Three East Anglia hospices are collaborating on a series of events to introduce young people and their families to adult palliative care services.
“Lovely day” is hosted by East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH), Arthur Rank Hospice Charity and Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice. The collaborative event is designed to introduce young people approaching the age of 18 and their families to the care and services available to them.
The second in the series of three events took place last week at Arthur Rank Hospice Charity in Cambridge. Nine families, who either currently or have previously accessed the care and services of EACH were welcomed by familiar faces from hospice and introduced to staff and volunteers from Arthur Rank Hospice and Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice, as they made their way around the afternoon’s activities.
These included accessible sports such as sitting volleyball, new age kurling, an adapted form of the original curling game that can be played indoors on any flat surface, and boccia, a game similar to pétanque. There were also virtual reality activities and Qigong sessions in the gym.
Staff and volunteers offered head, foot and hand massages in Arthur’s Shed, and there was a sensory space in one of the Day Therapy rooms with space blankets, soothing music and light therapy.
The hospice’s Bistro laid on a barbecue for visitors, staff and guests alike. Lucy Brumpton, Young Persons’ and Transition Lead, commented:
“The event was a great testament to what can be achieved when we all work together. These families really need our support as they navigate the transition from children to adult hospice services. By teaming up, our three hospices gave these young people – as well as their parents, siblings and carers – the best possible introduction to what is available for them.”
Many of the families had been anxious about visiting an adult hospice before the day, but the feedback afterward was overwhelmingly positive with comments that it had been “so inclusive”, “lots of fun”, “very relaxing”, “well-organised” and that it was wonderful for families to be able to participate in activities all together. One family member said:
“We weren’t really all that sure about what to expect from the day, but the activities have been brilliant. It’s been lovely: really, really nice. We’ve had a tour round, so we’ve seen quite a bit more of the facilities and met lots of the staff and they’re all fantastic.”
Sara Robins, Director of Clinical Services at Arthur Rank Hospice Charity felt that the day really summed up what hospices are trying to achieve:
“What stood out to me, was the atmosphere. There was such a buzz and the whole day was very inclusive. We would like to say a special thank you to Lifelites for hosting our virtual reality experience and Power2Inspire who put on some brilliant and truly accessible games.
“The barbecue put on by our brilliant Bistro team at lunchtime was enjoyed not only by the families visiting and supporting the day, but also by volunteers, our patients and their visitors, and guests from the local community: people shared tables and chatted to each other about their reasons for being there.
“Some of the people being cared for on our Inpatient Unit even came around to socialise and enjoy the activities, giving the young people visiting us – and their relatives – a chance to chat to hear about the hospice in more general terms. The afternoon was a great example of what can be achieved to benefit those we care for, when we work together.”
Following this event and the one held in May at the EACH Hospice at Milton, the third open day for young people in transition will take place at Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice in Peterborough in October, again hosted collaboratively by the three hospices.