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: 20.10.2020]

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.

A leaflet filled with advice and guidance about palliative and end of life care is being distributed across the High Peak and Derbyshire Dales to support primary care staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Janet Dunphy, CEO at Blythe House Hospicecare, has drafted the document to offer advice and support to local colleagues, who may be experiencing more conversations about death and dying due to the current situation.

Janet, who has over 35 years of experience as an end of life care specialist, said: ‘Originally I devised the leaflet with care home staff in mind, but having written it, I hope it will be beneficial to colleagues across the healthcare sector during the current times.

‘I just wanted to share some useful phrases that I have learnt over the years of working with dying people and their families. The leaflet has advice on having difficult conversations and answering tricky questions on subjects including what to expect when someone is dying, as well as medication and treatment issues. There is also some mental health and well-being guidance, which could not be more important now. I sincerely hope local healthcare professionals have and will find the leaflet helpful.’

Dr Louise Jordan from Baslow Health Centre said: ‘Both clinical and admin staff at the surgery have found the leaflet to be incredibly useful; we have downloaded and printed further copies from the hospice’s website. Not only do I believe it’s valuable to healthcare staff, but members of the public may find it of interest, especially during the unprecedented times we find ourselves in at the moment.’

Read and download a copy of the ‘thinking of you’ leaflet.

Sincere thanks to mum and daughter, Val and Megan Jackson from Combs who have raised £640 for Blythe House by compiling a community cookbook for the village – featuring soups, starters, snacks, mains, desserts and cakes!

Val explained: ‘Like so many others we have been staying in at home. Although unable to go out and about to do anything at practical level, we wanted to find some way of contributing, so we have asked village residents to email us their favourite recipes. We are in the process of compiling these into a ‘Combs Comforts’ village cookbook, which will be emailed out to everyone in the village to share. In return, we will be asking everyone to make a voluntary contribution to Blythe House. We hope the money raised will be of use to you in these challenging times.’

The best part is they have decided to make the cookbook available to the wider High Peak community!

Download it here now!

Make a donation to the ladies’ Just Giving page in return.

Virtual Quiz Night

High Peak people affected by life-limiting illness are set to benefit from a virtual fundraising quiz hosted by the borough’s MP.

Robert Largan MP is set to host a general knowledge quiz on Friday 5th June, to raise money for Blythe House.

A suggested minimum donation of £5 per household will ensure that we can continue to provide free services to local people who are affected by life-limiting illnesses including cancer, heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and motor neurone disease.

Throughout the ongoing COVID-19 situation, hospice nurses and healthcare assistants continue to deliver palliative and end of life care to patients and families across the local community. The hospice team is also delivering counselling, advice and support over the phone.

Robert said: ‘Blythe House do amazing work and I’m really pleased to be able to help support them during this difficult time when a lot of traditional fundraising efforts are not possible. I look forward to testing the people of High Peak on their pub quiz skills!’

Alistair Rogerson, Business Development Manager at Blythe House, added: ‘We are very grateful to Robert for giving his time for free and offering to host this quiz in aid of the hospice. If 50 households take part, donating just £5 each, the money raised will pay for 15 hours of Hospice at Home care for a local patient who wishes to die in the comfort of their own home, surrounded by their loved ones.’

The quiz winner will receive a hamper of gifts including biscuits, activities and a House of Commons bottle of whisky donated by Robert.

Registrations are limited so to avoid disappointment, find out more and sign up now.

Emma Richards, Community Engagement Facilitator at Blythe House Hospicecare, took part in a special fundraising event for the hospice earlier this month, alongside fellow members of an exercise class. They each ran 5km with their families during lockdown – making up a marathon 26 mile total! Emma explains…

We are more than aware that a lot can happen in a week. We have heard of amazing gestures of generosity in times of such adversity. I would like to share with you how touched I was to hear the HIT class I attend was going to hold a fundraising event and it had been decided that Blythe House Hospicecare would be the recipient.

Jo Torr, who organised the fundraising event, said: ‘I wanted to organise and participate in this relay marathon in aid of Blythe House Hospicecare, as the care and love that hospices provide to families is second to none. Their whole ethos is to create a loving, supportive and peaceful environment for the patients and loved ones at a stressful and emotional time.’

Participants volunteered within minutes of a text going out from Jo. My boys volunteered to participate and I agreed to accompany them. I immediately responded to the team with the following message:

‘A huge thank you in advance. It is such a challenging time for all charities who continue to provide front line care in the community, for the community. In the light of the COVID-19 outbreak, I have listened to patients and carers in the Living Well service, who have had their support network removed overnight with social distancing. More recently, I have been redeployed to the Hospice at Home team. I have seen immediately how much our care and compassion impacts so positively on the patients and carers that we listen to and visit. We have never been needed like we have now. On behalf of Blythe House, I thank you from the bottom of our hearts.’

With the lockdown at that time only allowing for an hour of outside activity, Jo decided on the relay idea; 3 groups with 3 participants in each group all scattered over the High Peak. The run commenced at 11.00 a.m. on Sunday 3rd of May. When each of the groups completed their 5k distance, they texted the next participant. I was moved with joy at the messages of support that began to pour in from everyone once the relay had been completed.

Donna said: ‘I felt it was a privilege to run in support of Blythe House, because not only was it a wonderful way to join with my running friends in our relay event, but also to connect with the Blythe House community. It is important to reach out and connect, particularly during this time of isolation. You are all in our thoughts and hearts.’

Even more amazing to think that it took only one week from the conception to completion! Two days after the relay marathon, we have raised an amazing £1,005 and still counting.

Georgie said: ‘It is lovely to do something positive and worthwhile with everything that is going on in the world. I am going to bed feeling happy that we did something that will make a difference.’

Torr de Force have been blown away by the generosity of everyone who has taken the time to donate. I would like to present to you all the Torr de Force team: Jo Torr, Georgie Swift, Nicki Horry, Aga Bickford, Alexandra Sheldon, Miriam Fanshawe (who then had to volunteer her husband Richard, due to an injury – bless you for standing in last minute to allow this to go ahead!), Donna Wood, Noah and Asher Richards (my boys), and of course me following up at the end!

When a group of ladies (and men/boys) come together and unite, we are unstoppable! What a formidable Force indeed!

As Blythe House CEO, Janet said: ‘You are hero’s!’ – I couldn’t agree more!

I would like to finish with another quote from Donna: ‘We are a community not just individuals’.

These sentiments are so meaningful/profound, as the feeling is replicated by Blythe House Hospicecare. We are there for the community but equally the community is there for us. We should all take pride in recognising we are so valued for the crucial role we are playing in our community.