Teddy bears donated to Blythe House and Helen’s Trust are helping local children affected by grief and bereavement.

Derbyshire Freemasons kindly gave the Teddies for Loving Care (TLC) to Blythe House Hospicecare and Helen’s Trust, which supports children and young people with counselling and play therapy.

The TLC initiative was founded by the national Freemasons where millions of bears have been given to hospital A&E departments to help comfort children and teenagers.

Neil Tomlinson, Derbyshire Freemasons TLC coordinator (photographed alongside Angela Salisbury from the hospice team), recently visited the hospice to present the teddy bears.

The different coloured cuddly toys are now being used by counsellors at the hospice to support children who have experienced the death of a loved one.

Rachel Leech, children and young people’s counsellor at Blythe House, said: ‘In one instance, I asked a child to pick the colour that reminded them of their mummy, and with another child, the teddy bear was focused on what colour they needed. The bears are such a special addition to the range of resources I use during my sessions with children aged four to 18, who are finding it difficult to come to terms with the illness or loss of someone close to them.’

The teddy bears are set to be used at an upcoming family Christmas event, open to children who have experienced loss, and their families. There will be festive crafts and a chance to decorate a special memory candle holder.

Rachel explained: ‘The event will be an opportunity for local children to come together to make friends with others who are in a similar situation, and remember their loved ones at Christmas, which is usually a tough time of year for anyone who is bereaved.’

The family Christmas event is taking place at Blythe House Hospicecare on Eccles Fold, Chapel-en-le-Frith from 4 to 6pm on Friday 10th December. Any child in the local community who has experienced the death of someone they love is welcome to attend.

Find out more.

The 2021 Helen’s Trust Chatsworth 10k, sponsored by BRM Solicitors, was the first of many fundraising events that was continued since the merger. Held within the Chatsworth Estate on Sunday 12th September, the fundraising event welcomed over 900 runners across the 10k and 3k races.

It was a day full of positivity and team spirit, with runners Derbyshire and beyond coming to take on the challenging and picturesque 10k route. The event raised a staggering £33,500 which can pay for 50 bereaved children to individually access a 12 week course of specialist counselling so they can learn how to cope with their loss. Many runner’s sponsorship contributed to the total raised – with one individual, Tracey Howard, raising an incredible £3,820 on her own!

Becca Gregory our Fundraising and Communications Manager, said; ‘We are delighted that the Chatsworth 10k was able to make a return this year, following the cancellation of the 2020 event due to Covid-19, and it was an amazing atmosphere on the day. I would like to thank the local businesses whose contributions made a huge difference to the amount of money we were able to raise for the charity; whether it was through sponsorship or donation of services. The event was also supported by many incredible volunteers who marshalled the course, registered runners and aided traffic management, and without them the Chatsworth 10k wouldn’t happen.’

Fairfield Builders Supplies, Buxton & Studio10 Kitchens, Bakewell sponsored the kilometre markers, Holdsworth Foods & Morrisons Buxton donated over 1000 cereal bars for the runners and Buxton Water donated all of the water for the event.

The 10k, chip timed, course is particularly spectacular, set within the impressive Chatsworth Estate. The sun was shining and the Duchess of Devonshire was in attendance to hand out medals and cheer runners across the finish line.

The 2022 Chatsworth 10k will be held Sunday 18th September- registration will open in the new year.

To check out up and coming festive events for Blythe House Hospicecare and Helen’s Trust visit our events page

We have recently welcomed two new members to the Hospice at Home team, due to increasing need and the successful development of our Hospice at Home service.

Emily Downs (Hospice at Home Senior Nurse) and Penny Ellis (Hospice at Home Nurse) will work with the team to support patients to die at home with their loved ones beside them. They will use their clinical expertise to assess the patients’ needs and liaise with other services and organisations to enable the highest quality care.

Here they explain about their careers to date and more about their new roles…

Emily Downs – Hospice at Home Senior Nurse

What attracted you to apply for the role for hospice at home nurse?
Having worked locally in Disley for the last couple of years, I had become familiar with Blythe House and the service provided by Hospice at Home. I had been so impressed by the care provided and also the fantastic reputation it had in its locally that as soon as I saw the Job advertised on Facebook I was instantly interested. Looking at the role in more detail, I felt that my experience in both working in a community setting and providing End of Life care would be well suited to the role.

Tell us a little bit about your career to date…
I qualified from Sheffield Hallam University in 2014, throughout my training I knew that my vocation was working within the community, caring for people in the comfort of their own home. So from University I went straight into community nursing, I worked for a number of years in both Tameside and East Cheshire. I grew in confidence and knowledge over this time, having many good learning experiences. Also having the support and mentor of many great and experienced nursing colleagues. In 2018 I then applied to do an Advanced Diploma in Specialist Community Practice at Chester University. From this I went to be District Nurse caseload holder, managing a caseload in Disley with a small team. This involved in both the planning and delivery of care for patients with varying needs. A predominant part of the role was caring for those approaching end of life, I have always felt this is a privileged and trusted position being able to provide care and support in some of the most difficult circumstances.

So far, what have you found that you enjoy most about working at Blythe House?
Since arriving at Blythe House, we have had a very warm welcome from all the team. It is clear to see that everyone working here at Blythe House has a shared passion and commitment to supporting those with palliative and life limiting illness and their families. It is evident that the care that is provided here is individualised with the patient/family’s needs central to support given. I am excited to join a team which has such enthusiasm and commitment to this.

What are you most looking forward to about your role at the hospice?
I am looking forward to getting to know the fantastic team of HCA’s which are essential for the Hospice at Home service. I’m excited to see how my current skills and experience can be utilized- further growing and developing the Hospice at Home service.

Penny Ellis Hospice at Home Nurse

What attracted you to apply for the role for hospice at home nurse?
I have always enjoyed working within the field of Palliative & End of Life nursing and I value the importance of providing the very best care for patients who choose to die in their own homes.

Tell us a little bit about your career to date…
I qualified in March 1998 and started my working life at Macclesfield Hospital working on the general medical wards before moving onto orthopedic surgery. I further progressed into bed manager and clinical coordinator role which enabled me to gain many different nursing and managerial skills. 7 years ago I moved into the area of district nursing to further develop my skills and thoroughly enjoyed caring for palliative and end of life patients. My last position was that of practice nurse whereby I gained further skills, but can honestly say I missed caring for patients with life limiting illness.

So far, what have you found that you enjoy most about working at Blythe House?
Since starting at Blythe House at the beginning of August I have been welcomed into the team and it is clear to see the staff are very passionate about their roles. I have had the opportunity to meet most staff and also some of the volunteers that very kindly give their time to the charity.

What are you most looking forward to about your role at the hospice?
The Hospice at Home service is already providing individualised care to patients in their own homes. With the development of my role I can further provide an extensive assessment of each patients needs when first referred into the service and develop individualised care plans. I am very much looking forward to working alongside other professionals at Blythe House to deliver the very best care and support to patients and their families with life limiting illness.

Find out more about our Hospice at Home service.

Squadron Leader Nick Critchell, Red 3 of the Red Arrows team talks to Blythe House Hospicecare and Helen’s Trust about his generous donation of a rare piece of RED Arrows memorabilia.

Tell us a little bit about your career so far in the RAF?

I joined the RAF back in 2008 after studying aerospace business systems at Salford University. I completed my training at RAF Valley having flown the Grob Tutor, Tucano and Hawk T1. I was then posted to the Typhoon FGR4, serving on 1(F) and II(AC) Squadrons at both RAF Leuchars and RAF Lossiemouth. During my three-year tour, I was deployed to the Falkland Islands and conducted air policing operations on both UK Quick Reaction Alert and in the Baltic as well as participating in multinational exercises that included Ex Red Flag at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. Then in 2016 I was posted to the RAF Valley as a Qualified Flying Instructor on the Hawk T2 aircraft.

How does it feel being part of the Red arrows team?

It’s a fantastic privilege to represent the UK, MOD and RAF across the world. The Hawk T1 is like the classic sports car of the RAF’s fast jet aircraft and it’s a boyhood dream to be able to don the red suit and fly such a British icon. Being part of the next generation is a real honour.

What do you enjoy the most about being part of the team? 

I feel so lucky to be a part of the Red Arrows team, this year being able to fly once more and meet the large fan base who hold the team in such high regard makes it even more special to be RED 3.

What is your favourite flying manoeuvre to fly?

Enid (Reds 1-5) fly a manoeuvre called ‘Rollbacks’ during the second half of the display. This is my favourite as it is one of the most dynamic manoeuvres we fly as the front 5 where we roll over the top of the aircraft next to us, changing formation position.

Where is the most exciting place that the suit has flown?

I wore the suit during the Paris and London flypasts where the Red Arrows flew with the French display team, the Patrouille de France for the French president and our Prime Minister, Boris Johnson. It was also worn during displays in Finland and Guernsey.

Pictured both teams over London’s landmarks. Image by Dave Jenkins.

What made you choose Blythe House Hospicecare and Helen’s Trust to be the recipients of the suit?

When I decided to donate my 2020 suit, Blythe House Hospicecare and Helen’s Trust was my first choice of charity. They have done so much during lockdown to support their local community. I also saw how a friend of my family, Caroline Morgan, received a lot of support from Blythe House Hospice when her husband, Dean, was diagnosed with terminal cancer. The support included counselling for her and her two boys who were just 3 and 6 years old. I just hope that this donated suit will generate funds and help Blythe House Hospicecare & Helen’s Trust continue to provide outstanding end of life care.

Trivia about the Red Arrows Team

  1. The first official Red Arrows display was on May 6, 1965 at Little Rissington.
  2. The first public Red Arrows display was on May 9, 1965 at Clermont Ferrand, France.
  3. The first female Red Arrow pilot was announced in 2010 – Flt Lt Kirsty Moore.
  4. The Red Arrows engine is a Rolls-Royce Mk 151 and it can reach speeds of up to 645 mph at sea level
  5. The formation the pilots fly in is always the same.
  6. When in flight, the Red Arrow pilot’s body weight can be six times lighter than usual.
  7. In 1968 – when the team increased from seven to nine – the Red Arrow’s diamond-shaped flying formation, the Diamond Nine, became iconic and was registered as an official trademark.
  8. There are three types of display the pilots can perform, weather permitting – the Full Display, the Rolling Display and the Flat Display.
  9. ​​Every year, three pilots are changed, so there is always three first year pilots, three second year pilots and three final year pilots.
  10. The Red Arrows display has taken place in more than 50 countries around the world.

If you would like to be in with a chance of winning a rare piece of Red Arrows Memorabilia go to https://blythehousehospice.org.uk/redarrowsraffle/

Friday 20th August saw 100 local golfers attend Chapel-en-le-Frith Golf Club’s Charity Day in aid of Blythe House Hospicecare & Helen’s Trust. The event was set around the newly renovated al fresco area at the club, and participants enjoyed a great 18 holes of golf in beautiful conditions as well as breakfast baps and the choice of woodfired pizza or a pulled pork bap with all of the trimmings after their round.

Generous donations of bottles for the tombola allowed additional income to be raised on the day, along with some friendly challenges out on the course. The £7,000 raised through this event will pay for 47 full nights of care for those patients living in the High Peak and Derbyshire Dales who are affected by a life-limiting illness and wish to remain at home at the end of their life.

Becca Gregory, Fundraising & Events Coordinator at Blythe House Hospicecare said ‘We are so grateful to Chapel-en-le-Frith Golf Club for hosting this event for us. It was a wonderful day in a fantastic setting and the amount raised will make a huge difference to those in our community who benefit from the services provided by the hospice.

Further thanks go to the golfers that took part and all of the local businesses and individuals who provided sponsorship, prizes and donations’.

Chapel-en-le-Frith Golf Club are delighted to confirm that the Blythe House Hospicecare & Helen’s Trust Golf Day will be back next year, on Friday 19th August 2022. In the meantime, why not see out the remains of the summer with some outdoor dining in the fantastic al fresco area overlooking the golf course?

We’re delighted and grateful that our charity golf day in Buxton has raised over £5,100 for local hospice services.

Ninety golfers came together on Friday 11th June for the event at Buxton and High Peak Golf Club, and enjoyed the fine weather on their round.

There were some great prizes for the winners including vouchers and golfing equipment very kindly donated by local businesses.

A bottle tombola with wines, beers and spirits proved popular with players too, helping to boost the event’s fundraising total for local care.

The money raised will fund Blythe House and Helen’s Trust care including the 24/7 Hospice at Home service which enables patients who’re at the end of their life to stay in the comfortable surroundings of their own home.

Becca Gregory, fundraising and events coordinator, commented: ‘I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who made the golf day such a success; participants, volunteers who supported the event, and Buxton and High Peak Golf Club for once again playing host, and being so accommodating.

‘My sincere thanks to local companies who supported the event with donations of prizes or sponsorship, including Buxton Woodworks, DRiV International,  Home Instead care, New Mills Golf Club and Pak-Pro Ltd. I am also very grateful to local shops and hospice supporters who donated bottles for the tombola.’

Golfers who’re keen to support Blythe House and Helen’s Trust can get involved in upcoming events this summer:

  • Chapel-en-le-Frith Golf Club charity golf day on Friday 20th August – entry is £40 per player to include hot drink and bacon roll on arrival, and pulled pork baps or wood-fired pizza after tournament. Register online.
  • 20th annual Helen’s Trust Sickleholme Golf Day on Friday 27th August – entry is £210 per 4ball to include coffee and biscuits on arrival, BBQ and drinks at the 13th hole, Cava at 18th hole, three-course carvery meal after the tournament. To book, please contact Becca on 01298 875 089 or email: events@blythehouse.co.uk.

A life-saving defibrillator is now installed at Blythe House Hospicecare, thanks to funding from a local charity.

Chapel-en-le-Frith United Charities provided a grant for the equipment, after Kath Sizeland, High Peak borough councillor for Chapel West ward, suggested installing it at the hospice to ensure accessibility for residents in the area, and to complement other defibrillators in the town centre.

The kit has been erected on an external wall of the hospice building on Eccles Fold, so that it is easily accessible – directly under the main sign for the building.

Alistair and Kath

Alistair Rogerson, business development manager at Blythe House, said: ‘We’re so grateful to Chapel-en-le-Frith United Charities for funding the installation of the defibrillator.

‘The hospice is located within a rural community, and an area of Chapel-en-le-Frith where many older or more vulnerable residents live. I hope that this equipment will bring peace of mind to the community – although we hope it never does need to be used, it’s great to know that it’s there and will be able to provide life-saving treatment to a patient whilst an ambulance is en route.’

Kath Sizeland commented: ‘I am really pleased to see the defibrillator installed at the hospice building. It is a crucial piece of emergency medical equipment, and it was really important that another defibrillator was installed at the “top end” of the town, to supplement other equipment in lower Chapel-en-le-Frith.’

In the case of nearby cardiac arrest emergency, the defibrillator (registered with the ambulance service) will enable a local resident to call the emergency services who will advise them of the access codes to use it.

Statistically, for every minute someone is in cardiac arrest without cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and access to a defibrillator, chances of survival drop by up to 10% (British Heart Foundation).

People across the High Peak and Derbyshire Dales who are caring for a loved one with a life-limiting illness, are being urged to seek support.

We provide support and advice to carers who’re looking after a relative or friend who may have an illness such as cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart failure, Parkinson’s or motor neurone disease.

The hospice is commemorating Carers’ Week (7-13 June), an annual campaign to ‘raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges unpaid carers face and recognise the contribution they make.’

We host a monthly support group for carers, providing a safe and relaxed environment for local carers to share problems, concerns or experiences with the knowledgeable team and with others in a similar situation. Staff also provide one-to-one care and advice for carers including complementary and talking therapies.

Louise Furmston, community engagement lead nurse, explained: ‘Many family members do not see themselves as “carers” when they are living with someone who has a life-limiting illness. Their focus is supporting the person who is ill and they often do not acknowledge the impact upon themselves. They become absorbed in the role of caring, putting the needs of the person they are caring for above their own needs and well-being.

‘Blythe House Hospicecare is here to support “the whole family,” offering a listening ear and exploring “what matters to them,” providing support and advice in relation to their needs.’

Joy Stephenson’s husband, Chas started to attend Blythe House following his diagnosis with a rare form of blood cancer. Joy was offered carers support from the hospice, before Chas sadly died in January 2021. He received care from the Hospice at Home service, and died in the comfort of his own home.

Joy, from Hayfield, said: ‘The hospital consultant made the referral to Blythe House; and then followed almost two years of what I can only describe as an amazing and wonderful partnership between us and the marvellous staff at the hospice.

‘One really good thing was the opportunity for him to spend some quality time in the company of other men and the chance for a good natter. Not only was Chas pampered, but my needs were also being cared for – a chance to talk about my worries and concerns, and the offer of complementary therapy, so I was able to have some relaxing pampering too. We very quickly came to realise that the whole ethos was to meet the needs of us both, and to anticipate when that help needed to be stepped up.

‘I think the most difficult thing was when to accept the offer for that support to come directly into the home. Inviting strangers into your home to take over much of the caring role was hard. On the one hand, I felt I was abdicating responsibility and I wasn’t sure what to expect. On the other hand, I was becoming exhausted and realised that I was struggling to cope. I shouldn’t have worried; the carers were so experienced and sensitive to our needs and they became welcome friends and always seemed to know exactly what was needed. More importantly, I came to understand and welcome their input, especially when they always seemed to know the right time to step up the amount of care we needed; I never needed to ask.

‘They delivered all this care with compassion, sheer hard work, friendship, love and, so often, much-needed good humour. Above all, they allowed Chas to maintain as much dignity as possible and to die at home surrounded by love with me and my daughter beside him.’

Read Joy’s story.

Find out more about how Blythe House and Helen’s Trust could support you and your family by calling: 01298 875 080, or visit ‘our services.’

We are thanking over 250 local people who give their time for free to support local hospice care, as part of a nationwide celebration of volunteers.

The annual Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June) is a chance for charities like Blythe House Hospicecare and Helen’s Trust to say thank you for the contribution millions of people make across the UK through volunteering.

The hospice’s team of volunteers collectively donate around 590 hours of their time every week, in three key areas: patient services, retail and fundraising.

Blythe House and Helen’s Trust provide palliative and end of life care to patients across the High Peak, Derbyshire Dales and North East Derbyshire.

Wendy Brown, HR advisor, said: ‘My main contact with volunteers during the past year has been due to the rigid Covid regime that we have in place here at Blythe House. From those patient-facing volunteers who test three times per week, to those keying the testing data whilst managing reception, everyone has been amazing. Such enthusiasm, such dedication and passion for their volunteer role. I thank you sincerely for the way in which you fly the Blythe House flag, helping so many who need our support and services within the local community and beyond.’

Anne Hatton, manager at the hospice’s Whaley Bridge shop, commented: ‘Thank you to all our shop volunteers for your precious time, knowledge and expertise that make the shops such a success. You all help make such a difference to people’s lives.’

Becca Gregory, fundraising and events coordinator, added: ‘A HUGE thank you to all of our volunteers; without you the services provided by Blythe House and Helen’s Trust would not be possible. Our fundraising events are a vital source of income to the charity, but they rely heavily on volunteers dedicating their time at every stage to ensure they can go ahead safely and with the highest level of enjoyment for participants. Thank you to everyone that volunteers their time to keep all aspects of the hospice running smoothly.’

As part of the weeklong celebrations, the charity is inviting prospective volunteers to get in touch and find out more about donating their time to support local hospice care.

Vicci Wild, Community Volunteer programme manager, said: ‘We would love to hear from people who might like to give some time by volunteering in one of our hospice shops located in Bakewell, Buxton, Chapel-en-le-Frith, New Mills and Whaley Bridge.

‘We are also keen to hear from complementary therapists who would like a rewarding volunteer role supporting those in our community affected by life-limiting illness. Offering aromatherapy, reflexology and other complementary therapies to local patients and carers, can positively impact their physical and emotional health.’

To find out more about volunteering opportunities at the hospice:

Our annual review for 2020/21 is out now! Featuring information and patient stories about hospice services throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns, it highlights the incredible work of our staff and volunteer teams.

The document is dedicated with grateful thanks to everyone who has supported Blythe House and Helen’s Trust during the past year, including local people who have donated so many items, including personal protective equipment to keep our teams safe during Covid-19, our volunteers, patients, families, fundraisers and partner organisations. We are so proud to work with you, and thank you sincerely for your amazing support!

Do you know a local business or organisation that might like to display our annual reviews in their reception/guest areas/waiting rooms? We’d be delighted to give copies out to help spread the word about our services. Please email to arrange: communications@blythehouse.co.uk.

Printed copies of the annual report are available to pick up at the hospice building on Eccles Fold, Chapel-en-le-Frith, and will be soon at our five shops in Bakewell, Buxton, Chapel, New Mills and Whaley Bridge.

Read it online now.