Hospice wins national award for inclusivity project

Categories: Care, Featured, and People & Places.

St Mary’s Hospice in Cumbria has won a Charity Governance award for their project to increase access to their services.

The Charity Governance Awards is a not-for-profit initiative created to celebrate outstanding governance and trusteeship in charities across the UK.

The St Mary’s Living Well Centre outreach project opened in November 2018 in Barrow in Furness, a town that suffers from high levels of health deprivation and poverty. Statistics show that people here die 10 years younger than other local populations, and 61 per cent of those over 65 have a disability.

St Mary’s aimed to increase contact with people it was not yet reaching, through social engagement, health education, emotional support and recreational activities. To do this it formed partnerships with 11 organisations including the Motor Neurone Disease Association, MS Society and Dementia Hub among others, which enabled support groups to meet more often.

A statement on the awards’ website explains why they won: “Those attending groups talk of the positive impact on their mental well-being of the friendships they have made. Some speak of how increased knowledge has helped them better manage their health condition. The Well Centre is recording footfall as high as 250 people per month. Feedback from those using the building indicates it contributes to feelings of well-being and connectedness.”

“Judges admired the open and collaborative approach to reporting and continuous learning that the board demonstrated. The spirit of collaboration was particularly evident in the development of a project delivery steering group that ensured all partners were working together closely to achieve the best possible outcomes for service users. The willingness of the board to openly discuss mistakes, revisiting and reflecting on the charity’s operations, showed a spirit of humility and an appetite for continuous learning and improvement.”

The Living Well project was notified they had won the Improving Project award via video link, with CEO Val Stangoe accepting the award.

Graham Jowett, Chair of Trustees of the hospice, commented: “Just think – an unprecedented difficult and potentially catastrophic year and through it all St Mary’s has stood tall. A new medical model, innovative practices, one of the best teams one could wish for, a number of prestigious regional and now a national award and two royal visits. An up and down year but on the whole a positive one. We’d like to thank all our supporters for never losing faith in us.”

Sarah Simpson, St Mary’s Marketing Manager, added: “St Mary’s has a brilliant team of staff and volunteers including our Trustees who work hard to ensure the hospice is in safe hands. It is a real achievement to win a national award. And shines a light on people working hard behind the scenes too. All who work together and make St Mary’s Hospice the special place it is in our community.”

St Mary’s previously won an Innovation in Partnership Working award at the 2019 Hospice UK awards.

For more information visit St Mary’s Hospice

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