In our ambition to be a ‘Hospice without Walls’, taking our compassionate end of life care to more people regardless of their circumstances, we have been reaching through the walls of Dartmoor Prison to look after inmates facing their last days – and have won prestigious national recognition for our pioneering project!

As finalists in the Delivering Dignity category of the Burdett Nursing Awards, which celebrate good nursing practice, the team behind this groundbreaking work, St Luke’s Community Nurse Specialists Martin Thomas and Derek Hart, plus Care UK’s Sheridan McGinlay, who they work alongside at Dartmoor, were in London recently for the glittering awards ceremony.

They were ecstatic to not only take first prize in their category, securing a £20,000 grant, but to receive the accolade of being overall winners of the awards, adding an extra £10,000 to their pot so that they can build on the project’s success.

It was in 2015 that St Luke’s launched the End of Life Care in Dartmoor Prison project aimed at improving access and increasing end of life care for prisoners, helped by a Burdett Trust grant.

Since then, in an environment many would find challenging, Martin and Derek have helped change the way Dartmoor delivers end of life care, creating a blueprint for other prisons in the process.

Despite its 630 prisoners, an ageing demographic and high levels of chronic diseases, the prison was referring just a small number of patients for specialist palliative care. As was apparent to our team, this was related to a lack of understanding of, and low expectations around, end of life care. However, with the prison’s Healthcare Team keen to change this, our team worked in partnership with them to facilitate positive changes through regular meetings and clinics, as well as staff training.

Thanks to this approach, and despite considerable challenges around prison security, the internal drug culture and Victorian prison wings, the number of prisoners accessing end of life services has increased seven-fold, care is patient-centered and integrated, and there is greater choice for prisoners in the care they receive.

Importantly, the prison’s culture is now more compassionate. A ‘buddy system’ is seeing inmates support each other by giving practical help to the less able, and they are also receiving training to become listeners. In addition, there’s now a dedicated wing for those who require care, and good take up of St Luke’s Advance Care plan, which lets staff know the individual’s wishes if that person is unable to speak up for themselves in their last days.

Speaking about the awards, George Lillie, Deputy Chief Executive at St Luke’s, said: “It’s fantastic that our dedicated team has received such well-deserved recognition, and encouraging that working in partnership is bringing our compassionate care to those who are often forgotten. Well done to everyone involved!”

Known as ‘the stuff of legends’, the Marathon des Sables is the toughest foot race on Earth.

So we have been blown away by the awe-inspiring achievements of two friends who have shown true grit (and then some!) by completing this most gruelling of challenges to support us, raising a fantastic £8,000 – and still counting.

Their personal reasons for getting behind our charity enabled Jamie Shewbrook and Jonathan Gliddon, who live in Plymouth, to muster the huge mental and physical strength needed to endure the multi-stage, mixed terrain race, which covers over 156 miles in the harshest of environments – the Sahara Desert.

Jonathan’s decision to support St Luke’s took on extra significance for him when his cousin Richard was admitted to our specialist unit at Turnchapel just before the race. Knowing time was running short for Richard, and that he was receiving our compassionate care, enabled Jonathan to dig extra deep and overcome chronic back pain, disturbances of vision, heatstroke and having to have each toe lanced daily to complete the incredible challenge.

Jonathan said: “The race takes you to extremes – not just physically but mentally, too. When I felt ready to quit, knowing Richard was at St Luke’s gave me that extra push to keep going despite the pain and harsh conditions.

“Incredibly, on the final day of the race I seemed to get extra strength from somewhere and it wasn’t until after I’d finished that I learned it was then that Richard had passed away.”

Before taking on the Marathon des Sables, Jamie – who saw three friends receive St Luke’s care – had already raised an amazing £27,000 for us, including conquering Mount Kilimanjaro in 2003, trekking across the Arctic with huskies, cycling to John O’Groates and more.

Completing the Marathon des Sables had long been a goal for him, and finishing 97th out of 1,000 was the icing on the cake!

He said: “Each day of the race got harder and harder for different reasons, whether it was the terrain, heat or distance. The longest was Day 4, when I covered over 53 miles in 13 hours 17 minutes.

“The long stage was the most gruelling but also the most satisfying. I knew then that all I had to do was complete a marathon on Day 6 and I would have achieved my goal.

“All the way through, it helped to know I was making a difference for St Luke’s. Most people in Plymouth have been touched or know someone who has been cared for by the team. It’s such a fantastic local charity and really needs our support.”

Well done, Jamie and Jonathan! And thank you so much – the money you have raised will make a big difference.

We hope you’ve been enjoying a well-deserved rest!

When it comes to encouraging more open discussion around the sensitive subjects of death and dying, St Luke’s Hospice Plymouth is leading the herd, with a fun and enchanting trail that’s set to add a splash of colour across our city and get people talking.

In collaboration with independent children’s books publisher Andersen Press and creator of public art events Wild in Art, St Luke’s is bringing Elmer the patchwork elephant – the iconic, much-loved storybook character created by Devon-born author and artist David McKee – to Plymouth for Elmer’s Big Parade in 2019, 30 years since Andersen Press first published the Elmer story.
For ten weeks over summer 2019, the eye-catching Elmer’s Big Parade will be adding colour and fun to the city and surrounding areas, where St Luke’s cares for patients with progressive life-limiting illnesses and supports their families and carers.

The 40 unique elephant sculptures, each painted by an established or emerging local artist, will form a trail that will both attract new visitors to Plymouth, curious to see what Elmer is up to, and encourage residents to explore areas they might not have ventured to before.
The sculptures will help people ‘navigate’ the city while increasing awareness of St Luke’s, de-mystifying death, dying and hospice care, and raising vital funds to help the charity look after more patients who need its compassionate care.

The project also includes an interactive app to help people follow the herd, detailing the sculpture locations and enabling them to join the Elmer community by uploading selfies as they go.
Running alongside the trail will be an engaging interactive educational programme for Key Stage 2 and 3 school children that will aid their understanding of death and dying in an age-appropriate way.

Elmer’s Big Parade will be formally launched on 21 March 2018 at Ocean Studios, when a bespoke Elmer designed by popular local artist Brian Pollard will take pride of place alongside a ‘classic’ bright patchwork Elmer.

Following the launch, artists will be invited to submit their designs from June 2018, with the sculpture trail opening in July 2019.

Speaking about the project, St Luke’s Chief Executive Steve Statham said: “An elephant never forgets and that’s a key message for us, too. We want to help people create lasting memories and at St Luke’s we are very proud that we can do this for many patients and their families.

“We’re really excited about Elmer’s Big Parade. As well as being full of fun that will spread a big grin across Plymouth and the wider area, it will encourage meaningful discussion about death, dying and bereavement, subjects we often shy away from but would all benefit from being more open about.
“In addition to being a great free and healthy day out for all the family as they walk the trail, it will also attract new visitors to our city, raising Plymouth’s profile and bringing economic benefits, as well as showcasing a wealth of local artistic talent.”

Charlie Langhorne, Director, Wild in Art, added: “By joining forces with Andersen Press and creating a blank 3D canvas inspired by the famous patchwork elephant, we just know that this big parade will have a positive impact on Plymouth’s residents and visitors, and of course St Luke’s. With similar parades featuring Elmer in Ipswich and Tyne & Wear too, we’re excited to be turning the country patchwork for fantastic causes in 2019.”

Paul Black, PR Director, Andersen Press, added: “We are delighted to be working with St Luke’s and Wild in Art on this project, and cannot wait to see the colourful Elmers around Plymouth – to bring this amazing trail to Plymouth, a place so close to the heart of David McKee, Elmer’s creator, is really the icing on the cake. Here’s hoping we raise lots of money for St Luke’s Hospice, whilst making a fun, inclusive and interactive trail for the public.”

St Luke’s is offering local businesses and other organisations the opportunity to sponsor one of the 40 unique Elmer sculptures that are set to enchant and inspire. Ultimately, these sculptures will be auctioned off to raise money for St Luke’s, ensuring a fitting legacy for the people and communities of Plymouth and the surrounding areas which benefit from the charity’s outstanding care.

Local artists and businesses, find out more!

What can you do to make Plymouth a compassionate place for everyone living, studying and working here? That’s the big topic drawing people from across education, the arts, business, health, charities and the voluntary sector to join the conversation at the Compassionate City Conference on 17 May, facilitated by St Luke’s Hospice Plymouth.

As part of Dying Matters Awareness Week (14 – 20 May), the charity is facilitating the event to highlight the positive work already happening across the city while encouraging co-operation and collaboration to address current and future challenges.

According to the Compassionate City Charter for end of life, a compassionate city is a community that recognises that all natural cycles of sickness and health, birth and death, love and loss occur every day across our society. It defines a compassionate community as one that recognises that care for one another at times of crisis and loss is not solely a task for health and social services but is everyone’s responsibility.

Key speakers at the event include Allan Kellehear, Professor of Sociology and Compassionate Care at the University of Bradford and author of ‘Compassionate Cities: Public Health and End of Life Care’, and Tam Martin Fowles, UK Ambassador for the Charter for Compassion International, Hope in the Heart CIC.

In addition, delegates will hear about inspirational case studies, including those relating to St Luke’s work with the homeless and prisoners, and participate in round table discussions to share information, ideas and form actions that can make a difference in any setting, from schools and colleges to places of worship, the workplace, care homes and cafes.

Speaking about the conference, Abenaa Gyamfuah-Assibey, St Luke’s Community Development Worker, said: “We’re proud to be part of this vital conversation, which will encourage the kind of joined-up thinking our city needs to put ideas into action and see positive outcomes that will support everyone at times of difficulty and loss, regardless of their age or background.

“An important part of this – as outlined in the charter – is raising awareness around death and dying, loss and care. It is in communities and workplaces that we need to tackle these ‘taboo’ subjects, and for this to happen we need to work together with everyone who has an interest in having a more open discussion.”

The conference takes place  at Boringdon Park Golf Club from 8.30am to 5pm. Places are £10 per person and can be booked online.

As two of the city’s most popular fundraising events are launched this month, St Luke’s Hospice Plymouth is laying down a challenge to men and women in the community – who can raise the most funds for the vital end of life care the charity provides?

Men’s Day Out and the ladies’ Neon Midnight Walk are two of St Luke’s flagship events, raising money to help ensure it can continue to give free and outstanding care to people living with a life limiting progressive illness, as well as supporting their families.

Both events are an opportunity for people to gather their friends, walk in memory of loved ones and create new memories while enjoying the fun atmosphere.

This year’s Men’s Day Out, on Saturday 24 March, is set to be manlier than ever. Powered by IU Energy, the day of rugby and banter will see 2,000 men – many in fancy dress – walking a 12km route through Plymouth city centre and along the South West Coast Path before enjoying a well-earned pasty and pint at Plymouth Albion RFC, where they’ll see Albion take on Coventry in a top of the table clash.

Events Fundraiser Rebecca Kelly said, “Men’s Day Out, generously sponsored by IU Energy, is hugely popular and sells out fast, so we’re urging our male supporters to register now to avoid disappointment. It’s a chance for them to do their bit, remember loved ones and have a great time.”

Registration for the event is £32, which provides a t-shirt, pasty, pint and rugby match ticket as well as covering the logistics of the day.

Also putting their best foot forward for St Luke’s will be thousands of women ‘getting their glow on’ to take part in this summer’s Neon Midnight Walk, on Saturday 21 July. The event, sponsored by Nash & Co Solicitors, will see the ladies striding along a 3, 6 or 13.1 mile route from the Piazza, Royal Parade, through Plymouth, remembering loved ones and enjoying the electric atmosphere with their friends.

There will be a warm-up with party tunes at the Piazza before the first walkers set off at 9pm. This year’s warm up will be lead by Cheezifit, the new craze that’s sweeping Plymouth, the innovative way to exercise whilst listening to your favourite cheesey tunes.

Rebecca Kelly said, “Uniting the women of our community, our Neon Midnight Walk is the city’s favourite ladies’ night out. We’re grateful to Nash & Co Solicitors for supporting this event once again, and we’re urging women of all ages and fitness levels to go even bigger and brighter this year, with neon outfits, lots of sparkle and glow sticks. And we’re introducing some good-natured rivalry – will it be the guys or the girls who raise the most for St Luke’s through these two events?”

Registration for the Neon Midnight Walk costs £22 and includes an exclusive neon t-shirt, as well as a medal and goody bag for all finishers.

Register for either of these events online, or call 01752 492626 for further details.

Staff at St Luke’s Care are beaming with pride this week as the government’s care regulator rated the domiciliary care service as outstanding – an accolade that puts it in the top 0.5% of organisations inspected nationwide and makes it one of the three out of 198 providers in Plymouth to receive the highest rating.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) looked at the work of St Luke’s Care over a three-day inspection in the autumn, talking with clients as well as meeting staff at the service’s headquarters at Brooklands in Crownhill, Plymouth.

St Luke’s Care provides paid-for care and support to adults of any age with illness, disability or frailty so that they can continue to live as independently as possible in their own homes. Covering Plymouth and South West Devon, the team gives support with personal care, as well as help with daily living tasks and activities.

Rating the service outstanding overall, the CQC highlighted in particular the ‘extremely caring’ way St Luke’s Care staff look after people, and the ‘exceptional’ leadership demonstrated by the management team.

Placing people at the heart of its service and providing them with personalised care is key to its achievements, St Luke’s Care believes. This was evident to the CQC, its report noting that people were ‘supported to be involved about how they received their care and support’.

Going the extra mile for the people they help is also central to St Luke’s Care’s ethos of compassion, as the inspector’s report demonstrated. “The staff are excellent. They brought me flowers when I came out of hospital. They do everything and more – they never make me feel like a burden,” said one person who used the service, while another said, “It’s the little things that make all the difference. They pick up fish and chips for me once a week and make sure I have fresh bread.”

Without exception, relatives met by the inspector also spoke very highly of the care their loved ones received, describing the positive impact St Luke’s Care has on their quality of life and the life of their family and loved ones.

Sarah Roberts, Business Care Manager for St Luke’s Care, said: “We are very proud to receive this outstanding rating, which is testament to the exceptional commitment of the whole team. Whether they receive care every day or for a few hours a week, we are passionate about enhancing people’s well-being and quality of life, and strive to keep clients and their families at the centre of our service. They consistently tell us what a difference our team’s holistic approach makes to them, and to have this recognised by the CQC is a wonderful endorsement”.

“Developing staff and sharing best practice with other organisations helps ensure we provide the highest standard of care. We’re currently recruiting new domiciliary care staff and as part of this, we’re holding a Recruitment Open Day on 16 January. This is a great opportunity to meet the team and find out about the very rewarding work we do, helping people to live as independently as possible.”

To mark the end of Hospice Care Week, it was mud, sweat and gears this weekend as over a thousand intrepid cyclists came together to pit themselves against the wilds of Dartmoor for the St Luke’s Tour de Moor cycling challenge, generously sponsored by Print Copy Scan.

On Sunday 15 October the annual off road bike challenge – a complete sell-out – raised an estimated £80,000 thanks to the 1,300 participants who took on the off-road 11km, 23km or 52km routes from Harrowbeer Airfield, Yelverton.

For many it wasn’t just about a fun muddy challenge across Dartmoor, but a chance to remember a loved one and witness first hand how far St Luke’s care reaches beyond Plymouth. Rebecca Kelly, Events Fundraiser for St Luke’s, said: “With almost half of our care taking place at home, the bikers will have travelled through some of the most remote Dartmoor villages and experienced the challenges our nurses face every day to provide this care at home, day or night and in every type of weather imaginable”. It is this care that drives people to get out of bed at 6am on a misty Sunday morning, hop on a bike and do their bit for charity.

Riding in memory of Dad, Edward was Dave Noble from Eggbuckland: “Dad had a sudden onset of dementia and was admitted to St Luke’s at Turnchapel. The care and compassion the doctors and nurses gave to him in his final weeks was outstanding. Taking part today is my way of saying thank you to St Luke’s and raising a bit of cash to helping others who may need the support from this incredible charity in years to come.”

Chris Putt from Elburton also riding the 52km in memory of his mum Peggy said,: “Without the help of St Luke’s I don’t know how we would have coped. Supporting the charity is so important because it does such fantastic work.”

“Hats off, or should I say helmets to all the marshals and volunteers who gave up their Sunday to help out. The 52km was quite tricky in places and very hard going up past the scout hut to Princetown, but best of all plenty of mud a puddles!” said Lindsey Lee Pritchard from Honicknowle.

Di Foster added, “My first year and wow! The toughest most challenging thing I’ve ever had to do. Will I be back next year, you bet I will be – I had far too much fun.”

It was a family outing for Matt Kelley and his son Toby (aged 11) from Modbury. “This is for Dad, a firefighter at Plymstock who we really miss. He would often volunteer for St Luke’s and in his final days he received such great care from the hospice.”

Rebecca Kelly, Events Fundraiser for St Luke’s, added: “What an amazing day! We’re so grateful to all who braved the course. Our riders have pledged enough to look after 80 families at home in the year ahead and that’s a fantastic achievement for everyone involved. They did us proud!”

St Luke’s would like to thank local firm Print Copy Scan for their sponsorship of this year’s event, as well as recognising the kindness of the Maristow Estate and Buckland Abbey for the use of their land, the Devon and Cornwall Rescue Team and St John’s Ambulance for their vital support and the Plume of Feathers pub for help with facilities.

St Luke’s provides care for people dealing with life-limiting illnesses everywhere from Salcombe to East Cornwall, via Tavistock and the moors, supporting families as much as patients. The charity supports around 3,500 people and their families each year, vital services which it needs to raise over £4 million to provide.

View chip times here!

Accumulator Challenge

How much money can you raise in one month?

St Luke’s Hospice Plymouth is asking local businesses and organisations to get creative with their money making skills during October in its latest fundraising challenge.

The local charity is inviting teams to take part in its Accumulator Challenge, a month long challenge to raise as much money for the charity from an initial £50.

Every team that signs up will be given a £50 note and one month to find interesting and innovative ways of gaining as much profit as possible, all of which will be donated to St Luke’s.

St Luke’s corporate fundraiser Nicola Keen said, “Our Accumulator Challenge is an exciting and creative way for teams to work together to raise money for St Luke’s. We are inviting companies and organisations to get involved and see how much money they can make with their £50. You could run fundraising events, auction items, invest the £50 on the stock market, set sporting challenges or organise social activities to raise funds. There are so many great reasons to sign up, not only will you be helping to support over 3,480 patients locally every year, but it is a fantastic opportunity to boost teamwork and morale in your organisation.”

The challenge begins with a drinks reception in September at PL1 Restaurant and will be hosted by students at City College Plymouth. Teams will then have from 1 – 31 October to make as much profit from their £50 as possible. The winning team who have managed to raise the most amount money will then be announced at an awards ceremony on Wednesday 8 November.

Last year the 10 local businesses who took part in the Accumulator Challenge raised £9,340 for patient care. This money makes a real difference to patients of St Luke’s in the last months, weeks and days of life. At home, in hospital or at their specialist unit in Turnchapel, the money raised from the Accumulator Challenge helps St Luke’s to continue to provide specialist care for patients and give vital support to their families.

If you think your company or business has what it takes, then contact St Luke’s at corporate@stlukes-hospice.org.uk or call 01752 964414 to sign up your team.

Visit the Accumulator Challenge page online.

A Plymouth based charity has created a central online hub of information for healthcare professionals and patients, with the launch of their new website.

St Luke’s Hospice Plymouth has launched a brand new website, with quality of care provision at its’ core.

A key focus of the website is their new ‘information hub’, which provides resources, downloads and medical guidance for health and social care professionals, medical students and patients and their carers.

Other features of the new website include a dedicated area for course bookings for the variety of end of life training and clinical courses that the charity runs, as well as a live feed of care reviews left on the ‘Tripadvisor’ of the care profession, iWantGreatCare.

The website also includes a virtual tour of St Luke’s specialist unit at Turnchapel. The online tool offers the chance to wander around the halls of the local landmark, and hopes to demystify the work done by the nursing teams and support staff that work inside.

The website has been designed by Plymouth based creative branding design company, Logo Creative Partners. The website is the result of 10 months of hard work, since the charity launched a tender process for the work back in September 2016. The project has highlighted the importance of local partnerships, with the two Plymouth organisations working closely to create a website that not only represents the charity and its’ values, but provides clear information surrounding end of life care for healthcare professionals and patients alike.

Logo Creative Partners were chosen to undertake the project as they showed a clear understanding of the St Luke’s ethos and position within the community, which they were able to translate into the design of the website.

Communications and Marketing Officer at St Luke’s Hospice Plymouth, Gabby Prior said, “We are excited to finally launch our brand new website, it has been a long time coming. As a hospice charity, it was always going to be a challenge to ensure that our website catered for all our loyal fundraisers as well as health and social care professionals and most importantly, our patients, but Logo Creative Partners have definitely helped us to achieve that balance. We want the St Luke’s website to not only be an informative hub that medical professionals and our patients can turn to for signposting and guidance, but also to provide a wealth of creative ideas and support to make your fundraising event the talk of the town.”

Managing Director at Logo Creative Partners, Nick Burrage said, “Logo Creative Partners were delighted to be able to work on the St Luke’s website. We clearly identified the challenge as treating the very different visitor groups to the site appropriately in each case. While medical professionals will be busy people in search of information, friends and relatives of those using the hospice need to be treated in an entirely different way, sensitive to their situation. Of course there are also a large number of fun-runners and donors who have a different mindset again!

“Working closely with the team at St Luke’s was a joy – they are well-informed and passionate and it made the design and build process a really productive one. The site will allow the hospice to link in more closely with the medical profession and be fully accessible to the wider Plymouth community which is rightly proud of St Luke’s.”

St Luke’s Hospice Plymouth provides care and support to over 3480 people suffering from life-limiting illnesses at home, in Derriford Hospital and at their specialist unit at Turnchapel. To find out more about the charity and to access their new information hub visit www.stlukes-hospice.org.uk

Tour de Moor

St Luke’s Hospice Plymouth are inviting the toughest of cyclists to master the moors on Sunday 15 October and take on their annual Tour de Moor challenge.

There will be mud, sweat and plenty of gears in action as mountain bike riders take to the moors to embark on a cycle ride like no other. Sponsored by Print Copy Scan, a local supplier of printers and copiers, the ride will encompass challenging off-road moorland trails set amongst the spectacular scenery of Dartmoor.

Riders can choose between the intermediate 23km route or if they’re feeling brave enough, they can tackle the hills up to Princetown on the 52km route, cycling skills will definitely be put to the ultimate test. For a much more gentle route, featuring a mixture of tarmac paths and off-road trails, there is the family friendly 11km ride along Drake’s Trail, suitable for anyone with a bike.

The Tour de Moor challenge departs from and finishes at Harrowbeer Airfield, near Yelverton at 8.30am. The route will go around the beautiful surroundings of Buckland Abbey, providing some tough terrain as bikers navigate their way through the woods and up some challenging hills. Registration is just £20 and includes a t shirt and finisher’s medal.

Not only does the Tour de Moor get the adrenaline pumping, it also makes a real difference to patients of St Luke’s in the last months, weeks and days of life. At home, in hospital or at their specialist unit in Turnchapel, the money raised in sponsorship helps the Plymouth based charity to continue to provide specialist care to patients and give vital support to their families.

Head of fundraising at St Luke’s, Penny Hannah, said “Our Tour de Moor is set to be a fantastic day for all those keen cyclists out there. We are giving our riders the chance to experience the challenging peaks of Dartmoor and the mud, sweat and gears that go with it and with three routes to choose from, there’s no excuse to not get the whole family involved. It will be tough, but the money you raise will help us to provide vital care and support to people and their families across the local area, making every hill worth that extra effort!”

Director of Print Copy Scan, Karl Welburn, said “We are very proud of the work St Luke’s does in the community and are delighted to be sponsoring Tour de Moor for the next three years. St Luke’s is the only palliative care provider in this area and what is most important is that the money raised by Tour de Moor participants through sponsorship, goes directly on patient care.”

Sign up for the Tour de Moor 2017 here or by calling 01752 492626.