As a much anticipated part of the annual national conference, they are a fantastic opportunity to recognise and celebrate the hard work that has taken place during the previous 12 months, and the long lasting impact that it will have.
For the Innovation Awards, the judges looked for stand-out projects which will inspire other organisations, and those which show the wider sector the difference they’ve made to people facing the end of their life, and their families.
Through the Volunteer Awards, the special contribution to hospice care made by especially dedicated individuals is recognised.
Towergate Hospice Team of the Year Award
Winners: St Columba’s Hospice Care: Family Support Team
As a self-styled small team with big impact, the Family Support Team at St Columba’s Hospice Care in Edinburgh has continued to expand and adapt over the past year, offering a successful, blended model of delivery which has improved accessibility for patients and family members.
They delivered 19% more one-to-one sessions to patients and their family members this year compared to last year (a 60% increase compared to the preceding year), and demonstrated a positive impact on standardised and validated tools used to evaluate their services. As well as their direct work with patients, they have provided training to hospice colleagues and have influenced national guidance and policy.
Judges were impressed by “the sheer range of work that this small team were doing, not just working with bereaved young people and adults but also offering training to nursery and school staff, student nurses and facilitating ECHO sessions for district nurses.”
They also worked at a national level influencing the Scottish Palliative Care Guidelines for Depression and the National Bereavement Charter amongst others.
A final comment from the judges, who said, “they are a shining example of a team who have gone above and beyond, who have had to adapt and evolve and have embraced integrated team working all whilst being willing to transparently evaluate their impact which has been significant.”
Michael Howard Award for Partnership Working
Winners: St Oswald’s Hospice: Combined Supportive Care Service
The Combined Supportive Care Service is a collaboration between Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (NuTH) and St Oswald’s Hospice. It provides personalised, multidisciplinary outpatient and community care, support and treatment for patients with a diagnosis of lung cancer or mesothelioma and significant frailty. Through collaboration, the service has improved care for people at the end of life.
At St Oswald’s Focus on Living Centre, patients have weekly access to a multidisciplinary care team to manage symptoms, improve function and quality of life. Assessments are at the hospice, in patients’ homes or via telephone. Symptoms, functional and future planning needs are addressed to improve quality of life for patients.
The panel felt the pilot NHS Elect Acute Frailty Network Programme to be an innovative example of a partnership between hospice and NHS Trust to offer care to frail older people and reduce hospital admissions, with clear evidence of outcomes and benefits to patients.
Tackling Inequalities Award supported by PwC Foundation
Winners: Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice, Glasgow: Young Adult Service
As the first of its kind in Scotland, The Young Adult Service supports the wellbeing of young adults and their families living with life-limiting conditions as they move from child to adult services. The service includes a Transition Clinic and offers Short Break Stays, and recognises that it is not simple for these young adults to move from one provider to another as their needs are person specific. Such specific needs means that inequities and barriers exist in the support offered to them, resulting in a lack of appropriate and timely care and support and an overall detrimental effect on their physical and mental wellbeing.
Judges commented, “it is essential that we empower young adults, for them to feel valued and that their contribution really does matter. This is particularly important at times of great change, such as their transition from children’s services into adulthood. Young adults wish to focus on living and celebrate significant milestones.”
They added, “In order to improve quality of life there is a need for further attention to tackle inequalities and remove barriers. This project is an excellent example of a collaborative, person-centred approach to care, leading change and ensuring young adults are given the appropriate platform for their voices to be heard.”
GivePanel Innovation in Income Generation Award
Winners: The Norfolk Hospice: Tulips at Tapping
The Norfolk Hospice were awarded the GivePanel Innovation in Income Generation Award for their creative approach of using a local farmer’s tulip fields as the focus of a major fundraising event.
A speculative relationship with a local wholesale tulip grower was developed into an innovative, engaging and hugely profitable activity, with reach well beyond the locality. The grower’s field was opened to the public for 10 days, plus two evenings for ‘golden hour’ photography opportunities and one VIP event. Over 10,000 people travelled from around the UK to visit the field, raising a staggering £93,392.
Creative initiatives such as incorporating trade stands, coach parties, VIP events, commercial photography passes and bespoke merchandise had real impact, as did leveraging brand new corporate relationships with the likes of Miffy UK.
While the concept was simple, The Norfolk Hospice’s ability to identify, develop and then maximise the fundraising impact from a potential opportunity on their doorstep, really stood out for the judges.
Judges commented, “Tulips at Tapping is a shining example of a hospice making the most of their local opportunities and relationships. The judges also felt that the business plan behind how to effectively utilise a spectacular natural asset to create a sustainable and profitable income generator, was a great blueprint that could be creatively adapted and replicated in other regions.”
Volunteer of the Year Award
Winner: Hospiscare Exeter: Mary Bolshaw
Mary’s nomination for Volunteer of the Year stood out to the judges for both the dedication and breadth of her service as a volunteer for Hospiscare, and Chair of Honiton and District Friends of Hospiscare.
Mary was a founding member of the Hospiscare family and has dedicated over 45 years to the charity. She has worked tirelessly to support the hospice in a huge variety of ways, from monthly coffee mornings to Christmas lunches, from volunteering at reception to driving patients to appointments, from providing and delivering home-cooked meals during Covid to organising afternoon teas.
Judges added, “the financial contribution of raising over £1.1 million is a huge achievement, but we were equally struck by how much time and energy she has poured into caring for her community through the hospice. We’re delighted to choose Mary Bolshaw for this award.”
Volunteer Gardener of the Year
Winner: Pilgrims Hospice, Thanet: Arthur Walkiden (Posthumous)
Arthur was a part of Pilgrims Hospice from its opening 30 years ago and showed incredible commitment and dedication to creating and shaping a garden that is a haven for patients and their loved ones as well as staff and volunteers.
For many years he was Chair of the Hospice Volunteer Gardening Club and his influence and knowledge can now be seen in established flower beds and the rose garden. He shared his knowledge and enthusiasm with volunteers young and old in local gardening societies, his passion not restricted just to the Pilgrims Hospice gardens. He would also attend hospice and community social events, always immaculately dressed and he featured in the community newsletter – even Monty Don learned from him!
He was a true ambassador for both garden volunteers and volunteering in general and well-liked and respected by his fellow volunteers and staff at Pilgrims Hospice.
Judges commented, “we feel Arthur is deserving of the Volunteer Gardener of the Year Award in recognition of the significant difference he made to the development and care of the hospice garden over 30 years. He demonstrated strong values and commitment, shared knowledge and passion, inspired and encouraged others.”
Innovation in Care Award
Winners: Compton Care: The development of a dynamic and highly responsive community palliative care service in Wolverhampton
The judges were delighted to recommend Compton Care for this Innovation project award, which identified a need for a ‘Rapid Response’ community service to manage crises and prevent unnecessary acute admissions. With their inpatient service’s response to Covid, patients’ and families’ focus for care at home remained constant, requiring support day and night – this required a team to respond to changing clinical pictures.
They aimed to make community resources more responsive, assessing and managing current and urgent needs, in addition to an intervention for fixed caseloads.
The judges said, “The project has shown benefits to care provision for hospice users as well as to members of staff who have had educational and training opportunities and as a result have been able to explore different and more effective ways of working, which in itself will address aspects of the healthcare workforce challenge. Of significance, the team are measuring their impact and building on their successes so they can clearly demonstrate their value and achievements.”
“With planning, this project could be applied elsewhere, and embraces the desire to be responsive to patients in their own homes. Capacity has been diverted and used differently, and to match the demand.”