The show must go on. This is a phrase you often hear after bad news. However, in our line of work, the show never stops. While a nation [England] basks in the euphoric feeling of reaching a World cup quarter final, for others in the UK and Ireland, it is the blazing sunshine that they are basking in. Football aside, I hope you can all enjoy this year’s summer in one way or another. In the charity sector, you face ‘reality checks’ on a regular basis, hence the title of this blog post. There are no seasons in our line of work. We are constantly visiting charities to listen, learn and witness the work they do as well as the needs they may have.
St Wilfrid’s Hospice visit on 18 June 2018
My wife and I attended a drinks reception at David Dimbleby’s house in Polegate in support of St Wilfrid’s Hospice. David Dimbleby has been a patron of the Hospice for many years.
St Wilfrid’s Hospice was opened in 1982 in Mill Gap Road, in Eastbourne when outpatients visited once a week for tea. In 1983, the hospice accepted its first residential patients and in 2013 it moved to the purpose-built building on Broadwater Way, equipped with a 20-bed inpatient Unit and Wellbeing Centre. The Hospice provides specialist care for people with any progressive, advanced, life-limiting illness. Referrals are made by the patient’s GP or other healthcare professionals and care is delivered by a team that includes consultants in palliative medicine, specialist nurses, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, counsellors and social workers.
The charity covers a population of 235,000 people in Eastbourne, Pevensey, Seaford, Heathfield, and Uckfield. In 2017, the hospice supported 1,280 people through their inpatient Unit, “Hospice at Home” service, Wellbeing and Therapy team and a 24/7 Nurse Line, which took over 11,000 calls.
We met David Scott-Ralphs, Chief Executive, John Summers Donor Development Manager, Dr David Barclay, Medical Director and Professor Andrew Horne. We were introduced to David Dimbleby and his wife, Belinda Giles and they spoke to us for quite a while. This was very interesting, as David had announced his retirement from Question Time on that very day.
St Wilfred’s Hospice have made great strides in providing specialist care. We look forward to learning more about their work in future as they continue to help those live well at the later stages of life.
The University of Reading meeting on 4 July 2018
I met with Mark Arnold, Trust and Foundation Officer at the University of Reading to assess a grant application for the Brief Behavioural Activation in schools. This project is jointly runs with the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust. The Charlie Waller Institute (CWI) is a collaborative initiative between the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, Reading University and Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.
Clinicians need to know that the training they receive has a demonstrable, positive impact both on their skill and the outcomes for their patients. The Charlie Waller Institute is therefore committed to training therapists only in psychological therapies that have been shown to work, and to ensuring that the training impacts positively on clinician skill and patient outcome. Professor Shirley Reynolds, Director of the Charlie Waller Institute, oversees an extensive programme of training, education and research that contributes significantly to the Trust’s aim of ensuring that expert and evidence-based help is available when people need it.
Brief Behavioural Activation is a pioneering new treatment for young people designed to tackle anxiety and depression in teenagers in a non-clinical, school setting. Taking mental health treatment from clinics into schools, the researchers have met over 2,000 young people, in the first two years of this three-year project. This has helped the researchers to design, deliver and evaluate more effective and accessible treatments for the students. In fact, 60 children have received professional help and over 70% of these students have shown an improvement in their mental wellbeing. The Hospital Saturday Fund donated a £2,000 grant to this project in 2017.
Mark explained a further grant from the Hospital Saturday Fund would mean an extra employee and graduate volunteers could work on the project which would mean that the researchers could assist children who are suffering from sleep deprivation also.