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Charity funding enables gifts of support at end of life

Patients and families across Doncaster who are receiving end of life care will be given a gift of extra support, thanks to NHS charitable funding.

St John’s Hospice in Balby has used its charitable funds, generated by donations from the public, to develop its ‘comfort pack’ containing a mixture of practical equipment and information to support all patients and families as they are nearing end of life.

St John’s Hospice Community Specialist Palliative Care team leader Sarah Bell said: “A donation of £10 to our charity will pay for a comfort pack, which is a small gift to provide care and support to local patients and families, at what is a very difficult and distressing time for them.

“It comes in a branded comfort pack cotton tote bag, with the telephone number for Doncaster’s single point of contact. This is the patient and family’s first point of contact should they need advice as things change, so they know exactly who to ring.

“We’ve included mouth gel, ultra mild toothpaste a toothbrush and mouth swabs, along with an information leaflet all about good mouth care. There’s also personal care wipes and shampoo cap for patients who may be bed-bound or finding it difficult to wash their hair.”

She added: “We’ve added a little note pad and pen for people to make notes or write down their thoughts. They may wish to think about making memories with their loved ones, so we’ve provided a handy leaflet to encourage them start thinking about this.

“There’s also an end-of-life booklet, which provides practical advice and reference to many aspects of care, including coping with the news, planning ahead, financial help, care as things change and support for carers, which will also assist with making plans.”

The charity has also put together a small bereavement pack for care staff to give to families after the death of their loved one, which contains a condolence card, rose crystal quartz pocket heart and a packet of forget me not seeds for remembrance.”

Sarah added: “We wanted to show that even after the death of their loved one, our service continues to care about those left behind, so this is just a small token from us.

“For a donation of just £5, our supporters will be helping to provide two bereavement packs for grieving families, which demonstrates a relatively small donation can make a big difference at a difficult time.”

St John’s Hospice is run by Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH). For more information on how to support visit the St John’s Hospice website (opens in new window)

St John’s Hospice, Clinical Nurse Specialist Beth Haywood is pictured with the comfort and bereavement packs.

Published: May 17, 2024

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