Our October meeting was held in our new venue at Alnwick Cricket Club. Barbara welcomed everyone, along with two new members, Shirley and Lilian.
She then dealt with correspondence, with details of events at Cresswell House, including a Christmas Craft Day on November 29. Christmas at the Abbey is on December 14, and carol singing at Heighley Gate is on December 19.
Our speakers were Julie Frost and Sue Gilbertson from North Northumberland HospiceCare. Julie is the marketing and corporate co-ordinator, and Sue is clinical services manager. They told us of the services provided by HospiceCare.
A pilot hospice was developed in 1995 using borrowed premises. Now there are day therapy centres in Berwick and Alnwick for patients with life-limiting illnesses. Services vary from complementary therapies to lymphoedema management. A bereavement service provides support to families, and this can be offered for as long as necessary.
In 2009, Hospice at Home was launched. This provides support for adults who wish to be looked after in their own home, rather than in hospital, by a team of dedicated, trained staff.
There is support for families and carers by ‘giving them a break’, whether it is day or night, planned or in a crisis. ‘Drop-ins’ are on Wednesday mornings for peer support and carer respite, which can reduce social isolation.
In 2016 funding was received from the Henfrey Charitable Trust and Garfield Weston Foundation to continue a project regarding dementia and end of life care in care homes.
Sue and Julie emphasised that the hospice belongs to the community and relies on the good will of fund-raisers, volunteers and residents for support.
A charity shop has opened in Berwick, attached to the day therapy unit. Donations can be left at the Alnwick Hospice.
Julie reported the importance of volunteers, who cover a wide range of services, from manning stalls at fund-raising events and applying for grants to running in the Great North Road Race – all are very beneficial.
Marjorie Brown gave a vote of thanks and said she was pleased to hear of all the services provided to the community by trained, friendly and committed staff.
Birthday flowers were presented to Bette Brown. Raffle prize winners were Kathleen Turnbull, Isobel Jury, Barbara Turner and Maureen Inglis.
There were a lot of entries for our competition for an item beginning with ‘H’. The results were: 1 Hazel Shell; 2 Margaret Hope; 3 Barbara Young.
The next meeting is on November 20, at 7pm, and our speaker will be Judy Murray, giving us a hands-on evening with origami. New members welcome.