On a recent tour of Devon and Cornwall hospices, CEO Hospice UK Tracey Bleakley talks about first impressions of St Luke’s and sets the record straight on who makes the best scones! Devon or Cornwall?


Thanks to you, our incredible caring community the St Luke’s lottery raises just under £1million of the £10million it costs to run our charity every year.

That’s a lot of care for the price of a coffee!

Every week 14,700 of you play our lottery, all hoping to win the weekly top prize of £1,000 and in the case of Doug a chance to hit gold with our jackpot rollover.

Play online today

St Luke’s annual Neon Midnight Walk took place on Saturday. Once again hundreds of ladies in brightly coloured neon gear and lots of sparkle got together with their friends for the city’s favourite girls’ night out, all in aid of the hospice and the care they give across the community.

Many walked in memory of loved ones, celebrating their lives while making fun new memories. With the party atmosphere and plenty of laughter along the way, it certainly was a night to remember!

3, 6 and 13 mile routes, offered a choice of challenges for all abilities. 13 miles in her sights, Antonia from Tavistock said, “St Luke’s helped care for my mum when she was really poorly. Mum wanted to be at home, so it was great that the hospice could come to us in Tavi. Tonight was for mum and such a worthwhile cause”

The route also took the ladies on a tour of many of the city’s landmarks, including Smeaton’s Tower and the Barbican, with many of the 170 volunteers out on route to keep the ladies safe.

When the challenge got tough, morale support came in abundance from spectators cheering from their front gardens along with a toot from passing cars. Gill from Tamerton Foliot said, “Everybody is in such good spirit and the support out on the route is incredible, particularly when it’s late and you’re near the end and you really need that friendly face to give you a clap and cheer, it’s a real motivator”

Nicky Hoff from Plymstock said, “Four years ago my husband was diagnosed with cancer and a year ago he came into the incredible care of St Luke’s. Very sadly he passed away back in October. Tonight, you look around, it is so colourful, a good atmosphere and a real buzz. It is unbelievable really, how many families St Luke’s has reached out to.”

Claire from Callington added, “If someone has gone, it doesn’t mean you have to be sad about it. There is always a light to remember them by and tonight is a great way to have a bit of fun, remember the good times and raise money for a great cause”.

A quick pit stop for the 13 milers in Costa Coffee at Marsh Mills for a welcomed hot chocolate, the routes united for the final mile with a celebratory glass of pink fizz at a mobile bar outside the Citadel.

Medal in hand, and the overwhelming sense of achievement, all that remained was to rest and enjoy a well-deserved post walk breakfast.

Head of Fundraising at St Luke’s, Penny Hannah said: “What an atmosphere! A heartfelt thank you to all the ladies who came out to support St Luke’s tonight, you are all incredible. You only have to look at the messages on the back of t-shirts to appreciate the positive impact St Luke’s has had on local families in need at a time of crisis.

We are hoping tonight will raise in the region of £170,000, enough to provide a complete package of care at home for 170 families not just in Plymouth, but in the South Hams and across Dartmoor. £60,000 has already been donated online, and I encourage anyone who has pledged sponsorship to send it in as soon as possible, so we can put it to work and help even more people in our community.

I would like to thank not only the ladies for taking part, but the people who make an event of this size possible. The army of 170 volunteers, our sponsors Nash & Co Solicitors, Cheezi Fit Plymouth for the fantastic warm-up routine, PL1 Events, Devon and Cornwall 4×4 Response Team, Devon and Cornwall Cycle Marshalls, Drake Circus and all the businesses that have donated products and services, we simply couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you.”

Since Midnight Walk first began in 2007, the event has raised a staggering £1,902,000 for hospice care, powered by a caring community who have walked a total 216,591 miles – equivalent to walking around earth, eight and half times.

View chip times and register your interest for Midnight Walk 2019

Everything you need to know about our charity, in one document. Our 2018 impact report is available to read online now.

Government will not fund hospices to match the NHS pay award, resulting in an estimated shortfall of £1.6million for Devon’s four hospices.

Four hospices in Devon have warned that a lack of government funding could leave them struggling to recruit and retain nursing staff, putting a strain on funding and potentially leaving vital front line services at risk.

The government have indicated that the welcome recent pay award for NHS staff will not be extended to hospices, a decision which if Devon hospices were to match would present a shortfall of £1.6 million collectively.

North Devon Hospice, St Luke’s Hospice Plymouth, Rowcroft Hospice in South Devon and Hospiscare in Exeter are all calling on the government to provide support for hospices to help them match the pay award provided to NHS staff.

Hospice UK, the national body representing hospice’s across the country, estimates that changes resulting from the NHS pay deal mean that its 200 member hospices will have to spend an extra £100million over the next three years – equivalent to 2% of the funding that the Government has put aside to fund the increase for staff working in the NHS.

A spokesperson representing the four Devon hospices, St Luke’s Hospice Plymouth, North Devon Hospice, Rowcroft Hospice and Hospiscare said: “Without doubt, we are in full support of the well-deserved pay award for our NHS colleagues and this should be celebrated, but we echo concerns as to how this will impact us locally.

To continue to recruit and retain nursing staff within hospices, we will have to consider options to increase our salary costs to compete with the NHS without any additional support in funding from the government”.

The Government recently outlined in a Written Ministerial Statement how it intends to address the impact of the pay award on non-NHS providers, including hospices.

The Government will allow non-NHS providers – that are providing NHS services and that employ staff on an Agenda for Change contract – to access part of the £800 million that is being made available to the NHS this year for staff pay. Only those organisations that match Agenda for Change terms and conditions will be able to access the extra funding.

Most hospices use Agenda for Change terms and conditions as a guide to their local pay policies for clinical staff – rather than matching the terms and conditions exactly – so it looks likely that the majority of hospices would not be able to access this funding.

Tracey Bleakley, Chief Executive of Hospice UK, said, “This decision by the Government to restrict funding for non-NHS providers is very worrying and will have a very damaging impact on charitable hospices, who are already facing huge financial pressures and operating in a tough fundraising climate. This will put their stretched resources under even greater strain.” Full Hospice UK statement available online.

The National Health Service is turning 70 on 5 July 2018. It’s the perfect opportunity to celebrate the achievements of one of the nation’s most loved institutions, to appreciate the vital role the service plays in our lives, and to recognise and thank the extraordinary NHS staff – the everyday heroes – who are there to guide, support and care for us, day in, day out.

At St Luke’s we are proud to work alongside our NHS professionals at the University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust.

With 30% of all St Luke’s patients cared in hospital and last year our team of doctors and nurses delivering 4,436 visits to the hospital wards, Derriford and the NHS have a special place in the hearts of our staff.

We caught up with St Luke’s Consultant in Palliative Care, Sioned Evans based in Derriford to find out what the NHS means to her.

In just under a month, one of St Luke’s flagship events – our popular Neon Midnight Walk – will see hundreds of ladies band together to light up the night as they stride the streets in aid of our charity. We need your help to ensure it’s a night to remember!

Could you give a few hours of your time to volunteer at the event on the night of Saturday 21 July?

The atmosphere promises to be electric at what is undoubtedly the city’s biggest girls’ night out.

You would need to be available to be at the event village in the city centre at 7pm, and can help in a variety of roles – by marshalling, leading the walkers and supporting in the start/finish area.

Our volunteers are a key part of our events and we simply couldn’t do what we do without them. If you’d like to help, please contact Events Fundraiser Claire Luckhurst at cluckhurst@stlukes-hospice.org.uk or on 01752 964416 to register your interest.

Great news! At no cost to you, you can now help our care reach more people who desperately need it simply by doing everyday shopping online at retailers including, but not limited to, Amazon, M&S, John Lewis, ASOS and Argos.

We’re registered with easyfundraising, a great site with over 3,300 big name retailers.

Each time you shop, we receive a small donation to say ‘thank you’ at no charge to you.

You could make a difference of £40 by booking your holiday this way, for example, or £30 when you purchase your car insurance.

It’s completely free, and so far over £20 million has been raised for charities around the country.

Doing your online shop with easyfundraising really will make a difference, so please help us raise as much as possible by signing up today – and tell family and friends about it, too! Thank you.

When it comes to fundraising to support the care we give, inspirational Kenza Baber is proof that you’re never too young!

On a visit to our specialist unit at Turnchapel, Kenza – who recently celebrated her 11th birthday – presented us with a cheque for a fantastic £938. This was the result of Kenza selflessly forgoing birthday presents this year and asking family and friends to help her raise money for St Luke’s instead.

On the visit, Kenza was joined by her mum, Heidi, and grandma Debbie, who receives care at home from our team. They were warmly welcomed by Janet Hearl, a Social Care Support Worker at St Luke’s, and also met some of our dedicated nurses as well as having a tour of the building.

“I wanted to raise the money because I know it’s important to care for other people,” said Kenza, who attends Lifton Community Primary School, where she recently received a Headteacher’s certificate recognising her caring spirit.

Well done, Kenza! Your kindness is a real inspiration and we’re so grateful for the support from you and everyone who helped you raise the money.