St Clare Hospice receives cash boost to deliver key community projects

WEST Essex and East Herts charity, St Clare Hospice, has received £45,491 in charitable grants to deliver and develop two, key community projects in the local area.

The Hospice’s current Bereavement Café service has received £10,000 which will ensure the current events continue, and enable new ones to be developed and delivered, helping to reach more people who need support. St Clare has also received £35,491 to create a new community space in the Hospice, where people can create new social networks with others who may have similar experiences.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have received such a large sum of money to go towards these projects,” says Community Engagement Manager at St Clare, Sally Muylders. “Now, more than ever, is the time to really be encouraging local people to establish strong and resilient social support networks amongst themselves, so that nobody has to face their journey alone.”

Sally added: “We’re delighted to have received £35,491 from the Valiant Trust to create a new Community Shed at our Hospice. Modelled on the idea behind ‘Men’s Sheds’, our Community Shed will provide a space for our patients and their relatives to undertake craft and DIY activities, talk, play music and relax away from the clinical environment. There will also be a timetable of programmed activities, which will help to open up the Hospice as a community space.”

The inspiration behind St Clare’s new Community Shed is a local gentleman called Stephen Barclay, who died in the Hospice’s care on New Year’s Day 2016.

“Steve’s family kindly pledged to fund our Community Shed in Steve’s memory,” explains Sally, “So that our future patients, and their families and carers, can benefit from this wonderful new space at St Clare.”

Stephen’s wife, Sue Barclay, commented: “All the family would like to say a big thank you to the Valiant Trust for making this project possible. My husband, Stephen, was a patient at St Clare Hospice for end of life treatment. Everyone who worked at the Hospice enabled my family and I to come to terms with what had happened, and they have been a fantastic support to us all.
This project seemed a good way for us to give something back and we hope it will be a great place for people to enjoy, reflect on life, relax and meet new people.”

The Hospice’s new Community Shed is set to open in Autumn 2019. Work is currently underway to build the space within an existing location in St Clare’s Taylor Centre building.

In addition, after a successful bid for vital funding to develop their new Bereavement Café service, the Hastingwood-based Hospice also received £5,000 from the John Swire 1989 Charitable Trust and £5,000 from The Adrian Swire Charitable Trust.

St Clare Hospice first initiated their Bereavement Café events in February 2019, and since then the service has grown to accommodate five regular events throughout Dunmow, Ongar, Nazeing and Harlow.

“As death and bereavement are normal life events, we are keen to move away from ‘treating’ grief and provide opportunities for people to find ways to support each other,” continues Sally.

“For this reason, we developed our Bereavement Cafés for people who have lost a loved one. Anyone living with bereavement can attend, including people not necessarily connected to our hospice.

“Now, with the generous £10,000 in funding we have received, we will be able to continue developing the project so we can reach even more local people. In fact, we already have more events that are planned to launch in the coming months, so please do watch this space!”

For more information on St Clare’s Bereavement Café events, please visit: stclarehospice.org.uk/bereavement-cafe Alternatively, please call the Hospice on 01279 773762 or email sushma.dhami@stclarehospice.org.uk

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