Hospice dog brings comfort to patients in Lincoln and Gainsborough

St Barnabas Hospice Canine Concern dog has supported patients and families for over three years

Since 2015, Jess the Canine Concern dog has been a regular face at the St Barnabas Day Therapy Centre in Gainsborough, as well as the Inpatient Unit in Lincoln. She has supported many patients and their families during what is one of the most difficult times in their lives, and provides comfort to those who need it the most.

Pat, Jess’s owner, who is also a Hospice Chaplain and volunteer at the Gainsborough Day Therapy Centre, said:

“Because our patients are all experiencing life-limiting or terminal illnesses, this sometimes means that their current situation has meant they can no longer look after their own dog. Therefore when they meet Jess, it can often bring them some comfort and gives them an outlet.

“We also find that Jess gives patients the opportunity to talk about something outside of their diagnosis, which can be very difficult at times. She brings a touch of normality to our service, which we find increases the therapeutic value of our treatments immensely.”

Jess was born in Cyprus around thirteen years ago, before a rescue charity brought her over to England. Her breed is unknown, but she is thought to have some spaniel and pomeranian in her. Her temperament is very laid back, although she is very intuitive and is able to pick up on people’s body language well. Many patients have commented on how calming her presence is.

Pat said:

“Jess has helped so many patients and families and I will always remember how she helped a particular patient in our Lincoln Inpatient Unit. The patient had moved to England from South Africa three years before she was diagnosed with a terminal illness and was really missing her dog, which was still in South Africa.

“Knowing this, I took Jess to see the patient, who immediately appeared more at ease. In the following days, the patient who was no longer able to talk much spoke to the nurses at length about Jess’s visit and it occupied much of her conversation in the week leading up to her death.

“Jess has also helped a patient who had become unresponsive. She put her paws on the frame of the patient’s bed and within a few minutes it became apparent that the patient was aware of Jess. The patient reached out to stroke her, saying the word “soft,” which was the first word she had spoken in some time.”

Jess is part of the furniture at the Gainsborough Day Therapy Centre, and is adored by all who meet her. She is often the first port of call for patients when they enter the building, as she is able to put them at ease before they meet with a Nurse for their treatment. Many people are able to open-up and feel more comfortable with their surroundings with the support of Jess.

To find out more about the palliative services which St Barnabas Hospice provides free of charge across Lincolnshire, visit www.stbarnabashospice.co.uk

Couple run 50 miles in memory of treasured mum

A couple have taken on the Westcountry Ultra Flat 50 Miler and raised £3,700 for St Barnabas Hospice

Zoe Francis (38), along with her partner, Russell Broster (35), have successfully completely the Westcountry Ultra Flat 50 Miler in memory of Zoe’s mum, Brenda Francis. They have raised an amazing £3,700 for St Barnabas Hospice.

Zoe’s mum, Brenda, was diagnosed with anal canal cancer and lymph nodes secondary, and sadly died on 16th December 2016 following a seven-week stay at the St Barnabas Inpatient Unit in Lincoln.

Brenda was diagnosed with the cancer shortly after the family returned from a surprise family cruise around the Caribbean to celebrate her 70th birthday in 2015.

Zoe said:

“Mum fought the cancer initially with fierce determination. She went through rounds of invasive radiotherapy and chemotherapy, sadly with neither treatment showing any sign of improvement.

“When we found out the cancer was terminal, Mum tried to carry on as normal. In time, the side effects of the cancer began to restrict her daily activities and we had no choice but to admit her to St Barnabas Hospice.

“I couldn’t wish what Mum went through on anyone, but in that awful situation we found ourselves in, St Barnabas Hospice was the best place she could have been.

“The whole team were amazing. They went over and above anything we could have imagined to make Mum as welcome and comfortable as possible through those last seven weeks. As well as being there for Mum 24/7, they comforted and supported my siblings and I on many occasion, and nothing was ever too much to ask.”

This was the couple’s first fundraising activity for St Barnabas Hospice, and the money they raised was increased by a generous donation of £1,000 from DPD, Russell’s place of work. To add to their sponsorship amount, please visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/zoe-and-russ

Zoe said:

“We are so happy to be giving something back to St Barnabas for all that they did for our family. The charity wouldn’t be able to run and do such amazing things for families like ours without financial support.

“Mum was always so full of life, and her diagnosis made us so close as a family. She would be so proud for what we have done in her memory. She is truly one in a million.”

Zoe’ brother, Mark, has also taken on an ‘Ultra’ run for St Barnabas. Mark completed the 52 mile Race to the Tower last month. Jobi, Zoe’s nephew, added to the fundraising pot by completing the Three Peaks Challenge. In total, the family have raised around £5,000 for St Barnabas Hospice.

If you would like to take on a challenging event in support of St Barnabas Hospice, please contact Mike Pastor at mike.pastor@stbarnabashospice.co.uk or call 01522 540 300.

Grantham father beats trained cage fighter in charity boxing match

A 45-year-old Grantham father has taken on a trained cage fighter in support of St Barnabas and won

Steve Atkin, a 45-year-old father and construction worker from Grantham, has recently taken part in a charity boxing match to raise money for St Barnabas Hospice. Steve did this in memory of his dad, Terry Atkin.

Boxing novice, Steve, had originally been paired with a 42-year-old of similar ability. Three hours before his match was due to start, he was given notice of a change of opponent. Steve’s new opponent was a 32-year-old cage fighter with 37 wins out of 47 fights under his belt!

After a tough three-round match, Steve won convincingly on points.

Steve, who works for Daniel Charles Construction, said:

“My dad was everything to me. I worked with him on building sites and he taught me everything I know. He was my best mate as well as a dad, and a true hero.

“I had been training with Russ Brown at Browny’s Boxing Gym to keep fit but had no previous experience of a boxing match, so my wife suggested I take on this challenge to raise money for St Barnabas.

“The care Dad received from St Barnabas Hospice was excellent, and I can’t thank them enough.”

Steve has previously fundraised in memory of a friend by taking on a 10k race and the Tough Mudder, and is excited to continue fundraising in the future.

Mike Pastor, Challenge Events Fundraiser at St Barnabas Hospice, said:

“We are so proud of what Steve has achieved in memory of his dad, and his story just goes to show the huge lengths people will go to in memory of their loved ones.

“I would encourage more people to step out of their comfort zone like Steve has, and take on a challenge in support of St Barnabas Hospice.”

If you would like to take on a challenging event in support of St Barnabas Hospice, please contact Mike Pastor at mike.pastor@stbarnabashospice.co.uk or call 01522 540 300.

Grantham Bubble Rush raises almost £25,000 for local Hospice

Almost £25,000 has been raised at the successful Bubble Rush hosted by St Barnabas Hospice on Sunday 8th July

On Sunday 8th July, around 550 people came together to run the 5k Bubble Rush at Stoke Rochford Hall in support of St Barnabas Hospice. These inspiring runners have collectively raised almost £25,000 for the Hospice.

People young and old joined forces at Stoke Rochford Hall, with the youngest participant being just a toddler and the oldest participant being 79-years-old!

The Bubble Rush is a 5km route around Stoke Rochford Hall, with bubble cannons pumping out brightly coloured foam at each kilometre. Although the weather was hot, it didn’t stop the first runner back completing the course in less than 30 minutes!

79-year-old Helen Smith from Croxton Kerrial near Grantham completed the Bubble Rush in less than two hours, with the help of a walking frame. Helen was taking part in memory of her husband, John, who sadly died a couple of years ago in the St Barnabas Hospice in the Hospital from metastatic cancer of the lung. Prior to his fifteen days spent in the Hospice, he received Hospice at Home care from St Barnabas, as well as attending Day Therapy sessions in Grantham.

Before setting off, Helen said:

“I read a story about a five-year-old who took part in last year’s St Barnabas Bubble Rush, and she really inspired me. If she can do it, then why can’t I?

“I have been very unwell myself and cannot walk without the use of sticks, so I see this as a goal to help get my life back to normal.

“John will definitely be looking down on me and chuckling the whole way round, but I know he’d be very proud.”

Amelia Mochan, Events Fundraiser at St Barnabas Hospice, said:

“It was such an emotional moment when Helen crossed the finish line, and the spectators had all gathered to cheer in her amazing effort. I couldn’t be prouder of the lengths our supporters go to when fundraising for our Hospice.

“The money raised from the Bubble Rush is crucial in helping St Barnabas deliver care and support across Lincolnshire. With it, we can care for more patients living with a life-limiting or terminal illness, and their families and carers.”

“A lot of our mass participation events involve a level of activeness – whether that be running, walking or climbing over inflatables!

To get in touch with the Events team about this event or future events, call 01522 540 300 or email fundraising@stbarnabashospice.co.uk. You can see a full list of the Hospice events at www.stbarnabashospice.co.uk/events

New date set for Grantham Ladies Lunch

A new date has been set for the St Barnabas Grantham Ladies Lunch, featuring a special talk and free beauty treatments

At this year’s St Barnabas Ladies Lunch in Grantham, the Hospice is delighted to welcome Enhance Beauty to do a 20 minute talk, offer free treatments and donate £300 worth of prizes to the luxury raffle!

Enhance Beauty will be the headline sponsor for this event held at Belton Woods Hotel on Friday 19th October from 11.30am, and are doing a lucky dip to offer those in attendance a free mini treatment. They will be giving £300 worth of prizes to the raffle, which include CACI anti-ageing treatments, massage and shellac nail varnish.

Also included in the luxury raffle is a spa day at Belton Woods Hotel, a photoshoot with Instinctive Photography and a mini-break from Janet Sprigg at Your Holiday Booking.

Lorna Worsley, Owner of Enhance Beauty, said:

“The Hospice touches so many of our clients’ lives, so it is an obvious choice to lend our support. It is great to be able to support such a giving organisation.

“We know a lot is self-funded, so it’s important for us to remain focussed on doing all we can to retain this important local service.”

Also in attendance at this popular Grantham event will be guest speaker, Judith Holder. Judith will entertain guests with her talk, ‘Grey Pride,’ so expect lots of laughter.

Amelia Mochan, Event Fundraiser for St Barnabas, said:

“We are delighted that Enhance Beauty will be joining us for this year’s Ladies Lunch, and can’t wait to treat our guests to a bit of pampering.

“Whether you bring your mum, grandma, sister or friends, you’re guaranteed to have a fun-filled girly afternoon of relaxation, whilst raising money for your local Hospice.”

As well as guest speakers and headline sponsors, there will also be several stalls on the day. Guests are welcome to browse an array of jewellery, handbags, crafts and gifts and indulge in some retail therapy.

Tickets cost £26 per person, and include a two-course meal and complimentary tea and coffee. To buy your tickets, visit www.stbarnabashospice.co.uk/granthamlunch18.

For more information about the Ladies Lunch Grantham, call Amelia Mochan on 01522 540 300, or email amelia.mochan@stbarnabashospice.co.uk.

Hospice brings brand new menu and Wi-Fi access to Spalding cafe

St Barnabas Hospice has introduced a range of improvements to their Spalding café in the Market Place

Following a feedback gathering exercise from members of the public, St Barnabas Hospice are delighted to launch a range of changes and updates to their first ever café. The café is based in their Spalding charity shop in the Market Place.

Customers will receive the same quality of food and service, but at a lower price. The Hospice is also delighted to announce plans for selling reusable cups in the near future. More information on these will be released in due course.

As well as modifying the menu, St Barnabas has added Wi-Fi to the café. Not only will customers be able to sign in to this free of charge, but it also opens up more opportunities for the people of Spalding. The Hospice are now taking bookings for groups wanting to meet in an informal space, and also welcome in locals to have a drink whilst doing some work on their laptops.

From Friday 6th to Saturday 14th July, St Barnabas is running an exciting offer to those visiting their shop and café. Between these dates, anyone who spends £5 in the Spalding shop will get a free drink in the café.

Caroline Peach, Retail Manager at St Barnabas Hospice, said:

“We are grateful to everyone who has provided us with feedback, and are excited to see the new changes rolled out over the next few weeks.

“In particular, we are focusing on becoming more environmentally friendly. As well as looking at selling reusable cups, we are also encouraging members of the public to bring their own in. Anyone who does will receive a 25p discount on the price of their drink. We also have ensured that our drinking straws aren’t made from plastic.”

The café has a loyalty card scheme, where regular customers can buy nine hot drinks and get their tenth free. To get hold of one of these cards, ask at the till in the café.

All of the coffees sold by the St Barnabas café are made using a special blend created in partnership with Stokes Coffee. The blend, called Blend 35, was created as part of the Hospice’s 35th birthday year in 2017. It is described as a combination of Brazilian, Colombian, Peruvian and Indian cherry beans, show roasted to give a well-rounded, smooth flavour with a fruity kick. The beans used in the blend are certified by the Rainforest Alliance and the Fairtrade Foundation.

Customers can also purchase Blend 35 in bags from any of the 26 St Barnabas charity shops across Lincolnshire, at £4.99 per bag. It is available in both ground and bean format.

For further information about the Spalding shop and café, contact Caroline Peach on 01522 559 517 or email caroline.peach@stbarnabashospice.co.uk

Hospice in need of Wellbeing volunteers to support patients in Lincolnshire

St Barnabas Hospice is holding a wellbeing volunteer recruitment open evening at the Inpatient Unit on Nettleham Road Lincoln

 St Barnabas Lincolnshire Hospice is on a recruitment drive to fill volunteer wellbeing posts at the Inpatient Unit.

The charity has the support of over 1,000 volunteers across the county and is looking to grow the support of specific wellbeing volunteers to help patients, their families and carers.

At the Inpatient Unit the wellbeing volunteers, alongside professionals offer the patients and their loved ones, complementary therapies such as Reiki, hand massage, and spiritual and pastoral care.

The volunteers also lend a listening ear whenever it is needed and champion the St Barnabas Hospice vision of a world with dignified and compassion end-of-life care.

The volunteer recruitment open evening will take place on Wednesday 27th June 5 – 7.30 pm at St Barnabas Inpatient Unit, 36 Nettleham Road, Lincoln, LN2 1RE.

Mandy Irons, Head of Wellbeing Services for St Barnabas Hospice said:

“We are recruiting wellbeing volunteers to support the staff, patients, their families at carers at our Inpatient Unit in Lincoln. This is an opportunity to make a difference to patients in the IPU and their families by providing a range of wellbeing support.

“It is an exciting opportunity to join a local charity and really make a difference to the patients, and their loved ones in the Inpatient Unit by providing a range of wellbeing support.  The volunteers will be an integral part of the ward team and work closely with the staff.

“We are looking for anyone who has experience providing complementary therapies, counselling, a background in spiritual or pastoral care, art therapists, social workers, occupational therapists, health and social care or physiotherapists. More than that we are looking for people that are good listeners, as sometimes just having someone to speak to is all the therapy our patients need.”

In return for a couple of hours of volunteered time each week between 5 -7pm, St Barnabas Hospice will offer support, a core training programme and help the individuals develop their skillset.

If you or someone you know would be interested in becoming a wellbeing support volunteer for St Barnabas Hospice contact the wellbeing team on 01522 518 225 or turn up on the evening.

Lincolnshire community encouraged to talk about death during national Dying Matters week

St Barnabas Hospice staff are preparing to talk with local people about death, dying and bereavement as part of a national campaign week

St Barnabas Lincolnshire Hospice will be encouraging the local community to raise awareness of the importance of talking about dying and how to best prepare.

There are events across the county, including the infamous Death Café which will be held at Angel Café, Free School Lane, LN2 1EY on Sunday 20th May 4 – 6pm.

Members of staff from St Barnabas have once again teamed up with the Waterside Shopping Centre in Lincoln, LN2 1AP. From 14th – 20th May, those visiting the centre will be offered the chance to answer three emotive questions about their lives. It not only offers the opportunity to discuss end-of-life and gain more awareness of talking about dying.

The awareness week continues across the county on Monday 14th May with a Nurse-led coffee morning at Grantham Day Therapy, Barrowby Road, NG31 8AF, from 10am – 12 noon. On Tuesday 15th May St Barnabas Hospice will be at the Burgh Le Marsh friendship group at Windmill Café, Skegness, PE24 5JT, from 10.30am – 12 noon.

Lisa Gibson, Community Development Officer for St Barnabas Hospice, said:

“Over half a million people die in the UK each year; yet talking about dying, death and bereavement is something that many people find challenging. We are hoping that the boards will get people talking and start conversations around dying, death and bereavement.

“Death will have an impact on everyone’s lives at some point and talking about it means we are better prepared to support each other when it does happen. People may think it sounds morbid but the boards and the coffin project are as much about life as they are death.

“It is about encouraging people to make the most of the time they have and to put plans in place so that they can get on with living.”

The community coffin project will return for 2018 as part of a wider initiative to promote Dying Matters Awareness Week, which runs from 14th – 20th May. The annual campaign urges people to talk more openly and make plans for the end of life.

LILP launches ‘Overcoming Loneliness’ art competition

Lincs Independent Living Partnership (LILP) has launched an art competition on the theme ‘Overcoming Loneliness’ to help bring this key issue to the fore.

Residents of Lincolnshire aged 18 and over, who have a passion for photography, drawing or painting, are asked to submit entries on the theme by 1st June 2018. People of all abilities are encouraged to participate.

Winning entries will be included in a LILP calendar 2019, circulated throughout the community. The top three entries will be showcased in the LILP marquee at the Lincolnshire Show 2018 (8th Avenue, Stand 11), where members of the public will be asked to vote for an overall winner.

LILP is a consortium of five local charitable organisations – Age UK Lincoln & Kesteven, LACE Housing, LHP, Lincolnshire Home Independence Agency, and St Barnabas Lincolnshire Hospice – bound by a common mission to enhance the health, safety and wellbeing of vulnerable local people and promote independent living.

Nick Chambers, CEO of LACE Housing and Chair of LILP’s Joint Steering Board, comments:

“Loneliness is a real problem for people living in the often sparsely-populated and rural communities of Lincolnshire and its impact on health and wellbeing is well documented. The art competition is one of the ways my fellow LILP colleagues and I hope to spark reflection and dialogue on the issue. At the same time, we’re keen to celebrate Lincolnshire’s photographic and artistic talent, and very much look forward to receiving entries!”

If you would like to participate, or you if you know someone or a community group who might be interested, further information, downloadable competition entry forms and rules are available at www.lilp.org.uk

New members encouraged to join St Barnabas bereavement group

A Lincoln-based drop-in group for people who have been bereaved is inviting new members to join their weekly social gatherings in the north of the city

The group, called New Beginnings, meets every Tuesday afternoon from 1pm to 3pm, at Our Lady of Lincoln Church on Laughton Way, Lincoln. These meetings offer people the chance to socialise and support each other following a bereavement, regardless of how long ago they were bereaved.

Anyone can attend this group if they have been bereaved – whether they have a connection with St Barnabas or not. Many rely on this group to provide them with continued support and the chance to socialise and go out for meals with other people.

Most importantly for some members, Laughton Way is on a main bus route in Lincoln, and the group meets in daylight hours. This means that people without transport are also able to drop-in to the weekly meetings easily.

Stuart Pearson, aged 65, joined the group over two years ago after his wife died in 2013 from cervical cancer. Stuart said:

“This group has been absolutely fantastic for me; it has been such a support over the years. It makes a huge difference because when you lose your partner, you suddenly find you’re on your own.

“I urge anybody who is considering coming along to take the plunge and join us.”

The group regularly raises an amazing amount of money for St Barnabas Hospice, and their overall fundraising total is over £9,000 since they were formed seven years ago.

The group is run by volunteer, Brenda Page, whose husband died at the Hospice in 2009, following a two year battle with Leukaemia. Brenda said:

“This group is so important, as some people can’t talk to counsellors in the same way as they feel they can talk to us. We just want people to see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

“Our groups are full of fun and laughter, and we all agree that we have made friends for life by attending each week.

“Although we discuss bereavement and support each other with it, we also have tea and biscuits, play games, run quizzes and take part in a raffle! All we ask is that each person brings £2 and a small raffle prize each week to keep this going.

“Raising money for St Barnabas is our way of giving back to a charity which has helped many of our members and their loved ones. My advice would be that if you’re struggling by yourself, give us a call or drop-in to one of our sessions and see what you think!”

For further details about joining this group, please contact Brenda Page on 01522 883 941.