A mum from Dove Holes is urging local people to support their local hospice this Christmas, to help keep families like hers together over the festive period.

A few weeks before Christmas last year, Rebecca Tollerton’s husband, Mark discovered that his lung cancer had spread to his brain and that there was no cure.

The family sought help from Blythe House Hospicecare; including accessing its 24/7 Hospice at Home service where dedicated healthcare assistants provided day and night-time ‘sits’ to fit around life with children, Amelia, 8, and George, 6.

Rebecca explained: ‘Although we knew his lung cancer was advanced, nothing could have prepared us for such news. Up until that point, we had tried to keep life as normal as possible, for the sake of Amelia and George. At that moment, I felt very alone and extremely overwhelmed. It was at that point, in my absolute hour of need that Blythe House came into our lives.’

Alongside hospice care in the comfort of the family home, Blythe House was also able to provide volunteer support with shopping and gardening, as well as counselling services to help Rebecca and the children to come to terms with Mark’s prognosis.

Rebecca added: ‘Perhaps most importantly for the children, Blythe House gave us one last Christmas at home, as a family of four. Thanks to the care and support they provided, Mark was able to stay at home with us and that meant we could spend a very special Christmas together, creating important memories. That is something that my children will never forget – and I know it meant the absolute world to Mark too.

‘Mark died on 30th June this year and the loss we feel is immeasurable. But I am comforted to know that Mark received the best care, and his last Christmas was in his own home, surrounded by the people he adored.’

Since Hospice at Home started in 2016, the service has enabled over 450 people to die at home with their families and friends by their side. Providing over 33,000 hours of home care throughout the day and night across the High Peak and Hope Valley, is more than double what was originally planned because the demand for the service is so great.

Your donation this Christmas will make a huge difference to families in your local area. A donation of £50 could pay for a qualified healthcare professional from Blythe House Hospice to visit a patient at home for three hours, providing specialist medical care.

Watch Rebecca and Mark’s video.

Christmas cards are now available to buy to help raise vital hospice funds for patient care and services here at Blythe House. Priced between £3 and £4 for a range of different designs, there is something for everyone to send out to family and friends this festive season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The cards are available to buy at the following locations:

  • Blythe House Hospicecare reception, Eccles Fold, Chapel-en-le-Frith, High Peak, Derbyshire, SK23 9TJ
  • Buxton shop, 6 Eagle Parade, Buxton, SK17 6EQ
  • Chapel-en-le-Frith shop, 12 High Street, Chapel-en-le-Frith, SK23 0HD
  • New Mills shop, 3 Union Road,New Mills, SK22 3EL
  • Whaley Bridge shop, 17-19 Market Street, Whaley Bridge, SK23 7AA

Alternatively, you can order cards online. Just print off a copy of the order form and make a note of the cards that you would like. We can then post them out to you! Order form.

Blythe House Hospicecare is on the lookout for compassionate local people who would like to volunteer some of their time to help run services.

The hospice team is keen to hear from people who’d be interested in learning more about retail or transport volunteering roles:

  • Drivers provide transport to and from Blythe House for our patients to ensure they are able to access free care and services here at the hospice building.
  • Retail volunteers have varied roles including sorting, pricing and displaying donated stock, serving customers, and other aspects of the day-to-day running of the hospice’s four shops in the High Peak.
  • Online retail volunteers support the hospice’s two dedicated eBay sites, selling higher value or vintage items. Volunteers should have an interest in collectables, and be confident using a computer.

The hospice’s retail sector – including shops in Buxton, Chapel-en-le-Frith, New Mills and Whaley Bridge, and two online eBay sites – brings in almost half of the funding needed to keep care and services free for local patients, carers and their families. The NHS provides just 21% of the hospice’s resources.

Alistair Rogerson, Volunteer and Support Services Manager, said: ‘Our volunteers give hundreds of hours of their time per week to ensure the smooth running of Blythe House, and quite frankly, without them, the hospice would not exist. It was set up 30 years ago with a team of volunteers and it continues today with more than 200 passionate people who give their time for free.’

Pat Eckersley got involved with volunteering at Blythe House’s department store in Whaley Bridge in 2010. She commented: ‘What I’d say to potential new volunteers is to give it a try! It might seem nerve-wracking at first but just give a go, and hopefully you’ll love it as much as I do. This role helps me, and I know that I’m helping other people in return – it’s a two way street. There’s also a very good team of volunteers here, we’re like family, and we support each other through the bad times and have a laugh through the good times too.’

Find out more about the whole range of volunteering opportunities at Blythe House Hospicecare by:

More than 20 children have helped to make individual stars for the Light up a Life service at Blythe House, after visiting the hospice earlier this month.

Chinley Cubs came along to Blythe House on Tuesday 1st October to look at facilities and learn about the care and support that the hospice provides.

Alistair Rogerson, Volunteer and Support Services Manager said: ‘The Cubs began the evening with a Q&A session where they showed themselves to be well informed about the care that the hospice offers to local people with life-limiting illnesses.

‘They then explored the building; visiting the kitchen, dining area and gardens before moving to the art area and designing some individualised stars for our Light up a Life event on Sunday 8th December, which people can attend to remember loved ones.

‘The group was interested in the support Blythe House offers; enthusiastic about the upcoming events, and positive about the work undertaken. I know I speak on behalf of my colleagues when I say that this enjoyment was felt by staff too, who would love to see them again, and would welcome people of all ages to visit the hospice.

‘Blythe House is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and we are keen to open the doors to the public, to showcase the great work that is undertaken here.’

If you are a member of a local group that might like to learn more about Blythe House by a presentation at your meeting, or by visiting the hospice, we would be delighted to hear from you. Please call 01298 815 388 or email: communications@blythehouse.co.uk.

Volunteers in Chapel-en-le-Frith are hosting a special therapy day after the success of a previous event.

Ann Carter and Anne Cawthorn are hosting the Therapeutic Day at Blythe House on Saturday 9th November, to help raise funds for hospice care and services. A previous, similar event in 2016 helped to raise £2,000 for the High Peak hospice.

The all-day event will include workshops on Tropic beauty products, made from sustainably resourced ingredients; mindfulness; progressive muscle relaxation; and the HEARTS (Hands on, Empathy, Aromas, Relaxation, Textures, Sound) Process.

Ann Carter said: ‘We want guests to have the opportunity to relax and unwind from their busy lives, whilst also learning new things about beauty and complementary therapies.

‘All our speakers are experts in their fields. We are very pleased to have special guest speakers including Dr Peter Mackereth, who until recently was Clinical Lead for Complementary Therapies at The Christie Hospital in Manchester.’

Tickets – which include workshops, a 40-minute complementary therapy of your choice, lunch and refreshments throughout the day – are £50 and available on a first come, first served basis. Booking is essential and tickets can be secured by:
• Calling Blythe House on 01298 815388
• Emailing fundraising@blythehouse.co.uk
• Visiting Blythe House on Eccles Fold, Chapel-en-le-Frith

Find out more about the event.

A High Peak nurse, who became a Member of the British Empire in 2014 after decades of service to cancer care, has become a trustee at Blythe House Hospicecare.

Anne Cawthorn worked in renowned cancer and palliative care organisations during her celebrated career including The Christie Hospital, St Ann’s Hospice and the Neil Cliffe Centre at Wythenshawe Hospital.

The Chapel-en-le-Frith resident said: ‘I always wanted to be a nurse, so at the age of 17, I undertook nurse training for four and a half years at Manchester Royal Infirmary. I moved back to Chapel when I got married and held a variety of posts in rheumatology, orthopaedic surgery and rehabilitation at the Devonshire Royal Hospital Buxton.’

In 1988, Anne qualified as a nurse tutor and had a number of roles combining education and clinical practice, gaining qualifications in aromatherapy, counselling, psychotherapy and hypnotherapy.

Eight years later, Anne moved into cancer and palliative care, working across Greater Manchester before moving to The Christie in 2000 to take up a joint role as Lecturer Practitioner with the Psycho- Oncology team. She was also the module leader for the cancer, palliative care and communication skills courses at The University of Manchester.

Anne explained: ‘In 2008, I came to work at Blythe House Hospicecare, integrating the Living Well day-care service into the hospice, supporting adults with cancer or other life-limiting illnesses to live as well as they can. I am very proud that a number of hospices throughout the country have now adopted the supportive, rehabilitation model that I developed at Blythe House.’

After retiring, Anne has spent five years giving her time free at Blythe House supporting the fundraising team, and more recently as a spiritual care volunteer and befriender, playing a key role in welcoming new patients to the hospice and helping them to settle in; providing practical and emotional support.

Anne said: ‘I am delighted to be taking up a post on the board of trustees at Blythe House, an organisation that means so to me. We are so lucky to have all these facilities in the High Peak.’

Blythe House is governed by 12 volunteer trustees who oversee the running of the charity, attending on average 17 board meetings per year including an AGM and sub-committees for admin, financial and clinical matters.

Find out more about the hospice including its history and other trustees.

A gala ball to celebrate 30 years of hospice care in the High Peak has raised over £23,000 to support local families affected by cancer and other life-limiting illnesses.

Hundreds of people including local businesses and volunteers attended the glitzy Blythe House event at the Octagon in Buxton on Friday 13th September.

A highlight of the night included an anonymous donation of £2,500 to sponsor a healthcare assistant to provide night-time support for two weeks in the home of a local patient at the end of their life.

The event also included silent and live auctions with special prizes including holidays, afternoon teas, meals out in the High Peak and sporting memorabilia, very kindly donated by local companies and organisations. The total amount raised is £23,015.

Becca Gregory, Fundraising and Events Coordinator, said: ‘Our first ever gala ball event was a huge success and it was fantastic to be able to celebrate the hospice’s very special pearl anniversary in this way.

‘On behalf of everyone at the hospice, I would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who ensured the event was so great, including guests, donors and volunteers. We simply could not continue to provide the highest-quality care and services to local people affected by life-limiting illnesses without this unwavering support from our community.’

Reverend Betty Packham founded Blythe House in 1989, with a £1,000 legacy left to her by local parishioner, Stan Blythe.

The hospice needs to raise £3,600 every day to continue to provide free care and services to High Peak patients and their families. Find out more about how you could support the hospice.

See a full gallery of photos from the night on our Facebook page.

Local people are being invited to run, walk, dance, prance, jog and jingle to help raise funds for hospice care in the High Peak.

Our second annual Jingle Bell Jog is back by popular demand at Buxton’s Pavilion Gardens on Sunday 1st December 2019.

The Jingle Bell Jog offers a 5k route around the idyllic grounds, alongside a 700m Children’s Fun Run for participants under 12 years of age.

Hundreds of people took part in last year’s triumphant event, donning Santa suits and hats to jog, walk and genuinely laugh their way around the park course.

Vicki Jordan attended Blythe House’s Living Well day-care service after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018. The Disley resident said: ‘The Jingle Bell Jog last year was amazing. I was still recovering from treatment so it was not exactly a record-breaking time! However, the event was such a great thing to be a part of.

‘The support I received from Blythe House had helped enormously to get me through a horrible year, and I was very glad to be able to give a little bit back. I was so proud to raise almost £700, which was beyond my wildest expectations.’

The Jingle Bell Jog will help to raise vital funds to ensure that Blythe House can continue to provide free services to people across the High Peak who have illnesses including cancer, heart failure, COPD and motor neurone disease, as well as their families and carers.

Registration for the 2019 event opens on Tuesday 17th September, with a special early bird registration offer of just £10 for the 5k route with Santa suit and goody bag included, and £2 for the children’s fun run complete with Santa hat.

Sign up online.

It may seem early in the year to mention the C word but with just 15 Fridays left until Christmas; we really need to get our festive skates on and start discussing this year’s Christmas knitting appeal!

After last year’s appeal raised an amazing £1,200 for Blythe House care and services, we are feeling confident that we’ll be able to beat that total in 2019.

You can pick up copies of our popular knitting patterns in the main hospice reception, as well as our four shops across the High Peak in Buxton, Chapel-en-le-Frith, New Mills and Whaley Bridge.

To make life a little easier though, and if you have access to a printer, please download the patterns here.

If you, or someone you know, cannot knit but would like to get involved, you can do so by donating Christmas chocolates including chocolate oranges and Ferrero Rocher – we can never have enough!

The little knitted luxuries – which make amazing stocking fillers or Christmas Day table treats – are sold during the festive period to raise vital funds for the hospice to continue to provide free care and services to local patients, their families and carers.

Finally, don’t forget to visit Facebook for knitting tips, tricks and ideas by finding the Blythe House Hospice Nifty Knitters group.

A local hospice service hailed by current patients as ‘wonderful’ is recruiting volunteers to support people in the High Peak who have life-limiting illnesses.

Blythe House Hospicecare’s community volunteer programme provides practical and emotional support in the homes of local patients dealing with illnesses including cancer, heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Parkinson’s and motor neurone disease.

Prospective community volunteers attend a comprehensive training programme to develop their skills, knowledge and confidence to provide the best service. The next training opportunity begins on Monday 30th September.

Community volunteers are available to provide support including companionship, transportation and respite breaks for patients, family members and carers. A myriad of tasks have been carried out since the programme began in 2018 including mowing the lawn, clearing a room to receive a hospital bed, and simply just ‘being there’ so a carer could get some rest.

Local patients who have benefited from using the service commented:

  • ‘After three and a half years in my house I was desperate to get out and my volunteer is simply wonderful. We go out to Buxton in the car and have a walk in the park. Sometimes we will go out in the car for coffee somewhere in Chapel. It is freedom and a real treat – it is so lovely to get out!’
  • ‘All of the support I get from Blythe House is wonderful – nothing is too much trouble for them. Without my volunteer I would not be able to get out which I would hate.’

Community volunteers during training (L-R) Helen Wallis, Rachel Dennett, Margaret Charlton

Rachel Dennett has been a community volunteer since February. The Glossop resident explained: ‘My father died last year. In his last few days he was cared for by his local Hospice at Home team. I saw what a massive difference these carers made to both him and the rest of the family. Their support made an awful situation more bearable.

‘I was in a position where my children needed me less, giving me some spare time. I wanted to give something back to the community.’ Consequently, Rachel got in touch with Blythe House.

‘I’ve been involved with one patient so far. My brief was originally to provide some respite for their carer and companionship for the patient. However, in the last month or so this has changed to providing support for the carer while the patient is in hospital. I support them in a number of practical ways such as ironing, changing beds, shopping, cooking meals, along with being someone to talk to. It is a really satisfying and interesting role and I’d thoroughly recommend it. The training sessions were really helpful and often entertaining too!’

To find out more about the community volunteer programme and training – starting on Monday 30th September: