News - Trinity Hospice

The value of volunteering

National Volunteers Week ran from June 1-7 across the UK – and figures pulled together by 16 local organisations show what an amazing difference volunteers make here on the Fylde Coast.

The snapshot figures, compiled by the Blackpool 3rd Sector Leaders group and including Trinity Hospice, show that in the year ended March 31 2017, those 16 groups were given a staggering 301,986 hours of volunteer help.

If those were paid hours, it would equate to millions of pounds, and for most of the organisations in the survey, it is volunteers who keep vital services running.

Here at Trinity, for example, we received a massive 180,000 volunteer hours. We estimate that our volunteer team hours equate to over a million pounds every year.  Volunteers at Trinity do all sorts of roles – not just in the hospice, but in our high street shops, at our events and supporting many activities across the community.

Streetlife in Blackpool had 16,000 volunteer hours, Together Lancashire 23,920 hours and The Grand Theatre 13,174 hours.  Most of the charities in the survey say that without the help of volunteers, some of their services simply could not operate because there is no additional funding to cover those costs.

It means that Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre’s third sector volunteer economy is huge – and it’s a demonstration of how generous people are when it comes to giving their time and talents to help others.

Deborah Terras, Director of URPotential in Blackpool, chaired the Blackpool 3rd Sector Leaders group and commented: “Volunteers are the life blood of local third sector organisations, and their contribution to the wellbeing of others is simply huge.

“Volunteers across the district help in so many ways: it might be a face to face meeting with someone in need of urgent housing or family help; it could be providing after- school support for parents; sports activities for young people or even a theatre tour. Whatever they do, their contribution is outstanding.”

Trinity’s Chief Executive David Houston is part of the 3rd Sector Leaders group.

National Volunteers Week celebrates the contribution volunteers make, but also stresses that volunteers themselves can benefit from getting involved with a good cause. Volunteers can use existing skills or develop new ones; they can meet new people and make some lasting friendships in roles very different from the one they had before.

And it would be wrong to assume that all volunteers are retired or between jobs – busy mums and dads with work and family commitments still find time to volunteer, as do those in full time education.

Deborah said: “One thing that is clear from talking to colleagues across the area is that there is no such thing as a ‘standard’ volunteer. People are motivated by different things, and they are at different stages of their lives, but the one thing they all have in common is their determination to give their time to help others.

“In a world which seems so often to focus on ‘self’ these figures underline just how many people there still are who are willing to put the needs of others first.”

Taking part in the survey were: Grand Theatre, CAB, Social Enterprise Solutions, Fylde Coast Women’s Aid, Revoelution, Mulberry Community Project, First Step Community Centre, N-Vision, Trinity Hospice, Home Start, Blackpool Carers, Together Lancashire, Streetlife, Aspired Futures, URPotential, Blackpool FC Community Trust




Summer fun – get involved

Summer is just about here – why not get involved in one of Trinity’s events in the coming weeks? There’s something for everyone, and your support makes a huge difference to everyone here at the hospice.

The annual Beaverbrooks bike ride is on Sunday June 4th, with start points at both Fairhaven Lake and the Bay Horse in Thornton. It’s not a race, just the opportunity to ride through our lovely coast and countryside, raising money for patient care as you go. You can enter on the day.

Serious cyclists might also like the Manchester to Blackpool Bike Ride, Sunday July 9 – call us for more details.

Looking ahead, here’s a great date for golfers: the first ever Brian House golf day at the prestigious Royal Lytham and St Annes course. You’ll need a decent handicap to enter this one, but it promises to be a fantastic team day on the famous links. The date is July 13th – call Fundraising for details of how to enter.

One of our biggest events of the year is Colour Splash – entries are now open for our annual colourfest on the beach at Starr Gate. The date is Saturday July 15th and if you’ve never done it before, you are in for a treat. Help us make this year’s event our biggest and brightest yet – it’s a great excuse to get messy with friends and family.

But if you prefer something a bit more sedate – though still with an element of challenge – why not sign up for the Morecambe Bay walk on Sunday July 30th? A stroll across the famous sands with the Queen’s Guide has guaranteed spectacular views. We can even arrange the coach trip there and back.

Every bit of sponsorship raised in our events helps us maintain our wide range of services and keeps them free of charge for those who need them. Each year we touch the lives of about 8,000 local people, not just at the hospice, but out in the community too.

Join us this summer for some serious fundraising fun!

Hospice care for heart failure patients

Trinity has welcomed a report on how heart failure patients currently access specialist end of life care.  More than 60,000 people die of heart failure each year in the UK, but they form only around four per cent of people supported by specialist palliative care and hospice teams, according to the report by Hospice UK and the British Heart Foundation, in collaboration with the University of Hull.

The report highlights how people living with advanced heart failure can benefit from personalised palliative care to help manage their symptoms, plan for the future and vastly improve wellbeing in their final months, but few are being referred by GPs and hospital teams for specialist care provided by hospices and hospital palliative care teams.

Dr Susan Salt, Medical Director at Trinity says: “We welcome the national report around the palliative care needs of heart failure patients.  We continually strive to ensure that people who need palliative and end of life care across the Fylde Coast get the services they need and we  provide education and training to our colleagues in both General Practice and the hospital about how to manage the common symptoms people with heart failure experience as they become less well.

“We also work with the heart failure clinical nurse specialists and matrons across the area and have made significant inroads into providing more support to heart failure patients, but there is much more still to do.”

Trinity Hospice caters for patients with a range of conditions – though some people still only associate hospice care with cancer. Over 40% of patients attending Trinity’s Day Therapy Unit have a non-cancer diagnosis, and many of them have heart failure.






Trinity supports Dying Matters Week

Trinity Hospice is supporting Dying Matters Week – the national campaign to get people talking with family and friends about dying, death and bereavement.

Our doctors, nurses and spiritual care team are supporting a range of events at venues up and down the Fylde Coast, organised in conjunction with our colleagues at Blackpool Victoria Hospital and other local agencies involved in end of life care.

The idea of Dying Matters Week, organised with the National Council for Palliative Care, is to encourage people make plans and do something to help someone cope with death and bereavement. It’s a difficult subject and many people simply won’t discuss it, but it can lead to all sorts of difficulties later on.

Some people say discussion about death is ‘the elephant in the room’ – the one thing everyone avoids – but there are lots of suggestions on how to make the whole thing easier. See or visit one of the information points this week.

On Thursday May 11 there will be a stall full of helpful advice in the main reception area here at Trinity.


Bubbletastic! Foamy fundraising for Brian House

The Santa Dash is simply superb, Colour Splash is always awesome – but Bubble Rush really blew us away!

The Fylde Coast’s first ever Bubble Rush attracted over 2,300 participants and with money still coming in has raised well over £50,000 for Brian House Children’s Hospice.

A brand new event for the Brian House 21st birthday year, Bubble Rush really captured people’s imaginations. Participants from under five to over 80 enjoyed some seriously foamy fun, making it an undoubted highlight of our events calendar.

A huge thank you to our Corporate ‘bubble station’ sponsors Ribby Hall Village, Sandcastle Water Park and Pink Link Ladies; to our volunteer marshals, our wonderful compere and photographer and to everyone who made it such a fun day. If you took part, your medal will be on its way to you very soon.

It certainly left everyone wanting more and the big question has been: when will we do it again? 

Watch this space, but if you can’t wait until another Bubble Rush, remember the fabulous Blackpool 10K Fun Run is just a few weeks away!