Painting in progress at St Clare’s new Community Shed
St Clare Hospice in Essex is set to develop two major community projects thanks to new funding from donors.
The hospice has received a total of £45,491 in charitable grants to deliver and develop two key community projects in West Essex and East Herts.
The current Bereavement Café service has received £10,000 which will ensure events continue and new ones can be developed. St Clare has also received £35,491 for a new community space where people can create new social networks with others who may have similar experiences.
“We are absolutely thrilled to have received such a large sum of money to go towards these projects,” says Community Engagement Manager Sally Muylders. “Now, more than ever, is the time to really be encouraging local people to establish strong and resilient social support networks amongst themselves, so that nobody has to face their journey alone.”
She added: “We’re delighted to have received £35,491 from the Valiant Trust to create a new Community Shed at our hospice. Modelled on the idea behind the ‘Men’s Sheds’, our Community Shed will provide a space for our patients and their relatives to undertake craft and DIY activities, talk, play music, and relax away from the clinical environment. There will also be a timetable of programmed activities, which will help to open up the hospice as a community space.”
The inspiration behind the new shed is a local gentleman called Stephen Barclay, who died in the hospice’s care on New Year’s Day 2016.
“Steve’s family kindly pledged to fund our Community Shed in Steve’s memory,” explains Sally, “so that our future patients, and their families and carers, can benefit from this wonderful new space at St Clare.”
Stephen’s wife, Sue Barclay, said: “All the family would like to say a big thank you to the Valiant Trust for making this project possible. My husband Stephen was a patient at St Clare Hospice for end of life treatment. Everyone who worked at the hospice enabled my family and I to come to terms with what had happened, and they have been a fantastic support to us all.
“This project seemed a good way for us to give something back and we hope it will be a great place for people to enjoy, reflect on life, relax and meet new people.”
The Community Shed is set to open this autumn, with work to build it currently underway.
In addition, after a successful bid for vital funding to develop their new Bereavement Café service, the hospice also received £5,000 from the John Swire 1989 Charitable Trust and £5,000 from The Adrian Swire Charitable Trust.
St Clare Hospice first initiated the Bereavement Café events in February 2019, and since then the service has grown to accommodate five regular events throughout the local area.
“As death and bereavement are normal life events, we are keen to move away from ‘treating’ grief and provide opportunities for people to find ways to support each other,” continues Sally.
“For this reason, we developed our Bereavement Cafés for people who have lost a loved one. Anyone living with bereavement can attend, including people not necessarily connected to our hospice.
“Now, with the generous £10,000 in funding we have received, we will be able to continue developing the project so we can reach even more local people. In fact, we already have more events that are planned to launch in the coming months, so please do watch this space!”
For more information visit St Clare Hospice