Our community volunteer programme, described as ‘gentle, invaluable and amazing,’ is seeking local people who would like to support patients in the comfort of their own home.

The service provides practical and emotional support in the homes of local patients who have life-limiting illnesses including cancer, COPD, heart failure and neurological conditions such as motor neurone disease.

After completing comprehensive training, community volunteers are able to provide help and support to patients and their families including respite breaks, companionship, light household chores and gardening. The current team of 22 volunteers donated over 400 hours of support between October and December 2019.

Alison Dronfield-Boyd (left) from Buxton became a community volunteer in June last year after retiring early. She has been offering help to a local patient who has motor neurone disease, and said: ‘I support with a variety of things including improving accessibility to make life easier, for example, moving items in the kitchen to a lower level. I have ironed clothes, as this is something that the individual can no longer carry out. I have also walked the dog and carried out gardening tasks. The main thing during all this is the companionship; we chat and enjoy each other’s company.

‘The community volunteer programme is a massive support to people who need it and is extremely personally rewarding. It’s the best thing I have ever done with my time; I would say that even the smallest amount of time that can be provided is very much appreciated.’

A volunteer supports Bill with respite care at his home in Chapel-en-le-Frith so that his wife of over 60 years, Marina is able to go out. She said: ‘Jon comes round for two hours each week to chat to Bill and keep him company whilst I go shopping or meet up with a friend. People don’t realise how hard it is to not be able to go out when you want, or need to. Before the community volunteer programme, I very much relied on my daughters who are wonderful but only come round when they can, as they are both at work. With booking in scheduled visits from Jon, I have something to look forward to each week, and know that Bill is so well cared for when I am gone. We are so grateful to Jon for giving up his time to support us.’

To find out more about community volunteering at Blythe House, including a new training programme due to get underway next month, you can:

(Updated 17.08.2020) 

At Blythe House, the well-being of the people we support, hospice visitors, staff and volunteers is our first priority and that’s why we are following advice and guidance issued by Public Health England and the UK Government.

Services during ongoing COVID-19 situation:

  • Telephone support and advice relating to life-limiting illness for both patients and carers. Guidance including planning for end of life care, changes to treatment plans, combating isolation and loneliness, mental health and well-being. Signposting to external, partner organisations that can provide further support including social care, legal and financial help. Contact: Louise Furmston, Community Engagement Lead on 01298 875080 or email: Furmston.louise [@] blythehouse.co.uk
  • Companionship and support for elderly, isolated or vulnerable members of our local community, in full compliance with Government regulations. This includes, but is not limited to shopping, medication collection, transport to/from medical appointments, walking pets and telephone companionship. Contact: Vicci Wild and Julie Forrest, Community Volunteer programme on 01298 816990 or email: volunteering [@] blythehouse.co.uk
  • Counselling and bereavement support for both adults and children. Contact: bhh.counselling [@] nhs.net 
  • 24/7 Hospice at Home palliative and end of life care in the comfort of patient’s homes. Contact: Ruth Brown and Jude Webster, Hospice at Home team on 07512 852087 or email: Blythehouse [@] nhs.net.  

A huge THANK YOU to all of our amazing volunteers and supporters who continue to show such resilience in the face of uncertain times.

  • Our hospice charity shops in Buxton, Whaley Bridge, Chapel-en-le-Frith and New Mills are now open. For full details, please refer to our dedicated shops page.
  • We have liaised closely with our event sponsors and postponed our upcoming fundraising events. Add the new dates to your diary now!

Useful documents and information:

Take care and stay safe.

Blythe House Bulletin is now available to read online, featuring news and info about the hospice’s care and services, and our upcoming events.

 

The reception, porch and a bathroom area at Blythe House Hospicecare are set to undergo a major transformation to ensure the building is accessible to all visitors.

The hospice is delighted to be working alongside CRASH, a national charity that is supporting the project by drawing on the professional skills, materials and financial generosity of the construction industry.

CRASH has also very kindly donated £30,000 towards the revamp, with the remaining costs coming from trusts and grants applied for by the hospice’s fundraising team.

Ongoing, fundamental support is also coming from local industry professionals including quantity surveyor, Gavin Garner of WCP Associates; Claire Wilde and Jemma Slater from SlaterWilde Architects and Designers; and Terry Ward, formerly of WMA Developments.

Janet Dunphy, CEO, said: ‘Blythe House celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2019 and the hospice has come a very long way in those three decades. As our services have grown and developed, what was once an adequate, welcoming space is now unfortunately not fit-for-purpose to meet the growing needs of our local community.

‘As a small hospice we need to ensure that all of our space is being used to its full potential and we have recognised that at present, there are a number of changes needed to ensure we are running effectively, meeting the demand of services and supporting our patients.

‘As you can imagine, at busy times and periods, the reception area can be very crowded and does not offer easy access to our Living Well service, or any kind of privacy for patients and visitors. The revamp will ensure it is made fully accessible to all patients, and will allow for privacy when visitors are waiting for appointments or meetings.

‘We are incredibly proud to be working alongside exceedingly talented, knowledgeable and dedicated representatives from CRASH and our local community – and we can’t wait to see the amazing revamped area later this year!’

Construction is set to get underway in mid-February 2020, continuing until around March. The hospice is working hard to ensure that disruption to services is kept to a minimum.

As mentioned previously, popular monthly coffee mornings will not take place throughout the refurb process due to access issues. Our next coffee morning is set to take place from 10am to 1pm on Friday 17th January at Alderbrook Day Centre, Buxton Road, Chinley, SK23 6ES.

Further updates about the refurbishment will be available in the coming weeks, so please stay up to date via our website and social media channels.

If you are thinking of giving your time to a good cause this year, then look no further than supporting your local hospice.

Blythe House Hospicecare is on the lookout for volunteers from all walks of life, to help provide care and services to local patients who have life-limiting illnesses including cancer, COPD, heart failure, and neurological conditions such as motor neurone disease, as well as their family members and carers.

Anyone over the age of 16 can volunteer at Blythe House, supporting the hospice in three key areas: patient services, retail and fundraising. Roles include befriending, catering assistant, fundraising and events support, gardener, reception cover, retail assistant, counsellor and driver.

Alistair Rogerson, Volunteer and Support Services Manager, said: ‘Without our dedicated team of over 270 volunteers, Blythe House simply could not open its doors every day. We are incredibly grateful to the friendly and committed bunch, who collectively give almost 600 hours of their time to the hospice every single week. Support from our volunteers means that we can spend the maximum amount of money directly on care and services for local patients and their families.’

(L-R): Emily (with her Nan who came to Blythe House), Tom, Jasmyn, John and Betty

  • Emily Efstathiou from Fairfield undertook volunteer work experience at the hospice during her Business Studies course at Buxton College: ‘The thing I have enjoyed the most has been meeting so many new people including the staff, volunteers and the patients, and hearing about everyone’s lives and reasons for supporting the charity; it has been truly inspirational.’
  • University of Manchester student, Tom Craig from Hayfield, volunteered during his summer holidays: ‘Just being somebody who a patient can talk to about some of the difficulties that they are facing; or simply a chat about a random topic; or helping to clean the teacups at the end of the day; it is worth volunteering here simply because you can really feel like you are making a difference.’
  • Jasmyn Walton, also from Hayfield, works full-time through the week but gives her time to support the hospice’s weekend fundraising events: ‘When I volunteered I went along with a few of my friends, which was great for the organisers as they had more helpers, but this also meant I spent time with my friends whilst contributing to the community. You will feel great after helping others – I am already looking forward to volunteering at the next event with the hospice!’
  • Taddington resident, John Baker is one of the hospice’s community volunteers, which sees him head out across the local area to provide support in the homes of patients, their families and carers: ‘I have supported a patient by ensuring her husband had some respite, taking him shopping and for a coffee and a cheeky cake for just two hours each week. Simply listening and offering a different environment for a couple of hours can and does make a massive difference within a difficult situation.’
  • Betty Moll, from Chapel-en-le-Frith, has volunteered at Blythe House charity shops since 2009, after she relocated to the High Peak from Peterborough with her husband Tony (who is also a hospice volunteer): ‘If you have just moved into the local area and you’re looking to meet new people and make friends, volunteering for Blythe House is a great way to do so. It is a worthy role and I know that I’m giving something back to support a local hospice.’

To find out more about volunteering opportunities at Blythe House, you can:

Blythe House’s reception area is set to undergo a refurbishment very soon and so our monthly coffee mornings will not take place at the hospice as usual, due to access issues.

Our next coffee morning is set to take place from 10am to 1pm on Friday 17th January at Alderbrook Day Centre, Buxton Road, Chinley, SK23 6ES.

Please spread the word and find out more.

Dozens of High Peak residents have given more than £5,400 to a hospice appeal to help ensure local patients at the end of their lives can stay in the comfort of their own home.

Blythe House Hospicecare’s Christmas appeal is supporting the hospice’s hugely successful Hospice at Home service. Since it began in 2016, the service has provided over 39,000 of care to local patients who wish to die at home, instead of being admitted to a hospice in-patient unit or hospital.

The service received its 500th referral last month and has supported patients and their families across the local community including in Alstonfield, Buxton, Buxworth, Chapel-en-le-Frith, Chinley, Disley, Earl Sterndale, Furness Vale, Glossop, Hayfield, Longnor, New Mills, Peak Dale, Taxal, Tideswell, Whaley Bridge and Wormhill.

Mark and Rebecca Tollerton from Dove Holes accessed the 24/7 service after they found out that the cancer in Mark’s lungs had sadly spread to his brain. Hospice at Home provided day and night-time ‘sits’ to fit around life with young children, Amelia and George.

Rebecca explained: ‘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.’

Janet Dunphy, CEO of Blythe House Hospicecare, said: ‘We are overwhelmed by the support from our local community and I want to say a sincere thanks to everyone who has found it in their hearts to donate to such a worthy cause this festive season. A donation of any amount will make a lasting difference to local families like the Tollerton’s, who wish to spend quality time together at home in the final weeks of their loved ones life.’

Find out more and donate.

Blythe House Hospicecare is teaming up with fashion retailer New Look this Christmas to offer Buxton shoppers an extra big thank you for supporting the charity.

Following a successful pilot in the summer, New Look is launching a new customer discount initiative to support hospice care, by encouraging more people to donate goods to their local hospice shops.

The high street store will be offering a 20 per cent discount voucher to anyone who drops in a full bag of donations at Blythe House’s shop on Eagle Parade before the end of January 2020. The shop is one of over 200 taking part in the programme across the UK.

Under the scheme, running in partnership with national hospice and end of life care charity Hospice UK, donors will receive a voucher which they will be able to spend at New Look’s store in the Springs Shopping Centre, which is only a short walk from the hospice shop.

Marie Brown, Blythe House’s Buxton shop Manager, said: ‘This fantastic initiative is enabling people to support their local hospice, and in return receive a voucher to spend in at another local retailer – just in time for Christmas and a bonus for our local high street!’

Nigel Oddy, Chief Executive Officer at New Look, said: ‘As a company, we really care about being kind to our people and to our planet, therefore we want to make it easy for our customers to recycle their unwanted clothes whilst helping to reduce the amount of clothing waste that ends up in landfill. New Look is very excited about this partnership with Hospice UK to encourage our customers to donate their once loved clothes to their local hospice shop. Following the successful pilot for this initiative over the summer, we are delighted to be rolling this out nationally.’

Meghan Booth, Business Development Manager at Hospice UK, added: ‘It is wonderful to have such as well-recognised brand as New Look working in partnership with us. Their support makes such a big difference in helping to increase public awareness about the care available to people with life-limiting conditions and their families.’

Blythe House’s retail sector – including four charity shops across the High Peak, 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.

More than 400 people have pledged to raise over £11,000 for local hospice patients after the ‘amazing’ Jingle Bell Jog in Buxton.

Blythe House Hospicecare’s second annual event saw over 370 adults and 70 children don fancy dress and headwear to jingle around the Pavilion Gardens on Sunday 1st December – a fantastic sight for dozens of well-wishing onlookers.

Money from online donations has already come in totalling more than £4,180, but with the addition of cash sponsorship and registration fees, the event is set to raise over £11,000 for hospice care. Participants have until the 10th January to collect all their sponsorship money, before the grand total is revealed.

Sophie Hopkin from Whaley Bridge took part alongside two friends in memory of her mum, Allison. She said: ‘My mum wanted to go to Blythe House but sadly she didn’t get chance as she died within three weeks of her lung cancer diagnosis. The hospice has supported me with counselling since she died in April, so I just wanted to give something back.’

Julie Reilly from Chesterfield added: ‘We are doing this for a colleague that we used to work with who accesses services at Blythe House, so we’ve come to support her. I’ve seen from Facebook posts what a big support the hospice is to her and I’ve seen how it’s helped other people too.’

David Fearn from Burbage took part in last year’s event with his wife, Lynn and they turned out again for the second annual jog. He explained: ‘My wife goes to Blythe House every Wednesday; she has suffered from cancer in the past and has got other illnesses. The staff and everyone there are fantastic, so this is just our little way of saying thank you and helping the cause. The weather’s nice and there’s lots of people who have turned out, so let’s hope we have a good day and raise plenty of money!’

Liam Browne got involved alongside work colleagues. The Buxton resident said: ‘We’ve got a bit of a running group going where we work, there’s about six of us, and we just thought we’d get involved with this to support a good cause and get in the Christmas spirit.’

Blythe House provides care and support to local patients who have life-limiting illnesses including cancer, COPD, heart failure and neurological conditions such as motor neurone disease. The Hospice at Home service has provided over 37,000 hours of care to local people at the end of their lives since it began in 2016.

Jennifer Godwin, Fundraising and Events Coordinator at Blythe House, said: ‘I would like to express my sincere and heartfelt thanks to everyone who was involved in the Jingle Bell Jog in any capacity, for ensuring it was such a huge success.

‘From volunteers who supported the event by setting up, marshalling, clearing away and everything in-between; local companies that provided sponsorship or gifts in kind; and of course, everyone who took part! It really was an amazing day and I hope everyone is bursting with pride for playing their part in helping to raise such an amazing amount of money for hospice care in the High Peak.’

Plans are already in place for next year’s Jingle Bell Jog, which is set to take place on Sunday 6th December 2020. Sign up to take part before midday on Sunday 8th December 2019 for a super early bird offer of just £5: www.jinglebelljog.org.uk.

To see the online gallery of photos, kindly taken by volunteer photographer, Iain Klieve, find Blythe House Hospicecare on Facebook.

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.