appropriate meaningful and truthful conversations. A Specialist Nurse Practitioner should be at the front line to engage with patients, their carers and other staff to achieve these goals.”


International Nurses Day – Our Admiral Nurses

International Nurses Day provides us with an excellent opportunity to raise awareness of the role of our Admiral Nurses here in Lincolnshire.

We have a team of six specialist dementia nurses who work alongside the families of people living with dementia. This project began in June 2019 and we have received just under 500 referrals since then, with each referral being a person living with dementia and one or more family members acting as carers.

The clinical knowledge and skill set of our Admiral Nurses allows them to provide one-to-one support to prevent crisis and build carers resilience. This is done by providing support for today and making the future a little less uncertain. Carers often fail to recognise themselves as such and so many do not access the help they so desperately need. Receiving a diagnosis of dementia, displaying symptoms of distress, an unnecessary hospital admission can all have a devastating effect and impact upon the quality of life of the carer and the person living with dementia. This is where Admiral Nurses can help, by providing people with the necessary ‘know how’, offering practical advice or quite simply ‘being there’ for them.  It is not uncommon for people to say to our Admiral Nurses that they have been the only ones to truly listen or to understand their story.

The work our Admiral Nurses do can be more complex as they advocate for families, help to prevent carer breakdown, support decisions around end-of-life care and transitions into care. They aim to make a lasting difference to each and every patient, family member and carer.

Every situation is unique and people’s experience varies, which is why the work of the Admiral Nurse changes day to day.

Our Admiral Nursing team has first-class support from Dementia UK, who take the lead in systematically developing the nurses using a competency framework. Lincolnshire County Council have also been key funders of the project as part of their Carer’s Strategy.

Tom Rose, Admiral Nurse Clinical Lead, said:

“The opportunity to work in a truly holistic manner, balancing people’s needs and working alongside people reaps its own rewards. We share the feeling that the work we do utilises our skills and strengths as nurses and as people.

“Many people value the importance of being surrounded by like-minded people at work. Nurses are no different and therefore we are extremely fortunate to sit within the multi-professional team at St Barnabas. Not only have we been able to contribute to the valuable work of the Hospice, but they have also developed our own understanding and skills in supporting those living with dementia. In recognition of all nurses around the world well done and thank you.”

We aim to keep spreading the word about the work our Admiral Nurses do and to make sure everyone who needs support from an Admiral Nurse has the opportunity.


Year of the Nurse – Anita Willoughby

At St Barnabas, we are celebrating #YearOfTheNurse by highlighting some of our wonderful nursing staff working across Lincolnshire. Anita Willoughby has worked her for six years. She works in our Community Services team, supporting both Hospice and Home and Day Therapy in Lincoln.

Anita said, “St Barnabas is a caring organisation to work for where we are more than just a payroll number. My team is just like a family – slightly mad but very caring and conscientious.

“I was inspired to join St Barnabas as I wanted to focus on palliative care and have more time to spend with patients. The holistic care provided by the Hospice really resonated with me.

“My favourite moments at St Barnabas is being able to share the skills and knowledge we have as a team and watching newly qualified and student nurses bloom within the team.

“Something that stands out to me was when we helped a patient to attend his granddaughter’s wedding before he died. I’ll never forget this.”

Thank you so much to Anita for her dedication to St Barnabas over the years, and the compassionate way she cares for our patients.


Lincolnshire Bereavement Helpline is opened in response to the coronavirus pandemic

St Barnabas Bereavement Counsellors have opened a special helpline for those isolating and dealing with the death of a loved one.

Today, St Barnabas Hospice has announced the launch of a special helpline in response to the coronavirus pandemic. As thousands of people in Lincolnshire are isolated, dealing with the death of a loved one alone can affect the way we normally grieve, St Barnabas will offer a listening ear and basic advice to anyone who feels unable to cope or who needs to seek support.

This new bereavement helpline will be open Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm, as well as Monday and Wednesday evenings until 8pm. Counsellors will provide a listening ear as well as hints and tips on how to stay calm or manage anxiety, and how to pay respects to a loved one when a funeral cannot take place in the usual way.

The helpline will support people who are grieving from a death of any cause, not just the coronavirus. People do not need to have used the St Barnabas services before to access this helpline.

Tracy Tuffs, Counselling Service Team Lead at St Barnabas Hospice, said:

“These are uncertain times and we understand that people will be feeling more emotional and alone than normal. Our aim with this service is to use our expertise to support people when they need it the most but also understanding that they may be grieving in a different way because of the current situation.

“The calls will be taken by over 25 volunteers, most are trained counsellors or bereavement volunteers who would usually be working in the community holding group sessions. As these have stopped, we were keen to use their expertise to continue being able to support our community.

“Although this helpline will offer that initial response, if someone needs additional, more regular care, we will be able to refer them to the relevant service.”

The Hospice recently put an appeal out for volunteers to help man the phoneline and were overwhelmed by the response.

Tracy said:

“I took an incredible amount of phone calls from trained counsellors and other people wanting to support this helpline, including a lady in Wales and one from Yorkshire! It is fantastic that so many people want to support the Lincolnshire community in the best way they can, and we are very grateful to each and every one of the volunteers who have come forward to help.”

This helpline is accessible only to the people of Lincolnshire due to capacity, and support can be accessed by dialling 0300 303 1897.

For any questions about the service, please email tracy.tuffs@stbarnabashospice.co.uk


Inside St Barnabas: Issue 2

At the point of printing our second issue of Inside St Barnabas our plans had to dramatically change, due to the Coronavirus. But it still includes vital information to share with you, including our supporter stories and amazing contributions from the community.

This worldwide crisis does leave us, Lincolnshire’s Hospice with a huge gap to fill circa £1,000,000 from across Fundraising, our retail shops and weekly lottery. We already have to fundraise £6 million each year to care for over 10,500 people. We know that this unforeseeable situation will force us to change and sometimes restrict our care in the community, but we do not want this to be because of funding.

We appreciate this is very worrying time for everyone across the UK, but if you believe in our mission then you can still support us. We will be thinking creatively in order to recoup these funds, so join us on our website and social media pages to stay updated with ‘virtual’ care and wellbeing information and fundraising sessions to keep you energised and busy.

Here are a few ideas to get involved;
• Dedicate a Dragonfly in memory of a loved one.
• Purchase a bottle of Est.1982 Bramble, of which all profits will go to the Hospice.
• Sort through clothes to donate to our shops at a later date
• Get involved in our ‘Virtual’ ideas – not just for the fundraising but for some light hearted social engagement from a distance. Your wellbeing is paramount to getting through this.
• Sign up for our Colour Dash 2021
• Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – stay up to date with what we are doing and how we can support you and your loved ones.
• Using Amazon Smile, and tick St Barnabas Hospice as your chosen Charity

Please stay safe and look after yourself and your loved ones.


St Barnabas could lose £1,000,000 over the next three months due to coronavirus impact

St Barnabas Hospice has launched an urgent appeal for funds as they continue to care for some of society’s most vulnerable during the coronavirus outbreak.

Lincolnshire charity, St Barnabas Hospice, continues to care for those living with life-limiting or terminal illnesses during the coronavirus outbreak. They have today announced that they could lose £1,000,000 over the next three months, which is the equivalent of 20 weeks of care within their specialist Inpatient Unit on Nettleham Road, Lincoln.

Since the outbreak began, the Hospice has seen a huge drop in fundraising income that pays for most of their care. Their charity shops are temporarily closed, and many fundraising activities and events have been cancelled for the foreseeable future.

Chris Wheway, Chief Executive of St Barnabas Hospice, said:

“We want to reassure the public that we are still here, caring in the community. Our Clinical team is as dedicated as ever to continue delivering our outstanding care and support to those who need us. Our nurses, doctors and healthcare staff are working on the frontline to deliver round-the-clock care through this pandemic, much like their NHS colleagues.

“Over the coming months, we know we will be asked to care for many more vulnerable people facing the end of their lives We are also preparing to support our NHS partners as the pressure mounts over the coming weeks.

“Our staff have adapted enormously, with the majority of non-clinical staff working from home. Our Nursing teams have changed their working patterns to ensure we can keep as many of our beds open as possible and our Community teams are adapting hourly to patient and family requests to deliver the best care possible for patients at home. The Wellbeing and Bereavement Support Services we offer are continuing through telephone or video call to ensure no one is alone in these challenging times. We couldn’t ask for more and I am extremely proud of my colleagues for their flexibility through this.

“People in our local communities must do all that is needed to look after themselves and their loved ones. The safety and security of their families comes first, always. My request to the public is simply that if they support the goals we share for local people, and can spare the money, please make a donation today.

“In these uncertain times, small acts of kindness can make a huge difference.”

The easiest way to make a donation is by visiting www.stbarnabashospice.co.uk/crisis. The Hospice is also accepting gifts through the post, but there might be a slight delay in the processing time for these. If you choose to send a gift via post, please include a short note with your name and contact details and post the cheque to St Barnabas Hospice, Crisis Appeal, Fundraising Office, Cardinal Close, Lincoln, LN2 4SY.