Huge thanks to Discount Displays Ltd who have designed and donated a giant whiteboard cheque to Blythe House so that we’re able to say thank you to our supporters at a safe distance and follow government guidelines.

Aaron Inglethorpe, from the team, said: ‘Discount Displays are proud to be able to support Blythe House and the exceptional work they do with people who have life-limiting illnesses. We hope the promotional cheque will be beneficial to their future fundraising efforts and provide an eye-catching focal point for PR photo opportunities.’

We are so grateful for this generosity! Find out more.

A fundraising golf day in Buxton was the best by par – raising more than £5,200 for local hospice care and services.

Over 80 golfers took part in Blythe House Hospicecare’s first event following the COVID-19 lockdown, at Buxton and High Peak Golf Club.

Players came from across the High Peak and beyond for the friendly competition on Friday 4th September, including teams of work colleagues, and members of other golf clubs – helping to raise over £500 more than last year’s event total.

There were prizes for first to fifth place teams, with winners picking up items kindly donated by local companies, including golf bags and game accessories, bottles of whiskey, and vouchers for restaurants, shops and golf courses.

Local businesses also sponsored each of the 18 tees across the course, and hospice supporters donated alcohol for the popular bottle tombola, which raised over £700 on its own.

Becca Gregory, fundraising and events coordinator at Blythe House Hospicecare, said: ‘I would like to thank everyone who got involved in our golf day to make it such a huge success. With it being the hospice’s first event post-lockdown, it was wonderful to see everyone coming together safely to support the cause. There was a fantastic atmosphere throughout the day and the great weather definitely helped!

‘Special thanks go to the team at Buxton and High Peak Golf Club for all of their help in planning the day, including volunteering so much time to help out. I am also incredibly grateful to dedicated hospice volunteers who supported us on the day, and generous residents and businesses who donated money or gifts in kind towards the event.

‘All the money raised will go towards supporting people across our community who are affected by life-limiting illnesses and bereavement, including children and young people.’

Find out more about how you could support Blythe House Hospicecare.

Following Blythe House’s official partnership with fellow local end of life care charity, Helen’s Trust, Janet Dunphy, CEO, has written a blog about the news…

I was absolutely delighted when Dr Louise Jordan, Chair of Helen’s Trust board of trustees, approached me to discuss the possibility of this partnership, this is why:

As organisations, Blythe House and Helen’s Trust share the same values, we are here to support those with life-limiting illness. The growth of our Hospice at Home service proves how much people want to stay with their loved ones at home at the end of their life. We literally do the same thing for the same people in the same place. Together we do it better. It is because of this that all the trustees and staff involved are so excited and proud to be together as a community. We are a perfect match, like Blythe House, Helen’s Trust is well-loved charity; a small charity with clear ambitions to support as many people as possible when they need us most.

Our services at Blythe House are unaffected by this partnership, but I’m sure you’re pleased to see the developments that enable us to reach even more people who need us. Just as always, Blythe House works to meet the needs of our community. Blythe House is doing the same work, but more efficiently, we have to be here for the future.

The partnership also enhances our workforce, as the Helen’s Trust fundraising team join us. They have ensured Helen’s Trust has kept going and made it as well respected and successful as it is today; their work will continue as our fundraising work for Blythe House continues. I assure you that both teams are raring to go! We will continue to use the familiar and respected brands and profiles, which have defined our two great charities over the years.

We also have an opportunity to expand the work of our community volunteer services. They have made 1,600 contacts in our community, and their achievements shone brightly throughout the COVID-19 lockdown (and still do). The Helen’s Trust community will be able to join that team and support their neighbourhoods with trained volunteers from Helen’s Trust.

In essence: we are doing more – for more people – together. Raising funds has never been more important than it is today, if you are willing to help in any way please contact: fundraising@blythehouse.co.uk.

If you are interested in joining our volunteering team, please contact: volunteering@blythehouse.co.uk.

I wish you all well in these strange times and hope you feel every confidence in your local developing hospice. Thank you sincerely for helping us to be there.

Warm wishes

Janet

Blythe House is joining forces with Bakewell-based Helen’s Trust to extend Hospice at Home services to more patients across the High Peak, Derbyshire Dales and North East Derbyshire.

Blythe House Hospicecare and Helen’s Trust have been discussing their organisational compatibility for over 12 months, and this formal partnership – officially launched today, 7th of September 2020 – is the natural progression of the special relationship.

The charities have been working closely together since April throughout lockdown, delivering over 1,800 hours of care to patients across the Dales and North East Derbyshire , in addition to those in the High Peak, who have life-limiting illnesses such as cancer, heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and motor neurone disease.

After receiving 120 patient referrals from April to August 2020, 75 patients died in the comfort of their own home with their loved ones by their side – achieving a 100% outcome for the patient’s preferred place of death.

The need for this fundamental care in patient’s homes has never been clearer. A survey found that 82% of people wanted to die at home, but 50% of us die in hospital. Other research found that hospices could help reduce hospital deaths by 50,000 every year, generating £80m of savings for the NHS* (*Hospice UK).

Tim Mourne, chairman of the Blythe House Hospicecare board of trustees, said: ‘Over the last year, it has become more and more apparent that Blythe House and Helen’s Trust would be stronger together; ensuring better value from joint resources, and most importantly, reaching more local people who need us.

‘I am delighted to announce that Janet Dunphy, chief executive at Blythe House Hospicecare, has officially taken on the management of both charities, following the retirement of the former Helen’s Trust CEO earlier this year, and she will continue to lead the merged organisation.

‘The board of trustees at both charities have been merged, to support the exciting new partnership and its future development, bringing together local industry professionals with a wealth of knowledge and skills.’

Dr Louise Jordan, founding trustee of Helen’s Trust, added: ‘Blythe House and Helen’s Trust are both strong and aspiring local charities whose shared vision is to support more and more people, to have the choice to stay and die in their own home. Working together accomplishes this and provides a very high standard of care.

‘As a board, we are so incredibly glad that over the last year we have forged such strong links with Blythe House who share the same purpose and values. The COVID-19 pandemic has hit us like a tornado but a clear sentiment between the two charities is that together, we are stronger.’

Janet Dunphy, CEO at Blythe House Hospicecare, has over 35 years’ experience as an end of life care specialist. She commented: ‘I am delighted to have the opportunity to oversee this incredibly exciting partnership, to ensure that everyone in our local community can receive the best Hospice at Home care.’

Blythe House’s Hospice at Home service launched in 2016 and since then, has delivered over 48,000 hours of day and night-time care in the comfort of patient’s homes across the High Peak.

Referral processes for both charity’s services will remain the same and can be made by:

  • Calling 01298 813007 or 01298 811770 for Blythe House
  • Calling 07780 331715 for Helen’s Trust

Cover image – Tim Mourne, Janet Dunphy and Dr Louise Jordan 

Read a blog post from Janet Dunphy, CEO, about the news.

Lovers of the great outdoors across the High Peak are being invited to support their local hospice as they go outside to run, walk, swim or bike.

We’re asking people to help raise vital funds by enjoying an outdoor activity and donating just £5.00 to hospice services.

Alistair enjoying a day at the zoo with his family to commemorate #GoOutsideDonateFive

Alistair Rogerson, business development manager, said: ‘Understandably, the coronavirus pandemic has hit the hospice hard, as we had to close our charity shops and cancel or postpone our fundraising events. We would love for local people to get behind this new fundraising initiative to help raise money for hospice care in the community.

‘Everyone can get involved by doing something fun outdoors – it could be hiking, biking, swimming, climbing, or simply walking the dog. If just 50 people took part and donated only £5 each, the total amount would pay for a specialist clinic for anyone in the community with heart or respiratory problems to get the care, advice and medication that they need.’

To get involved, simply text OUTSIDE to 70085 to donate £5 to Blythe House Hospicecare, and tag posts on social media #GoOutsideDonateFive.

Texts cost £5 plus one standard rate message and you’ll be opting in to hear more about our work and fundraising via telephone and SMS. If you’d like to give £5 but do not wish to receive marketing communications, text OUTSIDENOINFO to 70085.

You can also donate online via our website.

More people affected by life-limiting illnesses in the High Peak and surrounding areas are set to benefit from extended holistic, palliative and end of life care, as Blythe House Hospicecare introduces its modernised services and brand new Community Hub.

Launching in autumn 2020, the Blythe House Hospicecare Community Hub will continue to provide a wide range of services, but deliver them in a different way: a more modern, post-COVID-19 way, which will help many more patients and their carers.

A multi-disciplinary team, including nurses, counsellors, a physiotherapist and occupational therapist, will provide programmes of care, education and support during the day, in the evenings and weekends. There will be more support groups and clinics, working alongside clinicians and therapists to offer a wider range of much-needed services.

Local people who are affected by illnesses such as cancer, motor neurone disease, advanced heart, kidney and respiratory diseases– including patients, their families, carers and medical professionals – will have access to the Community Hub.

New horizons – maintaining excellence and improving where needed

Innovative services on offer will include educational and support programmes for fatigue, anxiety and breathlessness; dementia care; parenting through grief; well-being and physical activity.

In addition to the hospice’s current offering of outpatient clinics, there will be more sessions for local patients to receive care, guidance and medical advice closer to home, avoiding lengthy travel to hospitals or other healthcare providers. This will include nurse advice clinics for information, support, and symptom management advice, as well as a carer’s surgery. Specialist colleagues, including Dr Sarah Parnacott, Consultant in Palliative Medicine, will offer their clinics from the Community Hub.

The hospice will continue to enjoy strong links and relationships with local partners including Ashgate Hospicecare; GPs; community and specialist nurses; and other care providers, so that patients receive the most comprehensive care.

An all-day community café on Fridays will provide light refreshments including breakfasts, lunches and afternoon teas, for patients and families to enjoy the hospice’s unique environment and atmosphere.

Working in unison with the Community Hub, the Hospice at Home service will continue to provide 24/7 care to local patients, who wish to die in the comfort of their own home with their family and loved ones by their side.

Hospice transformation and volunteer power

To coincide with the launch of the new service model, the hospice building, based on Eccles Fold in Chapel-en-le-Frith, is currently undergoing a major transformation to ensure it is accessible to all visitors. Managed and co-funded by national charity, CRASH, the project is drawing on the professional skills, materials and financial generosity of the construction industry.

Alongside this, stimulating training opportunities will be available to new and existing hospice volunteers. The current team of almost 300 volunteers donate hundreds of hours of their time every year, to ensure that Blythe House can continue to provide free care and services to local people.

The Community Volunteer team – supporting local patients with light tasks and companionship – continues to grow and expand, building on its initial success and the invaluable support provided during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Special Blythe House ethos

Janet Dunphy, CEO at Blythe House Hospicecare, said: ‘We are buzzing with excitement to launch our brand new Community Hub; Building Back Better to support even more people in our local area, whilst maintaining the very special ethos of Blythe House.

‘Generally, hospice services are continually monitored, and often change regularly such as every three years, to ensure that they are still fit for purpose, and solvent. The last review of services at Blythe House took place a decade ago, so it was vital that we undertook this research and analysis of our current offering.

‘We want our dedicated supporters who donate to us, to know that we’re helping as many people as possible, and providing services that are very much needed. Patients need local services that connect them to other healthcare systems, providing a multi-disciplinary service that is both flexible and accessible to everyone. Blythe House is keeping it local and ensuring resilience in our community.

‘Our committed Board of Trustees has overseen and agreed all of the exciting service revolutions; we have kept our mission, charitable objectives and core functions, and ensured that every pound donated is spent wisely. This was an exercise to maximise efficiency, not a cost-saving review; we are spending the same amount of money per year to deliver more services, and support even more people. All new services, including groups and clinical activity, will increase as they evolve and grow, to meet the growing and changing needs of our community.’

Career opportunities

As part of the exciting launch later this year, the hospice will be recruiting its own physiotherapist, occupational therapist and two care navigators, who will assess referrals and direct them to the appropriate in-house services.

The timing of the Community Hub launch is dictated by government restrictions given the current COVID-19 situation, but it is hoped that the new service provision will be available to local people by October 2020.

Blythe House was founded in 1989 by Reverend Betty Packham after Stan Blythe from Fairfield left her a £1,000 legacy in his Will. Betty cared for Stan in the comfort of her home during the final months of his life.

Keep up to date on the Community Hub launch and upcoming job vacancies:

 

Staff and volunteers at our charity shop in Chapel-en-le-Frith are urging local people to stop unloading items outside when the store is closed.

Since the High Street shop re-opened after lockdown on Monday 15th June, it has been inundated with kind donations from local residents who have been taking time to have clear outs during the government restrictions.

The shop teams, made up of staff and volunteers, have been limiting donation times to certain days, due to the amazing amount of items that have been given over the last few weeks.

Despite display signage politely asking people to not drop off donations outside of opening times, dozens of people continue to leave items in the shop’s doorway or on the pavement.

Marie Brown, Retail Manager, said: ‘We are so very grateful for the fantastic donations that we have received since we re-opened after lockdown – these items are helping us to raise thousands of pounds for local hospice care – supporting people affected by life-limiting illnesses in our community.

‘Over the last few weeks though, I have regularly come to open up the shop in the morning, or after a weekend, to find mounds of items piled up outside the door or on the pathway. We haven’t had the best summer so far, so more often than not, the items are soaked through after heavy rain.

‘Due to current government restrictions, we have to quarantine all donations for three days before we’re able to be sort them and put out for sale in our shops. Wet or damaged items cause us issues with storage and hygiene, as well as the safety of our staff and volunteers.

‘We politely ask that you please do not leave donations outside the shop – this is classed as fly-tipping and is a punishable offence. My volunteer team and I are so eager to help you with your very kind donations, when the shop is open.’

To check or ask any questions in advance, please do not hesitate to call the shop in advance on: 01298 814587.

[Last updated: 03.09.2020]

The reception, porch, downstairs toilets and a bathroom area at Blythe House are undergoing a major transformation to ensure the building is accessible to all visitors. Read the full story.

 

 

 

Volunteers at Blythe House have provided over 800 support visits to local people who are elderly, vulnerable or isolated during the coronavirus outbreak.

The Community Volunteer team has been on hand to help with tasks including shopping, prescription collections, transport to medical appointments, telephone companionship and pet walking, over the last three months.

Dedicated volunteers have also collected personal protective equipment, kindly donated by local individuals and businesses, for the hospice’s nurses and healthcare assistants to continue providing palliative and end of life care safely.

The Community Volunteer programme provides support and companionship to Blythe House patients, who are affected by life-limiting illnesses such as cancer, heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and neurological conditions like motor neurone disease.

Following the lockdown announcement in March, the team offered to help anyone across the local community, who needed extra support during the unprecedented circumstances.

Volunteers helped to spread the word about the service by giving their time, in-line with Government exercise restrictions, to post over 5,000 Here to Help leaflets in more than 300 residential streets and 65 essential shops.

Vicci Wild and Julie Forrest have taken the huge task of coordinating the volunteer efforts across the High Peak, including in Buxton, Chapel-en-le-Frith, Chinley, Combs, Dove Holes, Furness Vale, Hayfield, Longnor, New Mills, Quarnford, Tunstead Milton and Whaley Bridge.

Vicci said: ‘We send our sincere and heartfelt thanks to our volunteers who have gone above and beyond over the last few, difficult months, to support local people who are in need. Volunteers have been creative in thinking of substitutions for items on a shopping list that were not available; returning twice to the pharmacy for prescription mix ups; phoning daily to a vulnerable person with limited support to check they are OK; and so much more.

‘We want our volunteers to know that they have not just been filling requests for medication pickups, filling transportation needs, filling cupboards and pantries; they are filling hearts. Their simple gestures of kindness resonate across our community. Just knowing that this service exists is enough to get some people through.’

Julie added: ‘When lockdown was announced, we were not quite sure what the community response would look like, but we could not be prouder of our fantastic team of volunteers and supporters! Our flexible team, which has grown from 22 members to almost 50 since March, has ensured that every single request for help has been filled.

‘We listen to the needs of those around us, and adapt our services to fill those needs in the here and now. Sixty-one of the families that the Community Volunteer team is helping have had no prior connection to the hospice. The sense that we are in our community, for our community has never been clearer.’

Hospice services during the coronavirus pandemic.

Find out more about the Community Volunteer team, including how to volunteer.

Feature photo shows:

  • Jon Davey walking Stanley in Buxton [owner self-isolated for 12 weeks]
  • Liz Burns providing transport to The Christie hospital for a patient to have chemotherapy treatment
  • Denise Bloom providing telephone support

People across the High Peak and surrounding communities are invited to commemorate the memory of a loved one by helping to raise funds for Blythe House.

Supporters can dedicate a flower in memory of someone special, and make a donation throughout this month, for the hospice’s Sunflower Memories appeal.

Usually the special event every June sees the hospice garden in Chapel-en-le-Frith come alive in a blaze of bright yellow and orange sunflowers, but this year, due to the ongoing situation, donors will receive a personalised sunflower plaque, to plant in their own home or garden.

There are plans to re-create the hospice’s field of sunflowers virtually; and people are invited to send a photo of their planted plaque, so that our fundraising team can share tributes and reminiscences on social media.

Katie Holt, Supporter Engagement Officer (left), explains: ‘The Coronavirus pandemic is affecting all of us, but at Blythe House, our nurses and healthcare assistants are continuing to provide end of life care to patients in the comfort of their own homes. Our hospice team is also on hand to give telephone support, counselling and guidance, to patients, families and carers throughout the ongoing situation.

‘We are very proud to be supporting hundreds of members of our local community who are elderly, lonely or isolated; helping with shopping, medication deliveries, transport to hospital for chemotherapy or other treatments, and walking pets.

‘We would love for local people to get involved in this very special campaign; a poignant way to remember loved ones across the High Peak and to celebrate their lives. In turn, donations will help us to ensure that we are able to continue providing free services and support, to local people who need it most.’

Dedicate a sunflower in memory of someone you love.