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.

When you see a company’s logo on St Luke’s promotional materials – whether it’s a Tour de Moor tee-shirt, an Open Gardens brochure or a Neon Midnight Walk poster – what does it mean to you?

It would be easy to think the answer is simple. A business would only sponsor us and lend its logo if it boosted its own profits, right? Well, not exactly! While the bottom line has to be a crucial consideration in any business decision, from talking to the companies who get behind our charity through corporate sponsorship we know there’s more to their motives than you might think.

As well as citing increased profile and an upsurge in customers as a result of their involvement, what drives them is the pride they feel in being associated with such an outstanding local organisation; the urge to give something back to the charity that has cared for many people close to their staff and clients, and the swell of team spirit that working with us helps spread throughout their workforce.

Portcullis Legals sponsor our Open Gardens scheme, which raises vital funds. The company’s Chief Executive Trevor Worth said: “We’re a Plymouth firm with many local clients and as a charity here St Luke’s is iconic. It’s in our DNA because it touches many of our lives and those of our partners, so it’s important that in the round we provide this support.”

Many of the companies who get involved choose to give long-term support to St Luke’s by sponsoring the same event over consecutive years, recognising the momentum this helps build. One such company, Nash & Co Solicitors, has sponsored our Neon Midnight Walk for three years.

The company is quite literally ‘walking the talk’, too, with a big group of Nash & Co ladies joining together for the event on 21 July. Marketing Manager Dave Briggs said: “It’s something that helps bring our staff together and is a bit more fun rather than them doing it individually, and it helps drive up their enthusiasm and engagement in raising money for St Luke’s.”

Another long-term sponsor is IU Energy, who back our annual Men’s Day Out. Chief Executive Duncan Banks said: “Sponsoring St Luke’s ticks a lot of boxes for us. The charity services the community, and it’s a great team-building exercise for us as so many of our staff love taking part in the event. We raised over £86,000 for last year, and we’ve signed up for the next three years. Ultimately, it’s got to be one of the most fundamental corporate social responsibility activities we undertake as a business.”

So there you have it. When businesses work with St Luke’s, it’s definitely a case of both head and heart. Learn more how your business can benefit from a partnership with St Luke’s.

Excitement is building about Elmer the Elephant and his friends trooping into Plymouth for Elmer’s Big Parade next summer, giving our city a mammoth boost that will benefit us all.

The enchanting trail across Plymouth will feature 40 bright and unique elephant sculptures each painted by a talented emerging or established artist. Brought about in partnership between St Luke’s, Andersen Press and Wild in Art, the Parade is set to attract over 200,000 visitors to the city and its surrounding areas – that’s more than the annual Firework Championships, making it Devon and Cornwall’s biggest mass-participation event for 2019.

On average, trails such as this draw an extra 30 per cent footfall to shops and visitor attractions, and it’s estimated that ours will boost Plymouth’s economy by £5 million. Not only that, the increased profile will help raise awareness of our city’s creative community and all manner of businesses big and small.

Here at St Luke’s, we’re speaking to companies about getting behind our charity and this amazing opportunity for our city by sponsoring one of our elephant sculptures, which will eventually be auctioned off in aid of us when the Parade closes. Recently, we were delighted to welcome accountants PKF Francis Clark on board, the firm having recognised the potential to make a difference to our patients and their families while also boosting Plymouth as a whole.

Duncan Leslie, Partner at PKF Francis Clark, said: “We are delighted to support Elmer’s Big Parade Plymouth in support of St Luke’s, who do such wonderful work caring for the families of the city affected by life-limiting illness. We look forward to tracking down our Elmer around the streets of Plymouth soon!”

The opportunity to be a sponsor is an exciting way to be involved in a major tourist attraction and be part of Plymouth’s portfolio of events for 2019. So, if there’s anyone in your networks who might welcome getting involved in this way, please help us spread the word.

Likewise, if you know an artist who’d like to get on board and use their talent to paint one of our lovely elephants, or you’re aware of a school or youth group who could benefit from being part of the trail’s education programme, we’d appreciate your help. Please put them in touch with Emma Milford, Project Manager for Elmer’s Big Parade 2019, on 01752 964429 or at emilford@stlukes-hospice.org.uk

Hot and sunny with hundreds of smiling faces, 22 May 2018 was definitely a day to remember and cherish – and not just for HRH Prince Charles in whose honour a special garden party was thrown at Buckingham Palace.

There to enjoy the event, which marked his 70th birthday this November, were five representatives of St Luke’s, one of the charities selected to attend the prestigious occasion because they are close to the heart of the Prince. Members of staff Frankie Dee, Carolyn Taylor and Anne Adams, and volunteers Dazzle Tighe and Leland Johnston, were nominated by managers to attend.

Not only did their selection mean a lot to them, they were able to share together the excitement of being part of the special celebration.

Speaking about the day, Anne, who has worked at St Luke’s for nearly 27 years, said, “Walking up to the Palace gates felt a bit surreal. The atmosphere was wonderful and it was lovely to be among the many different types of charities there.

“It was so nice to dress up for an occasion like this that you’re probably not going to get the opportunity to go to again. We got to see parts of the Palace not many get to see, and even caught a few glimpses of Prince Harry and Meghan in the distance.

“It was extremely warm and we were on our feet a lot, but nothing could take away from what an amazing day it was.”

Dazzle, who has been volunteering with us for ten years – on reception at Turnchapel and as a befriender – said, “It was an honour to be one of those chosen to attend, and very exciting.

“I think everyone there felt special, and the atmosphere was great. We were so well looked after by Palace staff, and we were close enough to see Charles and Camilla. The day was made even more memorable for me by my son being there, too. He was representing Wells Cathedral School, he will be Headmaster from this September, and it was lovely that we could meet up on such an occasion.”

We’re glad you all enjoyed your special day!

When it comes to kindness, compassion and sensitivity, Janet Hearl has more than enough for one charity. Part of the St Luke’s team for nine years, working as a Social Care Assistant and providing bereavement support, she has also been giving her time and using her skills with Jeremiah’s Journey, a local charity for grieving children, young people and families.

So, it was wonderful to see Janet win Health and Wellbeing Volunteer of the Year – sponsored by Livewell Southwest – at the recent Inspiring Lives Plymouth Awards, recognising those who consistently put the needs of others before their own.

Nominated by Jeremiah’s Journey for the difference she has made by coming alongside youngsters as they face the loss of a parent, Janet was very touched to receive the nomination – and completely bowled over to win! There to see it was proud husband Phil, who accompanied her to the awards ceremony at the Theatre Royal.

Janet said: “It was a shock! A lovely one though, and the award means a lot to me. The trophy is in pride of place at home, next to flowers sent to me by my son and daughter when they heard.”

She provides vital support as part of Stepping Stones run by Jeremiah’s Journey. This ten-week programme is for both children and parents, supporting them through their very difficult time, encouraging open conversations and making special memories, all of which can help the children process what’s happening and come to terms with their loss over time.

Janet said: “Understandably, young people facing bereavement can feel frightened and sometimes they blame themselves for what’s happening. Stepping Stones provides a supportive environment, and activities – such as felt-making with students from Plymouth College of Art – help them and their parents talk through issues and challenges. Importantly, Stepping Stones gives them space, as well as the opportunity to make memories together and with others taking part.

“It’s really rewarding to be part of something that makes a difference, and wonderful when they tell us they feel lighter and have made connections that can help sustain them as they move forward.”

Congratulations, Janet – you’re an inspiration!

An ‘amazing and ‘gentle’ midwife who passed away in March this year after a brave battle with cancer is being remembered by colleagues as they band together to raise money for St Luke’s.

Charlotte D’Alessio, who died the day after her 51st birthday, had worked at Derriford Hospital for almost two decades.

St Luke’s was there to provide care and support for Charlotte and her family, and her colleagues have already raised over £1,200 for our charity.

On 21 July they will come together to take part in our popular Neon Midnight Walk in memory of much-loved Charlotte.

Read more courtesy of Plymouth Live | http://ow.ly/MCK930koUHz

Sign up | www.stlukesmidnightwalk.co.uk

 

 

“You will let me stay here, won’t you?”

Many of us buy the Big Issue or help homeless people by taking part in a soup run, but when it comes to being homeless at the end of life… what then?

At St Luke’s, we believe everyone should be able to access specialist care when time is running short, regardless of their background and circumstances.

That’s why we’ve been working with George House hostel in Plymouth, where we helped enable a long-term resident – aged 54 – to end his days in the place he considered home.

For a homeless person to be able to die, like Iain, in a place of their choice with medical support on hand is still rare.

You can read more about the challenges involved, and the difference we’re helping to make by working in partnership, in this Big Issue article.

Our amazing volunteers are at the heart of St Luke’s and the services we provide. We appreciate them every day and this national Volunteers’ Week (1 – 7 June 2018), we want to say an extra big thank you to them all for the difference they make.

We spoke with volunteers across our community to gain more insight into the work they do, what motivates them and what they gain in return. As we’re sure you’ll agree, they’re a real inspiration!

Find out more about volunteering opportunities at St Luke’s.

Imagine combining the trip of a lifetime with the opportunity to make a difference both here in Plymouth and in one of the world’s poorest countries – that’s the opportunity St Luke’s Hospice Plymouth is offering those who want to push their boundaries physically and mentally and use their skills to help global hospice care.

The charity’s Malawi Challenge 2019 combines an exciting physical challenge with helping people in the country known as the ‘warm heart of Africa’, while raising vital funds for the compassionate care St Luke’s gives and the special memories the organisation creates every day for patients and their families when time is short.

The eight-day challenge includes a two-day climb up majestic Mulanje Mountain – with the opportunity to run part of the route for those wanting to push themselves even harder – and visits to rural home-based clinics, as well as enjoying some of Africa’s most breath-taking scenery and wildlife.

Famously friendly, Malawi is one of Africa’s most beautiful countries, but it is also one of its poorest, with 60 per cent of its people earning less than 93 pence a day.

Participants in the challenge (6 – 13 April 2019) will see a different side to Africa and meet dedicated, passionate and inspiring people committed to delivering healthcare in a challenging, cripplingly under-resourced environment. It is an opportunity for people from a wide variety of backgrounds and professions to pool their skills for the benefit of Malawians in need of their help.

One of the first to get on board with the challenge is intrepid Ann Brady, who celebrates her 70th birthday this December.

A nurse with 50 years’ experience, Ann is widely travelled and has trekked the Great Wall of China but has never been to Malawi. She is keen to use her nursing skills to benefit those living in the cripplingly poor country, where life expectancy is low.

Ann, who was Marie Curie Nurse of the Year in 2006 and lives in Worcester, said: “A good friend works at St Luke’s and having heard all about the fantastic care the team gives, I’ve been inspired to sign up for this amazing challenge.

“I’m really looking forward to meeting people from all backgrounds with knowledge and skills they can use generously to make a difference, whether they’re health-related or in another area.

“We’ll all come with different experience but share a common goal to help in whatever way we can. It’s also a great opportunity to see stunning scenery, and I’m looking forward to extending my stay so that I can enjoy a safari.”

While those from a medical or social work background can support or offer training workshops to Malawi’s Palliative Care Support Trust Blantyre, which provides palliative care for children and adults through clinics and home visits, those from different backgrounds can use their skills to support other organisations, such as those focussing on education, law and women’s rights.

Speaking about the challenge, Penny Hannah, Head of Fundraising at St Luke’s, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity – not only for the amazing trip and all the wonderful memories it will create but for people to share their skills, any skills they have, and work with Malawians within the healthcare and community care system.

“Everyone who takes part will be pushing their boundaries physically and mentally, joining a team committed to supporting global hospice care, and really giving something back at home and in the warm heart of Africa as an incredible global compassionate citizen.”

Those taking part in the challenge have the opportunity to extend their stay and enjoy activities such as scuba diving and kayaking at Lake Mulanje – or can simply relax in a hammock and take in the stunning surroundings. They can also travel into Zambia, Mozambique, Tanzania or South Africa.

More information about the Malawi Challenge 2019 is available here.

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!”