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Telephone: 01704 544645
Address: Town Lane, Southport, PR8 6RE

Celebrating Compassion and Caring

One thing the Coronavirus pandemic has shown us all is that now, more than ever, we need to support each other by showing care and compassion to those who need it most – be they family members, friends, neighbours or colleagues.

Queenscourt has care and compassion at the heart of everything we do, and to show our support of those helping others, #teamqueenscourt has launched our Compassionate Communities Campaign, which aims to shine a light on those who are going above and beyond in this time of national crisis. This is consistent with the core message within Queenscourt’s Compassionate Communities Manifesto, about providing care and compassion for those people around us when they need it the most.

The philosophy and practice of Compassionate Communities, where attention is given to the needs and well-being of others, has never been more relevant as we strive to support one another in these unprecedented times.

Queenscourt is therefore inviting members of the wider community to share examples of how they are supporting family members, friends, colleagues and neighbours and clearly demonstrating that Compassionate Communities are thriving, at this most challenging of times. The testimonials and stories we’ve received are featured here, hopefully inspiring others to show kindness, care and compassion in equal measure.

We would also ask you to tell us about others who have shown acts of compassion, for example by ensuring elderly community members have all that they need, by helping deliver essential medicines or food or by making regular telephone calls to check on someone’s wellbeing.

Email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call us on 01704 517420 to share your stories of compassion and kindness.

Lynn Smith Sews for Queenscourt

Lynn Smith was so impressed with the care and support shown to her late husband, Peter, by the team at Queenscourt,Lynn Smithshe has spent the past eight years raising money for the Hospice by putting her sewing skills to use.

Peter had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and although he was never an in-patient at Queenscourt, he had been invited to attend Day Therapy sessions at the Hospice where he enjoyed relaxations classes and massages.

“Everyone was so very nice and kind and not just to Peter, but me as well,” said Lynn. “It really did make a big difference.”

Peter sadly died in 2013 and it was then that Lynn decided she wanted to start fundraising for the Hospice. Having always enjoyed sewing, she started to make peg bags, shopper bags, tea cosies, scarves and aprons and has so far raised more than £3,000.

“I really enjoy sewing so it really isn’t hard work for me,” said Lynn. “In fact, it has been a real boost for me during the pandemic and has helped keep me busy.”

Even when fire swept through Lynn’s sewing room two years ago and she lost all her material and a sewing machine, she wasn’t ready to throw in the towel. “People were so kind and donated lots of material and even a new machine so I was able to continue,” she said.

“I will carry on raising money Queenscourt. It doesn’t seem a lot when you sell a few items at a time, but it really does add up.”

Tom Wins Lottery Jackpot After Being Gifted a 12-month Membership

Tom Cunningham, originally from Ormskirk, scored the jackpot in a recent draw of Queenscourt’s weekly Lottery after being gifted a 12-month membership by his mum at Christmas.

Kath Cunningham first bought a year’s subscription for her niece Laura’s birthday in December and then decided to do with same for son Tom and daughter Grace at Christmas, never really expecting any of them to win the top prize.
“I initially just wanted to make a donation to Queenscourt because it is such a great organisation but then I read about the Lottery and thought buying a year’s subscription would be a great way to support them but would also be a great gift,” said Kath.

“After buying one as a present for Laura’s birthday I thought it would be a perfect present for my kids at Christmas too.
They were all absolutely delighted when they opened their cards.”
Just six months on and Tom’s number came up trumps - winning him the £1,500 top weekly prize. It has come at a perfect time for Tom, who lives in London, and has just given up his job to begin his PhD studies in September.

“We were amazed when the cheque arrived,” said Kath. “I bought the tickets purely as a donation to Queenscourt but it is fantastic to win.”

Jack Colman's Skydiving Challenge

The sky is the limit for Jack Colman who has decided to complete a skydive in August to raise money for QueenscourtJack Colman and Dad Hospice. 

Jack is ticking the challenge off his bucket list in honour of his dad, Doug, who died of cancer in 2017. 

By doing his own fundraising challenge during our Pearl Anniversary Year, Jack has become one of #QueeniesHospiceHeroes 

“I always knew how important Queenscourt was to the community, my mum even plays their weekly lottery, however I never fully appreciated what they do until my family needed them,” said Jack.  

“The doctors, nurses and staff can’t do enough for you, and after spending three weeks at the hospice I truly began to understand the wider care they offer to family and friends.”  

He​added: “It shocked me to learn that they receive so little income from the government and rely solely on donations to support their annual running costs. Palliative care is so important, and the hospice is nothing short of incredible.”  

Jack promised his dad that he would do something out of the ordinary to raise money and has been astounded at the response so far, having raised over £1,200. His employer has also offered to match donations. 

If you would like to support Jack, you can visit his fundraising page here: https://www.sponsorme.co.uk/jackcolman/jacks-skydive-for-queenscourt-hospice.aspx


Paymentshield Chooses Queenscourt as its Charity of the Year 2021-22

PSL Yorkshire 3 peaks 1

Southport-based company Paymentshield has chosen Queenscourt as its Charity of the Year with employees now gearing up to fundraise and volunteer in support of the Hospice over the next 12 months.

Paymentshield is one of the UK's leading insurance administrators and distributors and has around 250 employees.
Each year the company asks for suggestions from its workforce for which charity it should suppo
rt and a shortlist is then put to the vote.

Queenscourt polled the most votes making it 
Paymentshield’s Charity of the Year 2021-22.

Members of the company’s Charity Committee are now putting their heads together to come up with a programme of fundraising events. Previous fundraisers have included pub quizzes, car washes, book and cake sales, race nights, raffles, 24-hour go-kart races, Christmas fairs, Boombox Bingo, sky dives and marathons.

Their next fundraiser will be the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge on July 23 which will see a team from Paymentshield embark on a 24 mile trek, taking on the peaks of Pen-y-ghent, Whernsire and Ingleborough, in under 12 hours.

As well as fundraising, Paymentshield also hopes to offer Queenscourt hands-on support through volunteering as soon as opportunities arise.

Rob Evans, CEO at Paymentshield, said: “For over 30 years, Queenscourt has been making a huge difference to the people of West Lancs, Southport and Formby. The care that they provide to patients with serious illnesses enables them to achieve the best possible quality of life. 

“This is the second time we have chosen Queenscourt as our charity of the year, and we know first-hand just how much of a huge difference the hospice makes to the patients and their families at the time when they need it the most.

“I’m hoping our volunteering and fundraising efforts this year can help the hospice continue its amazing work providing the very highest level of care.”

Judith Stewart, Queenscourt’s Fundraising and Lottery Manager, said: “We are delighted that Paymentshield have chosen to support Queenscourt as their Charity of The Year, we are really looking forward to working with them as they are such an enthusiastic team with lots of exciting ideas to help raise money and offer invaluable volunteer hours to our local hospice.

“As a small charity with a big reach, we rely on the support of our wider community, including the local business sector, so that we can continue caring for local people and their families, when they need us the most. Fundraising for our charity has been severely impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic, so the support of the Paymentshield team will make all the difference to us. We are grateful for the support of Paymentshield to help keep Queenscourt in Service.”


Holly's Triathlon Challenge

Holly Nicholson has set herself a personal challenge of completing a gruelling triathlon in August and has chosenHolly Nicholson to raise money for Queenscourt at the same time.

Holly is a veteran Queenscourt fundraiser having taken part in several Star Trekk night walks as well as organising her own events. One of these was based around playing football and saw her raise over £3,000 after being sponsored for each goal she scored during one season.

She is now keen to get back into fundraising and help Keep Queenscourt In Service, particularly following a very difficult year caused by the pandemic.

“I would like to contribute as best I can in supporting the funding for the amazing work that goes on at Queenscourt,” said Holly.

“In 2014 my uncle was taken into Queenscourt for a few weeks where he was cared for by the amazing staff. Only a few weeks after he came home he unfortunately passed away. I am so thankful for those last happy memories we had, given to us by Queenscourt.”

Holly has embarked on a 12-week training schedule ahead of the triathlon on August 30, which will include a 1.5km swim followed by a 40km cycle route and ending with a 10km run. Holly’s triathlon will start at Edgehill University and the finish line will be at Queenscourt. 

Jack Parker Cycles in Burscough kindly found Holly a bike to enable her to complete the 40km route and Edge Hill University has given her consent to use a lane in its indoor pool for the 1.5km swim.

You can support Holly’s fundraising online at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/holly-nicholson2021

She added: “I look forward to taking on this challenge and am excited to start fundraising again.”


Andrea Became A Queenscourt Volunteer Following Health Scare

After a major health scare over a decade ago, Andrea Siarkiewicz’s priorities changed massively.

6 Andrea

Now in good health, Andrea said “There’s nothing like a cancer diagnosis to bring you down to earth with a bump and realise what’s important and what’s just ‘stuff.'

"I made myself a promise that whenever I was able, I’d do some good in the world, something to benefit others, as a payback for my good fortune and gratitude for surviving.”

Five years later Andrea was offered, and accepted, redundancy and early retirement after a career spanning 41 years. After just two weeks of doing nothing boredom set in so, mindful of her promise, she enquired at Queenscourt about volunteering.

She said: “I had a chat about my skills and experience and started in the Lottery Department in April 2014. After a few weeks, the Finance department got wind of my work background in banking so I helped out one day a week there as well.

“I still volunteer for Finance and 7 years on I still absolutely love it. I completed my 1000 volunteer hours after 6 and a half years.”

Andrea is now aiming to complete 2000 hours within 12 years.

JJ Parki Donates 50 Copies of Debut CD to Queenscourt

James JJ PARKI Parkin Southport Musician

Southport-based songwriter/lyricist JJ Parki has donated 50 copies of his debut CD to Queenscourt in recognition of the support his mum received when she was ill.

The CDs, entitled Café de la musique, are being sold at Queenscourt’s five shops at just £5 each.

It has taken JJ Parki, real name James Parkin, two decades to complete the album which includes collaborations with a variety of artists from three continents. A teacher by profession, James hopes the album will act as motivation to aspiring fellow songwriters and musicians to realise their potential.

Two of the songs on the CD are tributes to James’s late mother, Philippa who sadly died at Christmas. She had been cared for by the Queenscourt at Home team.

“Mum received such great care in the final weeks and months of her life from the Queenscourt at Home team that I thought donating the CDs would be a nice way to thank the Hospice,” said James. “I’m hoping my music will raise some money.”

It would be a fitting tribute, as James credits his mum for helping him to learn to play instruments and discover new music from around the world.

Café de la musique is available to buy at Queenscourt’s shops in Southport, Churchtown, Formby and Burscough. For their full addresses visit www.queenscourt.org.uk/index.php/shops/shop-info.html

Queenscourt Gives Thanks to our Retail Volunteers

We should always celebrate the amazing contribution volunteers make to our sector and to society, but even
more so as we mark the end of 2021’s National Volunteers’ Week. Retail blog

Today we focus on the wonderful volunteers who help out in our charity shops in so many ways, from operating the tills to sorting through donated stock.

 It has been a testing 12 months for Queenscourt Retail, and sadly our shops have remained closed more than they wereopen, but our dedicated Retail Volunteers have been there for us throughout this challenging time. 

The support that they provide to Queenscourt Retail is invaluable and helps our shops to generate much-needed income for our hospice.

We want to take this opportunity to say a huge THANK YOU to all of our Retail Volunteers.

If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer for Queenscourt Retail, please contact us via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Becka and Jennie to Embark on Snowdon Trek for Queenscourt

Friends Becka Foster and Jennie Owen, who both work in the Careers Department at Edge HillSnowdon trek Jennie Owen and Becka FosterUniversity, will be facing their own personal challenges when they climb Snowdon in aid of Queenscourt in July. 

Becka is an experienced hill and fell walker but is still battling her way back to fitness after being struck down by Covid at Christmas. Meanwhile, Jennie is an avid bookworm who is keen to actually climb a mountain rather than just read about it.

“My lungs are not like they were when I climbed Snowdon for the first time seven years ago and Jennie has never climbed a mountain before so it really will be a challenge for both of us,” said Becka.

Their nine mile trek will begin at midnight on July 10 and their aim is to reach the top by sunrise on July 11 when they will take a ‘summit sunrise selfie’ before heading back down. They will part of a party of eight on an organised trek.

The friends have already raised £200 of their £500 fundraising target. They chose to support Queenscourt because it is a cause close to their hearts. “Everyone locally knows someone who has benefited from Queenscourt’s care and support,” said Becka.

“Due to the impact of Coronavirus they are experiencing a significant loss of income which, as a small charity with a BIG reach, will hit them hard.”

You can donate to their fundraiser at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jennie-and-becka-climb-snowdon

Tony and Gill Are Ready To Resume Their Volunteering Roles

Husband and wife team Tony and Gill Hibbs are two of our long-standing5 Tony and Gill 002 volunteers who are ready to spring back into action as soon as they are given the green light! 

They are both keen to get back to doing what they love – supporting Queenscourt through volunteering, but in the meantime they have both signed up to help out at our Star Trekk night walk in September.

“It is sad that we haven’t been able to go into the hospice to help over the past year, nor have we been able to do much fundraising,” said Tony. “It’s a case of being on the starting blocks, and we’re just waiting to become active volunteers again, as soon as we are able to return to the hospice.”

Tony first joined Queenscourt as a volunteer in 1992, just before the hospice was officially opened, while Gill has been supporting us for 15 years.

Tony began by helping to take patients to and from appointments at the hospice, but later moved onto reception where he and Gill were regular faces up until the pandemic struck. Gill had started out helping the retail team by sorting out donations in the warehouse they had then.

The pair are really looking forward to volunteering again “We have to be patient, but we are ready start again when we can,” said Tony.

Graeme Celebrates Over 30 Years Of Service To Queenscourt

Graeme Southern has been supporting Queenscourt since the late 1980s when his parents first started fundraising 4 Graeme Southern for Queenscourt as they knew Dr Karen Groves and her sister Sarah, who were responsible for founding our hospice. 

When Graeme’s parents retired from fundraising, he took over and became involved with the Central Support Group in the early 1990s. In 1998 he became its Treasurer and since then the Group has raised over £150k for Queenscourt.

The Group organises regular fundraising events, although they have had to take a break over the past year because of Covid-19. Events have included popular light lunches, car boot sales, coffee mornings and musical evenings.

“It goes to show that every penny does count and that the money raised at each event really does mount up,” said Graeme.  “The Group may now only have five members, but we have many, many loyal supporters who come to every event.”

After 30 years, Graeme is as dedicated to Queenscourt as ever. “Right from day one there was a clear need for the Hospice
and sadly that is still the case today,” he said. “It really is an amazing place that has touched the lives of so many local people, and provided support for patients and their families when they needed it the most.

“It has been an unusual year from our Group’s perspective, but once we are able to, we will re-start our fundraising events.”

Volunteer Myra Met Princess Diana at Queenscourt's Official Opening

Myra Myers is one of Queenscourt’s longest serving volunteers who had the privilege3 Myra Myers of meeting Diana, Princess of Wales, when she officially opened the Hospice in 1992. 

“She was lovely and came over to speak with us,” said Myra. “The atmosphere on that day was absolutely marvellous.”

Now 77, Myra first volunteered at our Bold Street shop in 1990, transferring across to Chapel Street when it closed. She continued there until last March when Covid-19 temporarily closed all of our shops.

Myra has also been a member of the Central Support Group since 1991, helping to organise countless events which have raised thousands of pounds for Queenscourt.

She said: “I’m very fond of Queenscourt. I never thought any of my family would use it, but my husband Jeff passed away nine-years-ago and two years before that he went in to Queenscourt for Day Therapy once a week which made a huge difference to him and to me.”

While Myra no longer volunteers in the shop, she is still very much an active member of the Central Support Group, which currently has five dedicated members, Graeme Southern, Dot Mahoney, Susan Forshaw and Pauline Wetherby, and of course Myra herself.

Over the years, the Group has planned a variety of fundraising events such as coffee mornings, one of which had an appearance by former Coronation Street legend Jean Alexander; Caribbean evenings, Bingo nights, quiz nights, light lunches and musical evenings featuring the Marshside Brass Band, Roundelay Choir and the Southport Lyric Singers.

Although their fundraising has taken a break because of the pandemic, the Group are keen to get back in action as soon as circumstances permit. “I really do enjoy it and our events always attract lots of support,” said Myra.

Queenscourt Hospice Receives The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

Queenscourt Hospice is a small charity with a big reach across West Lancashire, Formby and 2 QAVS logo Southport, and for over 30 years we have been delivering exceptional compassionate care for local people with life-limiting illnesses. None of this would be possible without the thousands of volunteers who have become valued members of #teamqueenscourt over the years, and we are absolutely delighted to report that our volunteers have been honoured with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.  

Katy Pellow, Volunteering Manager at Queenscourt, said: “We have been overwhelmed by our volunteers’ generosity and kindness over the years, and even during the Pandemic, they have continued to be dedicated and enthusiastic members of our team.” 

Queenscourt is one of 241 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year. The number of nominations remains high year on year, showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to make life better for those around them.  

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate The Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Recipients are announced each year on 2nd June, the anniversary of The Queen’s Coronation. Award winners this year are wonderfully diverse. They include volunteer groups from across the UK, including an inclusive tennis club in Lincolnshire; a children’s bereavement charity in London; a support group for those living with dementia and their carers in North Yorkshire; a volunteer minibus service in Cumbria; a group supporting young people in Belfast; a community radio station in Inverness and a mountain rescue team in Powys.  

Representatives of Queenscourt will receive the award crystal and certificate from Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Merseyside (Mr Mark Blundell).  Furthermore volunteers from Queenscourt will attend a Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in May 2022 (depending on restrictions at the time), along with other recipients of this year’s Award.

Dr Karen Groves MBE, Medical and Education Director, and founder of Queenscourt, said: “It is wonderful for our fantastic volunteers to receive this award during Queenscourt’s Pearl Anniversary, as their contribution to our charity over the past 30 years has been invaluable. On behalf of everyone at Queenscourt I want to say a huge thank you to all of our volunteers, past and present, and to extend our congratulations on receiving this richly deserved honour



Queenscourt Celebrates National Volunteers’ Week

Queenscourt’s Volunteers are important members of #teamqueenscourt, and for over 30 years now1 Intro NVW they have been instrumental in helping us to deliver compassionate care for thousands of local people with  life-limiting illnesses. 

This week is National Volunteers’ Week and in our Pearl Anniversary year, it provides a platform for us to celebrate our Volunteers and acknowledge their vital contribution to Queenscourt.

This year’s theme is A Time to Say Thanks and we want to take this opportunity to say a huge THANK YOU to each and every one of our 587 fantastic Volunteers who give their time freely to help Keep Queenscourt in Service.

Katy Pellow, Volunteering Manager at Queenscourt, said: “Due to the Coronavirus Pandemic we have had to place many of our Volunteer roles on hold, however this hasn’t deterred our family of Volunteers from continuing to support us.

“We have been overwhelmed by our Volunteers’ generosity and kindness, which has meant so much to #teamqueenscourt during this challenging time.”

 Throughout this week we will be putting the spotlight on just a few of our loyal Volunteers and discovering why they continue to support us.


Southport Paralegal to Walk 120Miles in Memory of Late Grandfather

Rikki Spofforth, a paralegal at Fletchers Solicitors,Grandad Ken pictured with baby Rikkiaims to walk from Southport to Leicester in memory of his grandfather, Ken, who died of cancer in 2015.

The money raised will be split between Queenscourt Hospice, Cancer Research UK and LOROS Hospice in Leicester, where Ken died.

Rikki, 33, was inspired to undertake the 120 mile trek, which is expected to take him six days, after just missing out on being with his grandfather during his final hours.

Rikki said: "We knew my grandfather was nearing the end of his life, and we then received a telephone call to advise he had gone into the hospice in Leicester.

“It looked as though he did not have long, so we needed to get down there as quickly as we could to say our last goodbyes. So, myself, my mother and my sister got into the car and drove down to Leicester. Unfortunately, there were numerous traffic delays and by the time we arrived at LOROS, he had passed away.”

Rikki believes the final moments he could have shared with his grandfather were taken away due to the traffic, which is part of the reason he now plans to undertake the journey again - this time on foot.

“I have not done anything like this before,” he said. “At university, I completed a couple of 10K runs, but that was almost 12 years ago.”

For most of the walk, Rikki will be going it alone, however, on the final day, he will be joined by a distant relative who lives in Loughborough.

Rikki will set off from Birkdale on August 30 and aims to reach LOROS on September 4. He has already raised more than 60% of his £500 fundraising target.

Queenscourt’s Fundraising and Lottery Manager, Judith Stewart, said: “We are grateful that Rikki has included Queenscourt as one of the recipients for his fundraising trek and we wish him all the best when he finally sets off.

“We are also delighted that Fletchers Solicitors have chosen Queenscourt as their Charity of the Year and we look forward to working with all the team in the future.”

You can read more about Rikki’s fundraising and donate here: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-display/showROFundraiserPage?userUrl=RikkiSpofforth&pageUrl=1

Rikki concluded: “Any donation you could give would be amazing, and I thank you for your support. It's not going to be easy for this fat lad to walk so far, but with your tremendous support I'm sure to make it!”

A Reflection on Queenscourt’s Nursing Services

Helen Birch, our Director of Nursing Services, reflects on the impact Queenscourt has had on her life both personally and professionally.  5 Helen Birch Dying Matters

Prior to working at Queenscourt Helen was a District Nurse and Queenscourt was always ‘the place to go’ if prompt, professional, expert, specialist palliative care advice was needed. 

Helen said: “This advice was never more appreciated than whilst caring for a member of our family, initially at home then at Queenscourt. That’s when I realised my new career goal, I wanted to become part of this amazing team, who consistently go above and beyond in supporting their patients and those who are dear to them.” 

In 2008 Helen secured a temporary 12 month post to set up and co-ordinate the Queenscourt at Home service and now 12 years on Queenscourt at Home is firmly embedded in our services. 

Helen has been Director of Nursing Services for the last eight years and has seen significant changes in the way we work. While our inpatient beds remain available for those with advanced symptom control needs, much of our care is delivered in the community - in the patient’s home. 

Helen will be stepping down from her role as Director this summer but will remain at Queenscourt as Quality Services Manager. Louise Charnock will succeed her as the new Director of Nursing. 

Why Queenscourt Matters – Debbie Lawson, Corporate Services Director

After a wide and varied career, Debbie Lawson joined #teamqueenscourt as Corporate Services Director in January 2018. She may have only been working at Queenscourt for 3 out of our 30 years, but her involvement with us and our services goes back much further. 4 Debbie Dying Matters

“I first became aware of the unique care that Queenscourt delivers when the team supported my Dad at the end of his life in 1997,” said Debbie. “The building was different then and the team much smaller, with fewer services in place, but the compassionate care, expert advice and holistic support was just as invaluable then as it remains today.  

"Over the following years my family supported Queenscourt however we could and my Mum volunteered in the offices. Every year Mum also donated to the Lights of Love appeal in memory of Dad and for the last few years I have made sure that light has shone in memory of them both. 

"It’s hard to describe my excitement when, 3 years ago, I saw the job advert that offered me the chance to join Queenscourt as a team member. If ever a job felt meant to be, it was this one! Now I am lucky enough to play a part in ensuring that Queenscourt’s impact over the past 30 years is celebrated. In that way we can highlight the importance of ensuring that Queenscourt is here for the next 30 years.” 

Catering During Covid

Everything changed for our department at the beginning of this Pandemic, and unfortunately due to government guidance, we were no longer able to facilitate our face-to-face Day Therapy service. However, we soon adapted by moving to an online virtual Day Therapy Service, and Dan, one of our chefs, was invited to take part in a video where he could demonstrate his skills to our patients in their own homes, so that they could try out his recipes for themselves! 

3 Catering Dying Matters

For infection prevention and control purposes, only the Clinical Team were allowed in to the ward area. Initially the Catering Team found that really difficult as we build a direct relationship with our patients, where we are able to understand their likes and dislikes and how their appetite is, for example, it’s so important not to serve too large a portion as it can be over-facing. 

Eventually, when government guidance permitted, we were able to return to the ward and meet our patients, and it quickly became apparent how important this was to them. Pre-Covid the patient’s family could provide the special items that the patient liked, and now it was up to us to make sure that the patient received items such as a certain brand of ice lolly they preferred, the pack of fruit they liked, or a specific type of biscuit. It has always been important to build up a relationship with our patients, but it’s even more so now, as having visitors is not as flexible as it was. We provide a change of face for our patients, and sometimes just a little chat can help. 

During a patient’s stay with us, if it happens to be their birthday, we do a little cake for them. We’ve also had a couple of Weddings in the hospice, so out comes the fizz as well as the cake as we help our patients to celebrate the occasion, and create special memories for their family. 

Some patients were on our ward over the Christmas period and they couldn’t be with their families, so it was important to us that we celebrated with a traditional Christmas lunch and hand-made truffles. We’ve also made sure that other special occasions are marked such as Mother’s Day and Easter, especially when our patients can’t be with their families. We feel privileged to share these times with our patients. 

Our job has changed somewhat over the last twelve months, but what hasn’t changed is the commitment to ensuring that our patients receive the very best we can offer. In fact the Pandemic has merely highlighted how important it is that we continue to provide the most delicious and appetising food for our patients. 

Queenscourt – Built on a Foundation of Compassionate Care

Queenscourt’s ability to provide such vital palliative care comes from the foresight and dedication of siblings Karen and Sarah Groves, who were the inspiration and driving force behind the creation of Queenscourt.  2 Karen Dying Matters

 After qualifying as a medical doctor in 1979, Dr Karen Groves first identified the need for better palliative care. Working as a GP in the Southport area for over 12 years, it was during this time that Karen and her sister Sarah, a nurse, sought advice from Dame Cicely Saunders, founder of the hospice movement in London. On their return they inspired a small group of people to begin fundraising and after much hard work, Queenscourt opened its Day Therapy and five inpatient beds on 1st June 1991 and later that year added five more beds. Karen had been a volunteer doctor at the hospice for five years, while still working full time as a GP, until she was appointed as Medical Officer for Queenscourt in 1995. 

In 1996, Karen became the first local consultant in Palliative Medicine, and in 2012 she was awarded an honorary degree from Edge Hill University. Karen received an MBE for Services to Palliative Care in 2014. 

Karen remains a core part of #teamqueenscourt in her role as Medical and Education Director. 

Queenscourt Supports Dying Matters Awareness Week

#teamqueenscourt works closely with partners in the palliative care sector and beyond in order to help change attitudes towards living life to the full, to the end, which is why we are once again supporting national Dying Matters Awareness Week, which this year, runs from 10th -16th May.1 intro Dying Matters

Queenscourt is part of the Dying Matters coalition, a group of individual and organisational members across England and Wales which aims to help people talk more openly about dying, death and bereavement, and to make plans for living well towards the end of life.  There is no right or wrong way to live life, but it is important to live it to the full for as long as we are able, and to do that, people and their families need to think about it, talk about it and plan for it. 

Queenscourt has been delivering first-class palliative care for over 30 years now and during that time our services have adapted to meet the needs of our local communities. This has included the development of our Queenscourt at Home service, which enables patients to be cared for at home for longer, so that they can be in familiar surroundings.  We support over 1800 patients and their families each year.  

In Queenscourt’s Pearl Anniversary year, our commitment to broadening conversations and knowledge about palliative and end of life care, remain at the heart of everything we do. This is reflected in our mission statement; “To empower compassionate communities to support one another in the face of advanced and progressive, life limiting illness, through provision of support and specialist palliative care services.” 

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