CEO of St Clare Hospice Sarah Thompson
St Clare Hospice in Essex has been shortlisted for three Charity Times awards, recognising the work of their bereavement services and the strength of their partnerships.
The hospice has been nominated in the categories of Rising Leader of the Year for Chief Executive Sarah Thompson; Change Project of the Year, for the redevelopment of its bereavement services in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic; and a joint award with Weston Homes for Corporate Community Local Involvement.
The awards, which celebrate and promote best practice within the charity sector, will be announced on Thursday 3rd September at a virtual event organised by the Charity Times.
CEO Sarah said: “I’m thrilled that our hard work across the hospice has been recognised by being shortlisted for these three awards. I have no doubt that the hospice has been recognised for such prestigious awards due to the substantial work by all of my colleagues over the last few years, which has culminated in our rating by the Care Quality Commission improving from Good to Outstanding.
“All of the team at St Clare Hospice have been working so hard in the recent months, continuing to deliver expert, compassionate care, both at the hospice and within the local community, amidst the pandemic, developing new services to support local people during these unprecedented times and ensuring the sustainability of the hospice with emergency fundraising appeals.
“Being shortlisted for these awards seems to be a fitting reward, recognising the hard work of everyone in the hospice, and the fantastic support from our community – it’s great to have some positive news to share with everyone!”
Sarah continued, “Throughout everything, the support of our local community has been amazing, and it has really kept us going in recent months. I’m so proud of the partnerships we have developed with local organisations and businesses so it brings me great pleasure to see one of our longest-running partnerships, with Weston Homes, being recognised in this way.”
Weston Homes Plc have been supporters of the hospice for three decades. Since January 2019 they have donated £185,000 to the charity, however their support isn’t purely financial – the company has enabled St Clare to increase its reputation as a charity to support amongst other local businesses by helping to arrange large-scale events. It also actively encourages its own staff to become fundraisers for the hospice by taking on challenges.
St Clare’s Bereavement Support services, which include seven bereavement cafes, four online community bereavement support groups and a new telephone support service have recently been redeveloped. This was done in consultation with local people to better support them through bereavement, and help build resilience around death, dying and loss while the pandemic is ongoing. The new model of social support, where people in the community are able to come together to create new supportive networks with each other, is a marked change from the clinically-based bereavement support which the hospice was previously delivering. As a result the charity thought it would be suitable for entry into the ‘change project of the year’ award category.
Sushma Dhami, Patient and Family Support Services Manager, explains why they reshaped their bereavement support services: “Launching a service like this, to reach all local, bereaved people who need support, was always within our team’s strategy for the near future. However, the pandemic has rightly reframed the development of this service into a more urgent timeframe.
“As the local hospice for West Essex and East Herts, our duty is always to respond to local need as quickly and effectively as we can – and this time, bereavement has taken one of the front seats in the most immediate developments to our care and support services. We believe that no one should have to face their grief alone.”
For more information visit St Clare Hospice