Fraser’s Story

One of our fantastic supporters, Fraser Oliver, who is taking on a triathlon for us, was in the top 3% of fundraisers on the whole of JustGiving for the month of May 2019! Congratulations to Fraser on this amazing achievement.

Here is Fraser’s story:

“As many of you that are reading this may know, last year I lost my father. A heart shattering event, that I never expected to deal with in my 20’s. He was a fit and healthy 54 year old, whom I cherished as a best mate and spent much of my spare time going on holidays and adventures with.

He fought a short, stoic battle with an extremely rare and aggressive cancer. So short in fact, that we had very little opportunity to get anything in place or planned for when the unimaginable happened. Fortunately for us, the incredible St Barnabas Hospice exists.

On the 30th of June 2018, he suddenly deteriorated and we were informed that he had hours to live. Knowing he would have hated to pass away in the chaos of A&E. The inspiring staff at St Barnabas went out of their way to accept him and offer all of us the peace and space we needed to let him graciously leave us.

For this, my family and I will be forever grateful and want to do anything we can to give something back. Starting with a little triathlon.

Anything you can give will be greatly received by the organisation and the people and families that they will support now and in the future.”

We’d like to say a huge thank you to Fraser! Support his triathlon on JustGiving here and help him reach his fundraising goal for St Barnabas:

“The nurses spoke to, rather than at or about, Mum and they cared for her as if she was a member of their own family.”

Melanie Taylor, owner of a HR Consultancy business, has chosen to share her experience of the care that her Mum, Maureen Dennis, received from St Barnabas Hospice.

Maureen was diagnosed with lung cancer in November 2017 and sadly died at home on 3rd February 2018, age 82. Melanie said:

“Mum and Dad were both really upbeat about Mum’s diagnosis, saying that there was a lot of support available.

“Mum had opted not to have treatment for her cancer as she had seen friends undergo treatment which had significantly impacted on their quality of life. She wanted to carry on as normal and receive palliative care to ensure that she wasn’t in pain. This brave decision allowed us to have more quality time together without the focus of hospital visits and treatment regimes.”

After Maureen’s decision not to have treatment, she was referred to St Barnabas Hospice to discuss the support they could provide. Melanie said:

“Mum wanted to die in her own home, so my sisters and I supported my dad to care for her there. In the last few weeks of her life, the Hospice at Home team visited regularly to support us as a family. They helped with personal care, allowing Mum more dignity than having to be washed by her children or husband, and this allowed us to revert back to being family, rather than carers.

“The care received from St Barnabas was fantastic. The Hospice at Home nurses were always cheerful and respectful. They spoke to, rather than at or about, Mum and they cared for her as if she was a member of their own family. They read the mood of the house and then supported us accordingly – whether that was to have a bit of a laugh or to console us during a tearful moment.”

Two weeks before Maureen died, she celebrated her 82nd birthday with a traditional party tea like the ones she used to make for Melanie and her sisters when they were children. Maureen’s brother also came to visit and they were able to spend quality time together as a family. Melanie said:

“I remember one of the nurses asking us to make sure we’d left Mum’s perfume out so that they could put some on after she’d been washed. Their level of compassion, going beyond the basics, really touched our family.

“It would be easy to think that caring for someone at the end of their life is morbid or difficult. Whilst I’d be lying if I said we didn’t have tough moments, I also remember lots of happy times when we were able to spent time with Mum.

“Because we were at home, Mum was surrounded by everything familiar, even down to photo albums that we could get out and look through with her. It was a sad time, but also a very special time.”

St Barnabas Hospice provides free care to people across Lincolnshire living with a life-limiting or terminal illness and their families and carers. To find out more about the different ways we can help, visit

Lincs FM presenter set to run Colour Dash after care his ex-partner is receiving

John Marshall; Lincs FM presenter, along with his daughter Eleanor will be running the Inflatable Colour Dash, as John and his family are experiencing the St Barnabas Hospice care first hand.

John has been supporting Angela, his ex-partner and Eleanor’s mother with her cancer diagnosis since 2016. Angela is currently in the care of St Barnabas Hospice.

John explains;

“Angela is many things; 48, my ex-girlfriend, an amazing mother to our daughter Eleanor, my best friend and terminally ill. 

In 2016 Angela underwent surgery and follow up treatment following a breast cancer diagnosis, a year or so later she needed further surgery to remove all the lymph nodes under her left arm as well as part of her chest muscle, where it had also spread. Fast forward to 2019 and Angela is diagnosed with stage four secondary cancer in her lungs and bones, her treatment is now palliative.  Angela has a constantly swollen and painful left arm, a condition known as lymphedema, often struggles to walk or breathe properly. For the last few years both she and Eleanor have been living with me as we attempt to prepare for the future both myself and Eleanor will inevitably face.

Recently Angela was given a place at St Barnabas Hospice in Lincoln where she remained for over three weeks; the goal was to achieve some degree of pain management and to hopefully build her up a little. I’ve mentioned St Barnabas events for many years on the radio but until seeing close up what they do I have been very green to it all, I suspect this is true for many of you reading this text. The hospice isn’t just a place that people go to die, Angela isn’t at that point yet, she’s not good, she may not experience many ups, and may have plenty of downs on the road ahead, but I cannot praise the Hospice enough for all they’ve done for her, it truly is a place of immense support and comfort.

Until now only my closest friends have known of Angela’s situation but in the hope of raising awareness and some much needed funds for the Hospice it feels like the right time to change that.

I’ve mentioned St Barnabas events for many years on Lincs FM but until my recent spell seeing exactly what they do up close I really didn’t appreciate the amazing service being provided. I’ll be running the Colour Dash at the Lincolnshire Showground on May 11th with my 13 year old daughter Eleanor. I hope you will support us.

Thank you,

John xxx

Come and join us and run shoulder to shoulder in support of this amazing local charity, places are limited so sign up today! Visit

“If I could have one more day with Dad, I’d hold him once more and tell him just how much I love him”

Jamie Aspland, Branch Manager at Pygott & Crone in Sleaford, has been part of a phenomenal fundraising attempt in support of St Barnabas Hospice. To date, the company has raised over £7,000 for the Hospice and this total is still increasing.

Sadly, on 27th November 2016 Jamie’s dad, Nigel, died age 63 after being diagnosed around six months earlier with terminal cancer. Nigel spent many weeks being cared for by our Hospice at Home team before choosing to spend his last 29 days in our Hospice in the Hospital at Grantham.

Jamie was lucky to work for such a supportive company who allowed him the time to look after his dad when he was reaching the end of his life. Jamie said:

“Before we were referred to St Barnabas, we had a family rota to make sure someone was looking after Dad at all times. This didn’t go to plan when Dad tried to go to the toilet on his own one night as he didn’t want to wake me after a busy day at work. Unfortunately he fell and it was a wake-up call that we just couldn’t cope on our own without extra support.

“From then on, St Barnabas took over Dad’s care and it felt like a weight had lifted. I had promised myself I would look after Dad until the end but the St Barnabas nurses were able to show me that it would be better for Dad if we all worked together. They were 100% right.”

“I can hand-on-heart say that without St Barnabas I’m not sure how I would have got through the last months of Dad’s life. The room which Dad was in was amazing, the support and care given to him was second to none and nothing was ever too much. The nurses supported me when I needed supporting and left me when I needed time alone. They just seemed to know what to do at all the right times. When end-of-life came, they knew all the right things to do to keep us calm and help us think about the next steps.

“One memory that sticks in my mind is about another family who were going through the same thing as us. The lady who was terminally ill wanted to be alive for Christmas but her family and St Barnabas nurses were aware that this would not be possible. The nurses arranged for her to have her own Christmas Day on 25th November. They came in wearing Christmas jumpers, brought presents and enjoyed all the fun and laughter of a normal Christmas with the family. What an amazing memory to leave that family with.”

Jamie has pledged to raise enough money for St Barnabas to cover every penny’s worth of care and support that was given to himself and his family. Jamie said:

“If I could have one more day with Dad, I’d want thank him for the legacy he has set up for our family and let him see his grandson, Jai, playing football. I’d want to hold him once more and tell him just how much I love him. There are always times when I miss his presence more as it’s hard knowing I can’t run decisions past him anymore and get his advice.”

St Barnabas Hospice provides free care to people across Lincolnshire living with a life-limiting or terminal illness and their families and carers. To find out more about the different ways we can help, visit

Nigel, grandson Jai and son Jamie

Jamie running the Lincoln 10k

Pygott & Crone team after the Lincoln 10k

St Barnabas Lincolnshire Hospice scoops place in Top 100 Sunday Times Not for Profit Companies Awards.

February 25 2019

Local charity and healthcare provider St Barnabas Lincolnshire Hospice has been placed number 89 the Sunday Times Top 100 Not For Profit Organisations to Work for 2019 list.

The national accreditation is awarded on the results of an anonymous staff survey, which covers staff wellbeing, relationships, leadership and personal growth.

Announced on February 22, the ranking appeared in the Sunday Times publication alongside the National Trust, Great Ormond Street Children’s Charity and only six other Hospices.

With a workforce of over 300 staff and 1000 volunteers St Barnabas commit to providing a happy working environment, celebrating individual and collective success in all departments.


Lisa Phillips, Head of People and Development explains

“The independent survey took place with all staff throughout October 2018. We also completed a comprehensive organisational questionnaire showcasing the services St Barnabas provide, and what we do to support, recognise and reward our employees including a Reward and Recognition Scheme, flexible working practices, wellbeing support, a staff and management focus group.

I am so proud to have been awarded a One to Watch accreditation, placing 89th in the Top 100 and to have been ranked highly in the ‘areas of success’ – ‘great service to its customers, proud to work for the organisation, and the organisation has strong values and principles’ by our own team.”


Best Companies, the award body acknowledged St Barnabas staff agreed ‘People in my team go out of their way to help me.’ Best Companies noted ‘They recognise the power of community; building connections and relationships that help them make a positive contribution. They are one team, united and inspired by their common purpose’


Chris Wheway, CEO adds

“I am delighted that the support, the wellbeing and happiness of our team has been recognised. People are at the centre of what we do, whether that is the patient, their family or the team that make the service possible I am so proud to lead an organisation that has so many brilliant individuals, working together making a massive impact.”


St Barnabas supports more than 10,500 local people every year and delivers care to patients living with a life limiting or terminal illness and their families. Our ambition, for every patient we meet, is to enable them to live life to the fullest possible extent for however many days, weeks or months they have left.

This year it will cost over £11.5m to deliver our services. The NHS does give us some money, but we still need to raise at least £5.5 million. There are so many ways you can get involved and help us achieve our ambition.

Visit for events, fundraising opportunities and how to volunteer. To join the team visit

Forget Me Not: Amy’s Story

“How many more days?” my Grandad Keith asked my Nanny Ann.
“Three” she replied. “Three days until Amy’s wedding.”
He gripped the arms of his chair and gave my Nanny a determined look.
“We’re going to do this.”

The morning of my wedding was one of mixed emotions. I knew that my Grandad was determined to see this day. Throughout the planning process I involved him in everything; showing him photos of my dress and even trying out the seats at the venue to make sure he had the best possible view.

St Barnabas had been supporting my Grandad at home. He was very unwell but he didn’t want to go into the Hospice until after my big day. His day-to-day care had been taken over by the nurses which enabled us to be a family in that time, rather than his carers. However, in the days leading up to the wedding, my Nanny was starting to get worried about getting Grandad ready.

Unable to stand, it would have been a huge job for her to lift and dress him, shave his face and make him look the part. Little did she know that soon we would receive a phone call that diminished our worries.

The St Barnabas nurses called us to arrange to come to the house to wash, dress and make my Grandad look and feel handsome on the morning of my big day. This enabled my Nanny to take her time, enjoy the process of getting herself all done up and allowed her to relax before the day ahead.

Everything fell into place and as I looked back down the aisle, there he was: in the ‘best seat in the house’ grinning from ear to ear.

A special dance was arranged for my Nanny and Grandad and not a dry eye was left in the house as they danced together to ‘Days of our Lives’ by Queen.

He felt proud and included and was able to join in the celebrations with our family. I think the secret red wine in his beaker may have helped too; I honestly thought it was juice!

When I look back now, following his death, amongst our happy memories together is his smile at my wedding day and I want to thank St Barnabas for their part in making that a reality.

I would like to invite you to dedicate your Forget Me Not in memory of someone special, like I have done for my Grandad. Every donation for a Forget Me Not will help raise much needed funds for more families like ours. Thanks to the incredible care and support from St Barnabas, we became a family again rather than Grandad’s carers. This allowed us to make the most of our time together and create the treasured memories we have today.

Amy King

Charity set up in memory of Stamford Mum to boost St Barnabas Hospice

A local man whose wife died from glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), an aggressive brain tumour, has vowed to raise money for St Barnabas Hospice, through a charity set up in memory of Stamford mum.

Italian born mother of three, Simonetta Cengarle died on 17th August aged 47, only nine months after being diagnosed.

Her husband, Toby Desforges vowed to honour her legacy and set up ‘The Tanto Cosi Trust’ to help support St Barnabas Hospice, Sue Ryder Care, The Brain Tumour Charity and projects which support the education of young women and girls.

The name ‘Tanto Cosi’ is Italian for ‘So much’ and would be used by Simonetta as a way of signing off letters to her husband.

Toby said: “Simonetta had the ability to leave a lasting imprint on the lives of all those that were fortunate enough to meet her. Her intellect, passion and humour were just some of her strengths. Simonetta was eloquent and imaginative but she was also down-to-earth and honest.

“When we got the news that Simonetta was going to die it would have been really easy to fall to pieces and panic but with the support of St Barnabas Hospice we were able to make the experience far less traumatic.

“Their Hospice at Home team in Stamford were in the best possible position to manage the situation and they provided me with the information and support I needed to understand what would happen and how we would manage.”

Simonetta had dedicated her life to improving women’s services around the world and in the years before her death, she had trained as a birthing doula and a breast-feeding counsellor.

Toby explained that once Simonetta was diagnosed with GBM she had often observed that she’d had a wonderful and fulfilling life.

He said: “Simonetta followed her dreams; she travelled widely, she read, she loved music, food, laughter and conversation but most of all she loved being surrounded by her beloved family and friends. In her last months of life, she had dedicated her time to her children, family and friends.

“Simonetta showed us all that half a life lived to the full is better than a full life lived only half-heartedly.”

Since its formation, the charity has held numerous fundraisers and raised a total of £12,000 with £2,400 donated directly to St Barnabas Hospice.

Toby said: “The nurses from St Barnabas were consistently good and always turned up when we needed them. They were genuinely caring, genuinely competent and genuinely concerned. They were exactly who we needed during a time that was emotionally and mentally exhausting.

“My only regret is that I didn’t contact St Barnabas sooner.”

St Barnabas patient and his wife share their fond memories as they reminisce to celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary.

One of the patients of St Barnabas Hospice celebrated his 65th Wedding Anniversary earlier this year on 18th July 2018. Robert King and his wife and sole carer, Georgina King, share their incredible love story to celebrate their 65 years of happy marriage and adventures.

Both Bob and Georgina were born in London, Bob in Walthamstow in May 1928 and Georgina in Camden Town in November 1931. However, when war was declared in September 1939, Bob was eleven and Georgina only seven. They were both evacuated from London to the countryside.

“That photograph is me, only seven with my teddy bear, my label and my gas mask over my shoulder.” Georgina shares.

“I was sent to a tiny village with a young couple and I absolutely hated it, it was deep in the country and I had to leave my mother in London. I was an only child and my dad had been called up to serve in the Army.”

“Both my mum and I hated being separated and this very early period was known as the “Phoney War” and as nothing had happened, I came back to our London flat after only six weeks as my mother and I decided that if we were going to die we should die together. So I stayed in London through the Blitz enduring all the hardships and rationing whilst trying to attend school.”

Bob was also evacuated to the country but stayed away much longer. His house in Walthamstow had bomb damage so his mother joined him and his sister in Bedfordshire and helped to look after the family.

Their story together began when they met at Alexandra Palace “Ally Pally”, the roller skating rink in North London in 1947.

“I do remember our first date actually it was quite funny, we met at Ally Pally but that wasn’t a date as such. I remember Bob mentioning Petticoat Lane Market, and I remember saying to him that “you wouldn’t believe it but living so near to it I had never gone” and he said “Oh come with me on Sunday.” I agreed of course.

“Sunday came and it was pouring with rain so I didn’t go. We didn’t have phones then so I couldn’t let him know. The following week he said that he had turned up and I hadn’t. So he asked if we could try again, now I can’t remember what happened, I think I overslept or something and I didn’t turn up to that one either. I did turn up for the third one. Third time lucky and look at us now.

“The romance grew from there, we got engaged shortly after and got married in 1953, and it was only a small wedding because we couldn’t afford to invite many people with the rationing. We just had a small reception in my parents’ flat in Camden Town.







“We moved to our first home, a maisonette in London where we stayed for thirteen years. We only lived seven miles from the West End and we both worked there for many years. Bob was a carpenter/joiner and was employed by a large company and has worked in Kensington Palace and also at large recording studios. I learnt shorthand typing at night school and worked for five years at a big language school in Regent Street, where I was able to view the Queen’s Coronation in 1953 from their Showrooms. Later on I worked in the fashion trade.

“We had a lovely life in London, we both loved the cinema and theatre and as I worked very near to the Palladium I was able to get tickets to see most of the greats of that period who had begun to visit the UK. We were lucky enough to see the likes of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Judy Garland. We loved and frequented all the jazz clubs, and saw Duke Ellington band, Count Basie, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald and so many more.

“Bob and I moved away from London in 1968 to the lovely Thames Valley near Henley where we lived very happily for over 30 years, both still working as we had no family. I still commuted to London working for a jewelers on Bond Street which had the royal warrant.

“When travelling into London became too tiring I worked in Reading as a personal assistant and secretary to the Chairman of a large company for fourteen year, until I retired (for the first time) at 60. Bob became self-employed and continued to work until the age of 72, when we made the move to Lincolnshire in 2000 where we still live in our bungalow. We then had two cars and a caravan but now Bob is 90 and no longer drives and neither do I as I lost the sight in my right eye in a bad accident.

“Our love for travelling has taken us to many countries and began in the late 50’s when we still lived in London. We had a lovely bright red scooter that we travelled across the continent on. We drove the scooter from London to Rome when some of the motorways were not built. When we lived in the Thames Valley we were close to Heathrow so could do lots of long-haul flights to places like China, Sri Lanka, Borneo, South Africa, India, Thailand, Malaysia, America, I could go on.

“We have so many favourite memories from travelling that I could not pick one.”

“Unfortunately now at our age and the poor health of Bob, we can’t venture far, but we have had a great life together, with so many happy memories, a great social life in the past with good friends and have been blessed with good health most of the time, so we have no regrets.

About three years ago in 2015 Bob’s health began to deteriorate and he was diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Having a reserved occupation he had worked through the war in a munitions factory. He has never smoked but the pollution from the factory has caused his COPD. Since then he has been diagnosed with cancer of the bladder and dementia.

“We were fortunate to be referred to St Barnabas Day Therapy. We have both attended six week sessions for Easy Breathing, Relaxation and Tai Chi, all of which were very beneficial to both of us. Since then, his health problems have accelerated and I have become his sole carer.

“Fortunately we still have regular contact with all the lovely helpful staff and volunteers from St Barnabas who have supplied him with useful equipment and are a great help to me as his carer. We both look forward to our regular visits and don’t know where we would be without their support.”

Georgina and Bob have lived well, travelled very well and have made an incredible achievement to celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary. Most people can only dream of having that kind of relationship. When asked the secret to their happy marriage they said.

“We have always been able to laugh together, we have had a happy life together, and we have never had any major problems. Bob has always been very easy to get along with, he has always been the maintenance man of the pair and I have always done the secretarial side of it.”

Georgina adds whilst looking at Bob,

“Always remember to laugh together”.

Daughter to walk in memory of beloved mother in Hospice’s Moonlight Walk

A local woman from Lincoln has signed up to St Barnabas Moonlight Walk in memory of her mum and is hoping to raise £2,000

A local woman will be taking part in St Barnabas Hospice’s Moonlight Walk, which takes place on Saturday 10th June at Yarborough Leisure Centre.

Vanessa Rushby, 47, from Lincoln, is walking in memory of her mum, who was cared for by the local charity.

Vanessa’s mother, Shirley Miller, was cared for at home by the charity’s community nursing team, after spending 13 weeks in their hospice on Nettleham Road in Lincoln. As her condition began to deteriorate, she returned to the hospice where she spent her final days with her family.

Vanessa said: “It is a real honour to be able to raise money in my mum’s memory, she was always such a lovely and bubbly character and I am sure she would have loved an event like Moonlight Walk.

“The care Mum received at St Barnabas was simply amazing, I can’t fault it. The love and care we experienced is something that I will always cherish, they really took the time to look after the whole family.”

The Moonlight Walk is a flagship event for St Barnabas, and features a 10K route around Lincoln. Participants will warm-up at Yarborough Leisure Centre before heading out to the streets of Lincoln and past the Cathedral.

Vanessa said: “I am also taking part in the Colour Dash and doing a skydive and I am hoping to raise £2,000 from all three events. I think Mum would be really proud of all the fundraising I am doing and perhaps a little mad too!”

Registration for the Moonlight Walk, which starts at Yarborough Leisure Centre, Riseholme Road, Lincoln, is £12 for adults and £7 for children (11 – 15).

Adult participants are asked to raise a minimum sponsorship of £20.17 and children are asked to raise as much as they can.

Participants can register online at

For more information contact Events Fundraiser, Laura Stones on 01522 559 515 or email

Long service Skegness volunteer wins award

A St Barnabas volunteer has won the Volunteer of the Year award at the 2017 Coastal Community Awards in Skegness

Lincoln, Wednesday 12th April 2017 – Pam Haynes, a volunteer at the St Barnabas Hospice Skegness Day Therapy Centre, has been selected from over 100 nominations as the winner of this year’s Volunteer of the Year award at the Coastal Community Awards, which were held on 31st March at the Grosvenor Hotel in Skegness.

The Coastal Community Awards were hosted by local radio station, Coastal Sound, who had received over 420 nominations for the various awards on offer.

Sarah Holmes, Complementary Therapy Services Team Leader at St Barnabas Hospice, was the person who had decided to nominate Pam for the volunteer award.

Sarah said:

“Pam began volunteering in 2004 as a home and day care host volunteer, and chose at the age of 74 to undertake Reiki training and join the Complementary Therapy team at the Skegness Day Therapy Centre.

“In 2013, Pam experienced a bad fall and subsequent operations, yet recovered quickly and returned to giving Reiki to patients within four months.

“In addition to her Skegness commitment, Pam has travelled to Louth for several months to cover for another Reiki Practitioner who was unwell.

“Pam is an extraordinary 84 year old lady; she is incredibly compassionate, caring, giving and completely committed to her role at St Barnabas.”

Pam Haynes said:

“I was completely surprised to find out that I won the award, and feel honoured to have been nominated.

“To me, I just do my job and enjoy it. I never really think of it as an effort or that I’m doing anything special.

“I enjoy volunteering and being able to help others, especially as I can see the positive effect that Reiki has on the patients. It can help them to adjust to their conditions and improve their daily lives.

“During my time as a volunteer, I have been privileged to meet some wonderful people who have demonstrated such compassion and strength, who I have learnt from and who remind you how fortunate you are in life.

“People might be quite surprised to find out what a happy place the hospice is. We value life and we encourage others to make the most of theirs. There is a great sense of togetherness and a feeling that you are not in this alone.

St Barnabas Hospice has over 1,100 volunteers who are integral to the success of the organisation. Whether it is complimentary therapists, receptionists or even gardeners, the Hospice values the hard work of every volunteer.

Steve Bond, Volunteer Development Manager at St Barnabas, said:

“Volunteering is a wonderful way for people to learn new skills, boost their CV and give something back to their community. It can help people to make new friends and get hands-on experience in hundreds of roles.”

Picture courtesy of the Skegness Standard

For further information about volunteering, call 01522 518 221 or email