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Three Cambridgeshire hospices have teamed up to deliver a special event supporting young people transitioning from children to adult hospice services. Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice, East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) and Arthur Rank Hospice Charity hosted a collaborative autumnal activity day for young people at the end of October 2019.
Held at Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice in Peterborough, the event introduced young people approaching the age of 18, and their families, to the expert care and support available to them at the hospice. Six young people, who have either currently or previously accessed the care and services of EACH, visited Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice to meet staff and volunteers, find out about the care offered, and enjoy a day of fun activities.
Highlights included a silent disco complete with glow sticks and flashing lights, and doing creative crafts such as baking autumnal cakes, decorating pumpkins and making masquerade masks. The young people also had the chance to spend time in a relaxing sensory space with soothing music and light therapy.
The hospice’s Complementary Therapy Lead and therapist volunteers offered complementary therapies such as hand and foot massages in the hospice’s Sanctuary. The young visitors also had the chance to look around the Hospice and its specialist palliative care in-patient unit, which is the only one of its kind in Peterborough.
The Hospice’s kitchen team prepared a delicious Halloween themed buffet, which included a beautifully decorated iced carrot cake and a spooky, wobbly panna cotta. The young people were joined for the day by two furry, four-legged friends, also known as Pets as Therapy dogs Millie and Teddy.
The parents and family members were not forgotten either; they had the chance to take part in an Expert Parent Workshop by the Council for Disabled Children and Together for Short Lives. Run by a parent carer, the workshop aimed to support the parents to better understand the health and care system.
This event was the third one that has taken place this year, jointly hosted by the three hospices. The hospices have been working together to support young people in Cambridgeshire who are transitioning from children to adult palliative care services.
It followed a successful event in May at the EACH hospice in Milton and another event in August at the Arthur Rank Hospice in Cambridge.
Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall
Jo Hazell, who has been leading on the transitions project from Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice, said:
“Thank you to all of the young people and their families who spent the day with us; it was wonderful to meet everyone and show them around our hospice. We had a lot of fun, from dancing and singing our hearts out in the silent disco to spending time in our Art Room getting crafty and then relaxing with some complementary therapies.
We have really enjoyed working with colleagues from EACH and Arthur Rank Hospice to introduce young people in Cambridgeshire to adult hospice services.
By working together, we can make sure that young people feel comfortable and supported and gain first-hand experience of what adult hospices are really like. We want to remove any pre-conceptions or worries they may have.
Here at Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice, we are very proud of the compassionate and expert palliative care we offer to local people and our warm and friendly home from home atmosphere.”
East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH)
Lucy Brumpton, Young Persons’ and Transitions Lead at EACH, said:
“Working collaboratively across adult and children’s hospice services provides families with a more structured and supportive transition journey. It allows adult hospice staff time to develop a better understanding of the needs of the young people and their families and what is important to them, what concerns they have about the transitioning and how they can be supported by the adult team.
Families have space and time to share experiences/success, build relationships and get peer support. The ultimate aim is to increase the confidence of young people and families to access adult hospice services and support after transitioning from EACH.”
Arthur Rank Hospice Charity
Sara Robbins, Director of Clinical Services at Arthur Rank Hospice, commented:
“This third and final event of the year goes to show what amazing things can be achieved when our teams come together with a joint vision and purpose. It was wonderful to see young people enjoying a variety of activities and communicating with staff members, whilst hospice colleagues chatted about how we can continue to work together in the future.
The day had a fantastic atmosphere and provided a great introduction to what adult hospice services can provide. We are now looking forward to seeing what we can achieve in 2020!”
A Parents Comment
Tamsin Olney, a parent who attended the day with her son Oscar, said:
“It was an amazing opportunity for me to be able to attend the Transition workshop. Transition to adult services seems such a daunting time, the workshop provided useful information and starting points to set the wheels in motion as well as tips for getting the best out of medical appointments for our young people and other things besides!
Meanwhile, Oscar had great fun with other young people, taking part in Halloween themed activities such as cake making, and he enjoyed some reflexology too. He had so much fun, he giggled all the way home!”