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

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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.

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.” 

Rotary Club of Ormskirk Clocktower Awards Grant For Family Care Packs

Our thanks go to Rotary Club of Ormskirk Clocktower who have awarded Queenscourt a grant of £1,560 which will be used to create Family Care Packs to support children, young people and their families, who have either been bereaved, or are about to be bereaved. Rotary Club Grant


The grant will help by supporting the purchase of practical resources for the packs, such as books, arts materials, memory boxes and jars, and worry dolls.

Director of Nursing Helen Birch said: “Our Children and Family Support Services will use the packs to provide bereavement support, creating the right conditions for the children to think and talk about their feelings, and share their worries.

“The Rotary Club of Ormskirk Clocktower has supported Queenscourt many times and we are very grateful for this grant.”

The money was raised through a variety of lockdown activities, including an online concert, recipe book and treasure hunt by car.

James Parsons, the Club’s President for 2020/21, said: “All the members of our club were delighted to donate to Queenscourt Hospice - they do a fantastic job in our community! We have worked hard fundraising over the last few months during lockdown so we can finance this excellent project to support bereaved children. Every moment of our time and every effort we made was totally worth it.”

Queenscourt’s Pearl Anniversary Raffle Winner is a Real Gem

I have never won anything before so you can imagine my surprise when l opened the envelope and found that l had won the first prize of £3000 in the Queenscourt Pearl Anniversary Raffle! Peter Gordon 3k Raffle Wiinner March 2021


I’ve supported Queenscourt for a number of years now, including by being a member of  Queenscourt’s Lottery and also through buying their raffle tickets.

l work at Southport Hospital in the Blood Transfusion Laboratory. We often get blood samples in from patients at Queenscourt that need a transfusion. I have also had to visit friends and colleagues in the Hospice. It amazes me how on entering you completely forget where you are.

All of the staff are so friendly and welcoming and I even used to take my dog in on a Saturday morning, when l visited the hospice pre-pandemic.

Queenscourt’s charity shops are kept immaculately clean and at Christmas they have a range of cards depicting local scenes of Southport, Formby and West Lancashire, and I have bought the ones of Southport for the last few years.

You have to remember that the Hospice is run as a charity so funds are greatly needed. I would certainly tell people that it is a great charity to support for the benefit of local people, and that’s why I chose to donate part of my winnings back to Queenscourt.

You can support your local hospice by joining Queenscourt Lottery (www.queenscourt.org.uk/lottery) or by making a donation at www.queenscourt.org.uk/donate

Vicki's Career Change After Her Grandad’s Care by Queenscourt

Vicki Grimster made the life changing decision to become a palliative care nurse after seeing first-hand the treatment her grandad received in the care of Queenscourt.  Vicki Grimster and her Gramps


What’s more, Vicki’s daughter Sophie Edwards is now also training to be a nurse after witnessing her mother’s passion for her vocation.

Vicki had a good job in sales when her Gramps, Bill Kerr, came under the care of the Queenscourt at Home service in 2009. “We had been caring for Gramps as a family, but we were really struggling,” she said. “That’s when we turned to Queenscourt.

“They made such a difference and Gramps had such a good death. That’s when I thought I wanted to make a difference to people’s lives so handed in my notice and became a Health Care Support Worker (HCSW).”

Vicki then attended Bangor University and, having two children, continued to work as a HCSW throughout her studies and also took on as many palliative care placements as she could.

Upon graduation she was “lucky enough” to get a job at Nightingale Hospice in Wrexham before moving on to St Kentigern’s Hospice in Denbighshire.

“Queenscourt doesn’t know the impact it has had on my life,” said Vicki. “It changed my life and my perspective on everything and has led me to where I am now. It is an amazing place.”

Lottery Winner Ray Gives Back To Queenscourt

It was a case of third time lucky for Ray Hibbs who recently scooped our £1,500 Lottery jackpot after previously winning £20 prizes.Ray and Sue Hibbs


“I saw on Facebook that someone in my road had won, but thought it must be someone else,” said Ray. “The next day the post arrived and my wife Sue opened it to find the winner’s cheque inside. She spent the next hour on the phone telling everyone – it really was a lovely surprise.”

Ray, who has been a Lottery member for about 20 years, has already given away most of his jackpot – including a very generous £250 donation back to Queenscourt, for which we are very grateful.

He also gave some to his daughters, Michelle and Tracy and to his three grandchildren, and intends to buy a new TV once the shops reopen.

Ray and his brother Tony, who has been a Queenscourt volunteer for many years, are keen supporters of the Hospice and both make regular donations in lieu of family Christmas and birthday presents.

“Queenscourt is such an amazing place,” said Ray. “Everyone there is so nice and they go that extra mile for their patients. I’m happy to support them, and their Lottery is so easy to play.”

To learn more about Queenscourt Lottery and how to play go to www.queenscourt.org.uk/Lottery

Jan Supports Queenscourt Lottery in Memory of her Father

Queenscourt Lottery member Jan Grimster has taken on a second number in response to our recent Lottery campaign, as she still remembers the help and support her family received during her father’s final weeks.

Jan Grimster and her Dad Bill Kerr


Jan’s father Bill Kerr was among the first patients to be cared for by the Queenscourt at Home Service in 2009 and had also been an in-patient at Queenscourt for a short time. The combination of the care he received on site and at home changed his family’s perception of hospice care forever.

“It is a marvellous place, so different from what we expected,” said Jan. “We were all made to feel so welcome and they couldn’t do enough for us - both during Dad’s illness and after he died. It completely changed my view of what a hospice is.

It was thanks to Queenscourt that my father died surrounded by his family, in his own home and with Vera Lynn playing on the CD – just as he had wanted.”

Jan has played Queenscourt’s Lottery for several years now and had no hesitation when asked to consider taking a second number. “It really is such a great cause and the extra £1 a week is a drop in the ocean, but will make a big difference to Queenscourt.”

If you are interested in playing Queenscourt Lottery for only £1 per week or want to double your chances of winning a weekly top prize of £1,500 and take out a second number like Jan, we would be very grateful. Your support makes all the difference to help Keep Queenscourt in Service as we celebrate our Pearl Anniversary year. Please visit www.queenscourt.org.uk/Lottery to learn more and join on-line.

Families Reflect on Queenscourt’s Compassionate Care

As we celebrate our Pearl Anniversary and 30 years of providing Compassionate Care for local people with life-limiting illnesses, it is also a time to reflect on the positive impact that Queenscourt has had on the lives of our patients and their families. Kayleigh HayesPat Buck Bob Parry

 


Over the past 30 years, Queenscourt has provided exceptional care and support for thousands of patients across West Lancashire, Formby and Southport. Here we share the memories of two of those families whose loved ones were cared for by #teamqueenscourt.

Jackie Cockwill’s daughter Kayleigh Hayes was just 23 when she died of bowel cancer in June 2013. Kayleigh had initially visited the Hospice as an out-patient for help with her pain management but was later admitted and spent her last 24 hours in Queenscourt’s care.

“Everyone at Queenscourt really went above and beyond, not only to help Kayleigh, but to support our family and friends,” said Jackie. “Even after Kayleigh passed away they were always there for me.”

Jackie subsequently became a dedicated fundraiser for Queenscourt – organising six Dragonfly Balls, taking part in Star Trekk walks and supporting the Forget Me Not and Lights of Love campaigns each year as well as organising smaller events. She has raised almost £23,000 and has also volunteered for Queenscourt.

Why does she do it? “I know what it feels like to lose somebody you love,” she said. “Losing a child is really hard and you need somebody you can lean on, fall back on and Queenscourt was there for me when I needed them.

“I just want to give back to say thank you for that. If we don’t do these things to help them, they are not going to be there when others need them.”

The wonderful care given to her son, Bob Parry, by the team at Queenscourt, led to Pat Buck raising thousands of pounds for our charity and also volunteering at one of our shops.

Bob spent time as an in-patient at Queenscourt and was later treated as an out-patient before being re-admitted in 2018 after his liver cancer spread to his bones. He spent six weeks in Queenscourt before arrangements were made for him to return home, where he was under the care of the Queenscourt at Home team.

“I cannot explain just how wonderful everyone was at Queenscourt,” said Pat. “I was absolutely amazed at what a serene and beautiful place it is and they were so lovely to Bob – everything he wanted, he got. They couldn’t do enough for him. Bob was always laughing and joking with the nurses and other staff. It is hard to describe just how special it is.”

Pat has since taken part in our Star Trekk night walk with 20 friends and family, raising over £10,000; and, with her sister Janet Currie, also took part in our To The Moon and Back initiative, raising a further £1,400.

As well as fundraising, Pat has also become a Queenscourt Volunteer and, along with her sister Janet, has been helping out at our Chapel Street shop.

Queenscourt’s Dementia-Friendly Project Gets Underway

Dementia beds

As a result of the generous donations received in response to our Dementia-Friendly Project, we are delighted to announce that eleven brand new Dementia-Friendly beds and mattresses have been bought for Queenscourt.


Over £40,000 has been raised to buy the new beds and mattresses , which will enhance patient care and help to make our ward area more dementia-friendly.

This fantastic fundraising total has been raised in several ways and by a variety of contributors, including:

-           The Community Link Foundation

-             The Reed Foundation

-             Donors via The Big Give Christmas Challenge fundraising initiative

-             Southport & Formby GP Federation

-             GTB Demolition

#TeamQueenscourt are committed to providing patients with dementia the same palliative care as those with other life-limiting illnesses, and the new beds with their low-height setting and in-built alarm sensors, will help to improve patient comfort and safety.

“We have been humbled by the support that this vital refurbishment project has received”. Helen Birch, Director of Nursing Services, said: “Our heartfelt thanks go out to everyone who has contributed towards the purchase of our new Dementia-Friendly beds and mattresses.

These state-of-the-art beds will enhance the comfort of all of our patients, as well as being more user-friendly for our nursing team. It is a great start to our Pearl Anniversary year.”

The new beds are the latest effort to make the ward more dementia friendly. Previous steps have included smaller changes which make a big difference, such as a small Forget-Me-Not flower at the patient’s bed-side which indicates very discreetly that a patient has dementia; reminiscence therapies; fiddle-muffs and mittens and dementia-friendly tableware.

12 Days of Christmas - Day 12

It’s the last day of our 12 days of Christmas campaign and Queenscourt’s Pearl Anniversary is fast-approaching.Day 12


Providing the timely opportunity to reflect on the positive impact that Queenscourt has had on the lives of thousands of people across Southport, Formby and West Lancashire over the past 30 years.

We will be producing a special Pearl Anniversary edition of our ‘Queenscourt Matters’ newsletter in February 2021, at the beginning of our anniversary year, and we would love to hear from you as to why Queenscourt matters to you. You can email us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

or send a note to: Queenscourt Pearl Anniversary Messages, Queenscourt Hospice, Town Lane, Southport, PR83PUWe will include some of your messages in this special edition newsletter. Keep an eye out as we celebrate #30YearsofQueenscourt. #30YearsofCompassionateCaring 

12 Days of Christmas - Day 11

It’s day 11 of our 12 days of Christmas campaign, and if you have any items to donate after Christmas that you consider to be of higher value than we would normally sell in our shops, then we would welcome these items to sell in our eBay shop! Day 11


Read more: 12 Days of Christmas - Day 11

12 Days of Christmas - Day 10

One thing the Coronavirus pandemic has shown us all this year 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. Day 10


Read more: 12 Days of Christmas - Day 10

12 Days of Christmas - Day 9

The 2.6 Challenge took place instead of this year’s London Marathon, launching on April 26th and lasting for a week. Queenscourt supporters were asked to dream up an activity based around the numbers 2.6 or 26 and seek sponsorship or simply make a donation. Day 9

Read more: 12 Days of Christmas - Day 9

12 Days of Christmas - Day 7

Queenscourt is committed to the well-being of its team, and with the challenges that the pandemic has brought with it, this has never been more important. As part of this on-going commitment, four members of #teamqueenscourt undertook specific training to become Mental Health First Aiders. Day 7

 

Read more: 12 Days of Christmas - Day 7

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