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Summer 2016

Keechmatters The magazine of Keech Hospice Care

Mark Campbell found his own unique way of dealing with his son Henry’s lifelimiting illness. Pages 10 - 11

KeechFest Our 25th birthday bash and festival

11 September 2016

25 years of care

“Over the past 25 years, the unstoppable force of technology has completely revolutionised the nursing profession.” See pages 4 - 5.



Letter from Liz


am writing this letter following a two day inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The CQC is the independent regulator that makes sure services such as hospitals, care homes, hospices and GP surgeries provide patients with high quality, safe care. The inspectors spent time talking to our patients, families and staff alongside conducting an audit of our records, policies and procedures. At the end of the two days the lead inspector remarked that she would be extremely happy to have any relative of hers cared for by Keech Hospice Care and that we are a compassionate and kind organisation. When I reflect back on my first few months as Chief Executive, the words compassionate and kind are very meaningful to me. I have seen kindness and compassion across every part of our organisation. I know that every person who comes through our doors is treated with kindness and compassion. However, since taking over the role of Chief Executive and starting to visit all of our 33 shops, I have been utterly

overwhelmed by the kindness that is shown by both staff and volunteers towards each other and our customers. I have seen shop staff go to a regular customer’s home when they noticed they hadn’t been in for a couple of weeks to check everything is okay. I have seen how customers who have been bereaved, who have moved to a new area or who live alone, visit our shops, not just to support us but to gain a little company. It makes me immensely proud of the part the hospice plays in people’s lives – indeed many of whom have never stepped foot inside the hospice building. Keech Hospice Care is full of wonderful stories that show the very best of humanity. You also, as our supporters, play a unique and very big part of our wonderful story. You show your kindness and compassion in all the amazing ways you support us. Without you there wouldn’t be a hospice. Thank you for your support – it really makes all the difference when it matters most, and together we bring a little kindness and compassion to these challenging times.

In this edition Welcome


News in brief


25 Years of Care


Our work


Our care



Liz Searle

We want to connect with you! Keep up-to-date with all the news from your local hospice. Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter


Watch us on YouTube Email us at Visit our website

We support: adults living in Luton and South Bedfordshire and children and their families living in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes.

Our fundraising


We deliver: a range of services including: in-patient and day services,

community services, care and support for children and a befriending and support service for adults in the community. We also have a helpline for all patients and their families whenever they need it.

We need: to raise more than £5m from public donations to deliver our

services this year. This amounts to more than £14,000 a day, every day. We also need volunteers, without whom we could not deliver our range of services to the people who so desperately need them. Email

Sign up for our lottery


News in brief

Good Morning Britain films live at Keech Hospice Care

Reaching milestones

London Marathon runners raise £26k

One of our corporate supporters celebrated a huge milestone recently. Brook Street UK Ltd in St Albans has been supporting Keech Hospice Care for 15 years and has raised £50,000. To mark the anniversary it gave us a £5,000 donation, a brand new PA system and pledged £3,000 towards a children’s activity. Erika Bannerman, Director, from Brook Street UK Ltd said: “When Brook Street was founded, 70 years ago, it was a family run business for many years. The importance placed on family, and the original commitment to working within our local communities is still incredibly prevalent in the organisation today. As a children’s charity, close to our St Albans Head Office, Keech Hospice Care is a natural choice for us. We’ve been proud to support the incredible work of the charity through cake bakes, a lottery ‘bonus ball’ syndicate and bring and buy sales. We truly hope every contribution can enable a patient or family to receive support, care, fun and friendship.”


On 24 April, the streets of London were lined with supporters and charities cheering on almost 40,000 London Marathon runners. Eight runners took part for the hospice, raising an incredible £26,000. Father and son team, Colin Moore Senior and Colin Moore Junior from Luton both crossed the finishing line.“We wanted to say thank you after Keech Hospice Care gave my family the chance to spend precious time with our daughter Sofia after she died,” said Colin Junior. “Running the marathon was brilliant and emotional. I was determined to finish in honour of Sofia, no matter how painful it got.” More than 250,000 people have registered for a ballot place in the 2017 London Marathon with only around 40,000 spots available. So, why not apply for one of Keech’s charity places and raise some money for your hospice at the same time? Or, if you already have your own ballot place, we’d love it if you’d consider running for us. Check out or call us on 01582 707940.

It was an early but exciting start for everyone when ITV’s Good Morning Britain surprised one of our dads for Father’s Day in June here at Keech Hospice Care. Martin Rackley was given a Best Dad Award by the show’s entertainment presenter, Richard Arnold, who headed the live TV show from our children’s hospice. Martin gave up everything to care for his daughter Ruby, who has an incurable brain tumour, and to also enable his partner Emma to fulfil her dream of becoming a midwife. The Super Dad was left stunned after finding himself the centre of attention on national breakfast television and his friends, family and many Keech Hospice Care staff lying in wait and ready to surprise him in our Teenage Room at 6am. Martin, who’s always wanted to drive a racing car, was presented with a day’s Ferrari driving at Silverstone, Grand Prix tickets; and a stay for all the family at Center Parcs.

Keech 10K Trail Run Keech Hospice Care’s 10K Trail Run took place on Sunday 15 May at Putteridge Bury and was a massive success with more than 200 runners signing up to our first ever competitive running event. Robert Barnes and Elizabeth Rollinson, both from Stopsley Striders running club, finished as first man and woman with great times of 38.38 and 48.28 respectively. With the help of our running club partners (Dunstable Road Runners), the great weather, the beautiful grounds and amazing volunteers, the event was a massive hit raising an incredible £9,700 to date. Putteridge Bury has agreed to host us again next year and the confirmed date for the 2017 10K Trail Run is 14 May, so please put the date in your diary.

25 years of care


25 Years of Care This year we’re celebrating our 25th birthday at Keech Hospice Care. As part of the celebrations we have been learning about how the nursing profession has changed, and why palliative care was the right choice for two of our longest serving nurses: Elaine Tolliday, our Clinical Director; and Shirley Gadsden, our Nurse Manager in the adult in-patient unit. Our Clinical Director, Elaine Tolliday as a young nurse

How do you think your training experience was different to the newly qualified nurses who enter the profession now? “The way nurses are trained has changed beyond recognition over the last quarter of a century. Twenty-five years ago, nurses were given 9-12 weeks of basic training before starting their work on hospital wards. Following changes made in 2011, nurses must now complete an undergraduate degree, usually lasting three or four years and split between academic and practical learning.” Elaine remembers the level of responsibility increasing very quickly at the start of her career: “We all lived in nursing accommodation together so that was really different. It was great

for being a team player. After nine weeks of basic training we were straight onto the wards, so it was much more hands-on. In our second year we were given keys and were allowed to administer medication. In our third year we could be running wards. Students don’t have those experiences now. Our pathway was far more practical and less academic than now.” How has technology changed the way you work? “Over the past 25 years, the unstoppable force of technology has completely revolutionised the nursing profession. From digital records to practical equipment like vein mapping machines and electrical thermometers, monitoring patients has become increasingly

accurate. Shirley has welcomed the influx of new technology (although admits she’s not a natural techie): “Technology has made things so much easier. Nowadays, temperature is taken electronically, for example. With old thermometers you had to read the mercury in it, which wasn’t always easy. We had to pay if we broke a thermometer. All the mercury would go into little balls and you had to pick them all up because they were dangerous. The new technology aids your practice so much more. You have to embrace these advances, because they improve things so much for the patient.” Elaine agrees, saying the advances in technology have ‘significantly enhanced’ the everyday work of nurses. She does, however, note the potential downside of technologies

Over the past 25 years, the unstoppable force of technology has completely revolutionised the nursing profession.

25 years of care which speed up nursing practice: “My only worry is that nurses may become reliant on technology to carry out basic observations. During my training I was taught to use this time to interact with my patient. We would have sat and chatted, and found out whether they were worried or in pain. I occasionally see student nurses miss out on those important interactions, as their observations can be as short as 30 seconds.” Elaine also spoke of technology’s impact on the patient experience. Unlimited access to information on the internet often means patients are extremely ‘knowledgeable about and engaged with their healthcare,’ but having constant access to multiple sources of questionable reliability can sometimes lead to misinformation or extra worry for the patient. How has the relationship between doctors and nurses changed? By steering the nursing pathway in a more academic direction, nurses have become far more than a pair of hands on a ward. In addition to expertise gained over life-long nursing careers, this has had a huge effect on the dynamic between nurses and patients. Shirley remembers this as being one of the most significant changes in recent years: “When I trained, doctors and consultants were treated like gods. You wouldn’t talk to them and many wouldn’t ‘lower themselves’ to talk to you. Nowadays it’s one team - we’re on first name terms and we discuss patients’ care and make decisions together. There’s no hierarchy any more - we’re all here for the same reason.” Are there any moments from your career that you would consider pivotal?


Nurse Alison Miller and patient in the day care courtyard 25 years ago

From stand-out patients to career moves for the better, we asked Shirley and Elaine about the moments that made them the nurses they are today. Both of them talked about moments when they felt compelled to pursue a palliative speciality. Shirley says: “I remember coming to Keech Hospice Care for the first time. I didn’t really know what a hospice was, but I came for an interview and a tour. From the minute I came in, I knew I wanted to work here. I thought I’d blown the interview, so when they phoned me I couldn’t believe I’d got the job. I was so happy to come and that’s why I’ve stayed so long - 19 years. It’s such a different place to work. You can give the highest standard of care you were trained to give. In an acute

hospital you don’t have time to do that. Getting the job here has really been my best moment.” “There was a point I decided palliative care was for me,” says Elaine.” I was working on a gynaecology ward as a newly qualified nurse. We worked a lot with women suffering from gynaecological cancers, and those patients would often return to the ward at the end of their lives. This was before palliative care became a significant part of medicine, so these women would be in two side-rooms away from the ward. I remember feeling that wasn’t good enough, and I’d always find myself drawn to these end-of-life patients. If you couldn’t find me I’d be there holding their hand.”

The greatest gift I

f you want to ensure your loved ones are provided for after your death and inherit the things you’d like them to have, having a valid Will is essential. Otherwise, it will be the law which decides who gets what. After you’ve provided for your family and friends, you may want to consider supporting your favourite charities by leaving a gift in your Will. At Keech Hospice Care we are reliant on the community for 70% of our funding to be able to care for people living with a life-limiting and terminal illness. Gifts in Wills are a

vital source of income for us and help provide care for 1 in 9 of our patients. Gifts in Wills to the hospice have come in all shapes and sizes in the past, from specific cash gifts to percentage shares of estates, but what’s most important is the difference you’ll make to the lives of patients and their families. To encourage people to write their Will, this October Keech Hospice Care is teaming up with local solicitors across Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire who have generously agreed to give their time and expertise to help you

make (or update) your Will in return for a donation to Keech. The suggested minimum donation is £99 for a single Will and £149 for a joint Will. While there is no obligation to include Keech in your Will, once you’ve remembered those closest to you, if you do choose to leave a gift to the hospice it would be much appreciated. For further details, please tick the box on the response form that came with your newsletter or alternatively contact David Pond on 01582 707942 or


Our work

Keech film for Dying Matters Week goes viral

Pupils from Ramridge Primary school

Pupils from The Grove Infant and Nursery School


eath isn’t a subject that features heavily in everyday conversation, but it’s important we think about our end-of-life plans before it’s too late. Not speaking openly about death can rob us of the chance to make decisions about how and where we’d like to die and make things even harder for our loved ones. Dying Matters is a charity that aims to encourage people to have conversations around death and dying. Every year in May it holds an awareness week to help promote the importance of having conversations around death and dying and of making plans.

As part of this year’s Dying Matter’s Awareness Week we created a short film of those who don’t mind talking about death - children. The pupils from Ramridge Primary School in Luton and The Grove Infant and Nursery School in Harpenden touched on everything from where you go to what happens after death. The open and inquisitive way they explored the subject captured the hearts of viewers across the UK, resulting in national coverage and views of over 35,000 across social media. Our more well-known supporters also showed their support, with Harry Judd from McBusted and

national charities Marie Curie and Macmillan promoting the video on their social media platforms. The film also resulted in national coverage in the Daily Mail, The Mirror, The Metro and Radio 5 Live. Anna Archer, Head teacher of The Grove Infant and Nursery School, said: “We’re delighted to support Keech Hospice Care with its film. Death can be a difficult subject for adults to talk about but children have such wonderful ideas about every aspect of life. Watching the film brings a range of emotions, and I hope others find it useful.”

Our work


Broadcaster Stephen Rhodes starts The Big Conversation

Stephen Rhodes


opular Broadcaster and presenter Stephen Rhodes is best known for having hosted his award-winning investigative Consumer Programme and Breakfast Show on BBC Three Counties Radio. His television credits include This Morning, The Politics Programme and he was the voice of the popular gameshow Family Fortunes for more than ten years. Stephen is now a patient of Keech Hospice Care’s Palliative Care Centre having been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in October 2014. In May, the well-known personality led Keech Hospice Care in The Big Conversation as part of the national Dying Matters Awareness Week campaign. But, what do you talk about when you’re dying? Over to you Stephen. “Just how hard is it to talk about death and dying? Not my favourite topic but it’s a reality, especially for the likes of me as I have been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND). My body is shutting down bit by bit. I am dying. While I’m a very talkative Irish man, there are things I don’t want to talk about or have much time for. I don’t want to talk about or have much time for companies cold calling me trying to sell me life insurance! What do I need life insurance for? I don’t want to talk about or have

much time for people being overly nice to me, saying things like: ‘You poor thing!’ with a pained expression on their face. I don’t want to talk about or have much time for people I hardly know who say they must come round to my house and spend some time with me. Or old friends who can no longer talk to me normally but can only see my disease and not me. I don’t have much time for people who are aggressive towards others or moan about others behind their backs just to make themselves look and feel good. I don’t have much time for people who like to make a mountain out of a mole hill and go on and on about the most trivial of things, which in the grand scheme of things, just don’t matter. Like the way you do your hair, or being delayed because of the traffic or having to take the long way round because of an accident. I don’t want to talk about or have much time for doctors and nurses who have no idea what MND is and can’t even be bothered to Google it when someone tells them they have it. I’ve had this experience at a hospital recently and it wasn’t good. In fact, I’ll be giving that hospital a talk soon to hopefully put that one right! And I’ll be honest with you, when I was first diagnosed, I didn’t want to

talk about anything. I just wanted to die quietly in a corner. But obviously, since then things have changed. These days I do want to talk about my amazing wife, children, siblings and friends who do so much for me and make me feel so lucky. I do want to talk about MND to make people aware and we can one day find a cure so others don’t have to go through this. I do want to talk about Keech Hospice Care and the wonderful work it does for those of us at the end of our lives. Talking to you today and doing things like this are exactly the sort of thing which keep me going and have given my life new purpose. I do want to talk about my future now before I can no longer express myself because of this illness. I want to talk about my plans, like my funeral, like creating provision for those who are still dependant on me. We’ve had family meetings around the kitchen table about these very things. I do want to talk about the beautiful things all around us which we take for granted: the blossom on the trees, the magnificent view from the top of Dunstable Downs – all things which I’ve never truly appreciated in the past. I do want to talk about - and what I will always have time for - are my family and friends, enjoying a good laugh with those I care about and spending time and catching up with those I haven’t seen for years. I do want to talk about the amazing places I’ve seen and I do have time for travel. I’ve been very lucky in my life and have travelled, but even now we’re going to some of the places in the world we have loved in the past or meant to go to but never got round to visiting. I do want to talk as I still enjoy chatting. I love talking with my radio pals about the best of times we had and some of the stories and things we got up too. I spend time thinking about how I can make the best of every moment I have left. So that’s it. The theme of this year’s Dying Matters Week is The Big Conversation. I’m Stephen Rhodes and I’m dying. Let’s talk about it, let’s have the conversation.


Our care

Our huge billboard at London Luton Airport

Teaming up with our charity partner for Children’s Hospice Week In May we teamed up with our charity partner, London Luton Airport, to celebrate Children’s Hospice Week. The week-long campaign is championed by national charity Together for Short Lives to raise awareness of children’s palliative care services across the UK. This year, the theme ‘Time to Put Families First’ aimed to improve people’s understanding of what life is really like for families caring for seriously ill children. We kicked off the week with lots of activity at the airport, and some early-risers up at 6:30am encouraging holidaymakers to part with their loose change. Our staff were joined by devoted volunteers Maggie and John Hill, who have been volunteering for 15 years and counting. Our airport activities didn’t stop there: we were given advertising space on all the digital departure boards, and the airport was kind enough to give us a giant billboard to spread the word about

Children’s Hospice Week. We even received a tweet from Hospice UK CEO Tracey Bleakley, saying she’d seen it on her way to catch a flight. You couldn’t walk through London Luton Airport without catching a glimpse of Keech! Aside from their help with Children’s Hospice Week, the airport’s support has extended far beyond its gifts of advertising space.

The whole team has spent time getting involved in supporting Keech. Lots of airport staff have been keen to visit the hospice to see what we offer and understand more about the services we provide. Our corporate team also arranged for the airport’s security team to wear Keech t-shirts for a day, and the airport recently held a successful charity golf day in aid of Keech that raised £8,925.

Maggie and John Hill at the airport with Dora the Explorer

Our care


India Trek – An adventure of a lifetime F

our of our intrepid in-patient unit (IPU) nurses are gearing up to go on the trip of a lifetime to Kerala in southern India at the beginning of October for Keech. We asked them about their hopes and fears for the trip, what they are looking forward to, what they are dreading and perhaps most importantly, why they are taking up the challenge... They are all looking forward to the trip with an understandable level of apprehension, as it’s an adventure into the unknown. This is very much the case for Caroline, Senior Staff Nurse and Staff Nurse Kerry - both on our adult IPU - as this will be their first ever trek. “They advise us to start training ten weeks before we go,” says Caroline. “They send us a plan with all the information about the trip in it, a kit list and an activity log to fill in, which contains all the exercises you can do to get your body ready. If we stick to this, hopefully we won’t get an injury!” “The first day is going to feature a lot of travelling. We have to change flights at Abu Dhabi and we arrive in Kerala in the early hours of the morning where we are lucky enough to stay in a hotel bed for the night. We’ve been told that the first day will involve the most arduous trekking but then we are going to be glamping for one night! This all sounds great depending on how much you like camping.” “And bucket showers!” laughs Nurse Manager Shirley. “It’ll be like the Ice Bucket Challenge all over again!” So what are the group most apprehensive about? “I think the camping will be the hardest part because it’s out of my comfort zone and involves going to the loo in holes in the ground, bucket showers and

a really dusty environment. We’re all used to a very clean environment at Keech!” exclaims Caroline. “I don’t like anything about the camping – that’s my biggest challenge,” admits Shirley. The toilet situation is the worst thing I could possibly imagine!” “On one part of the trek, we are going to have to wear special leech socks because we’re trekking through the rainforest and tea plantations and need to protect our legs,” says Shirley, “I’m not looking forward to that – we’re going to look so glamourous!” “On the plus side, there are no snakes or tigers but I am hoping to see an elephant,” says Kerry who wanted to do something different before she hit 30. “Our colleague Shelagh persuaded me to go on this trip,” says Caroline. “She’s been on so many adventures and she’s a very motivational speaker. I think we’ll get a lot out of this trip regarding camaraderie and teamwork.” “This will be my third trip but each one is a personal challenge in some way,” says Shirley. “However small the challenge may seem, we are very lucky to be able to do it. The group is spending the second part of the week helping out at an orphanage and a school and will be joined on their adventure by other Keech colleagues from our fundraising and administration teams as well as one of the hospice doctors. “We’re going to help out on a secret project at the end of our week and have kindly been given lots of football shirts by Luton Town Football Club to give to the children,” says Kerry. We asked if raising the £2,500 each to go on the trip had been difficult

Our four intrepid nurses

and it certainly sounds as though they have all been very busy: “We’ve had some fun nights raising the money, and we’ve managed to raise it all!” says Caroline proudly. The ladies have held a casino night, a band night, a ladies night, a valentine’s night and a psychic night and Kerry set up a JustGiving page and has been raising money online through that.” “I think we’ve been quite lucky with the fundraising and the fact that we’re nurses has helped us,” says Shirley. “People really feel that they are giving to the unit and contributing to the care here,” adds Kerry. “We had quite a generous donation from one patient who wanted to help and from another family who gave donations at the funeral of their relative. People are chatting to us about it all the time. We have our pictures up on the unit to promote it and that’s a talking point as well.” So, just why are the group braving leeches, dusty tents and toilet holes in the ground? “When I’m walking a trek I find some things about it quite challenging so I think about some of the patients that I’ve looked after and it motivates me to go further,” confides Shirley. “We’re fortunate to be able to do it because obviously the people we look after wouldn’t be able to undertake such an adventure.” Shelagh Mullen, Health Care Assistant on the adult in-patient unit, has been on several overseas adventures for the hospice and other charities. She says: “We are really looking forward to the challenges ahead and are always mindful of why we are doing this in the first place. It is for all of the people that we have looked after over the years on the inpatient unit. We feel very privileged to have been able to spend such special times with them and their families at the end of their lives.” The nurses have raised a magnificent £13,000 so far. If you would like to sponsor them please email


Our care

Dad puts pen to paper to help heal

Mark with his twin boys Jasper and Henry Mark and Andrea when the twins were born


riting is a way of processing our thoughts and it can be a way of healing. Nobody knows this more than dad, Mark Campbell, who’s found his own unique way of coping with his son Henry’s lifelimiting illness. Henry was born the stronger identical twin with his brother Jasper weighing less than two pounds and needing countless operations to keep him alive. But, as Mark Campbell told KeechMatters it was Henry who would change the family’s lives as they knew it. “Both the boys were in intensive care for several weeks after they

Our care were born and they just seemed so incredibly fragile – Jasper was the size of my hand and almost immediately needed operations to fix a hole in his heart, a heart the size of my finger tip. We couldn’t touch Jasper, so in those first few hours I’d sit and watch Henry. On his second day of life Henry held my finger. It was a wonderful moment in which we truly bonded. Tragically though, Henry had a seizure that night and he hasn’t been able to hold my hand in the same way ever since. When we were told about Henry’s brain injury I was numb. I remember thinking I should cry, but no tears came, not until later. As the reality of Henry’s brain injury started to become clear, our future began to feel very unclear. Expectations of how I wanted life to be all started to crumble away. I wasn’t able to replace my dreams with an alternative vision so there was a feeling of helplessness. When the realisation hit me that Henry would never be able to talk, it was the hardest thing to accept. The loss of his voice seemed to me far more significant than anything else. There was fear of the unknown, but even more so, there was anger. As life continued, it came in waves, this feeling that I had to find out who was responsible for harming Henry and get some kind of satisfaction. But this was impossible. Ultimately, I was left with a lot of anger and had nowhere to direct it, except at myself,” said Mark. As Mark found himself struggling to come to terms with Henry’s condition and his own depression, he sought support from places and in ways he thought he never would. “I’m not ashamed to say, I wasn’t coping. I’d always considered myself a private person but I found myself forced to turn to others for support. We’d just moved to Bedfordshire and I felt alone and extremely isolated. There was a sense that to seek support would be an acknowledgement of our reality for which, at the time, there was still some denial. I admit, my wife Andrea and I came to Keech Hospice Care with apprehension. But Keech has given Henry opportunities he wouldn’t have been able to enjoy otherwise, including music therapy and the charity’s brilliant hydrotherapy pool. As a family, we’ve enjoyed overnight stays at Keech when our collective fatigue has become too much to bear. Importantly, Keech Hospice Care has


Henry and Mark also enabled us to form and nurture relationships with other families facing similar difficulties. Not only does this give us extra support, but an insight and learning through sharing experiences. Without Keech Hospice Care, I know it would just be the four of us alone at home,” he said. Mark has taken his need for support further still and felt compelled to write publicly. Blogging gave him the strength to keep the family together during the hardest possible times. “I didn’t want to be isolated and saw on internet forums how other parents used blogs as a way of venting their frustrations and feelings while also getting amazing support from strangers,” he said. “But the one thing I did notice was how few dads blogged – and I wanted to be that rare male voice. Blogging allowed me to explore negative emotions, the concept of life not going to plan and coping with readjustment in the same way anyone who cares for a special needs child or someone who’s battled cancer or any negative curve ball does. Everyone has to deal with these unexpected changes of path at some point in their lives.” From blogging came Mark’s debut novel, Footsteps in the Snow which he launched with Keech Hospice Care as part of Children’s Hospice Week in

May this year. “Footsteps in the Snow is a metaphor for loss and grief. It reflects my own thoughts, desires and the heartache that followed Henry’s brain injury. It raises the question of what happens when your life as you expected it to be, is snatched away. It references the unpredictability in all our lives and how easy it is to take for granted that tomorrow will come, we will have our health, and we won’t face tragedy. Ultimately, it considers the possibility that even through a life - altering event, when it might feel like the world has ended, if you pay attention to what’s important hope can emerge. The journey of writing Footsteps in the Snow has allowed me to consider my own path. Whatever happens now, I know even though I still face difficulties, I haven’t wallowed but have fought back and regained a sense of understanding in my life. I take even the smallest step of progress with a massive smile and will never stop loving our beautiful boys. Henry is an absolutely wonderful and charming little boy. I couldn’t be more proud of him! When he was first diagnosed, I was told parents of disabled children often find the relationship with their child very rewarding. In my hurt and anger at the time I couldn’t understand what this meant, but I now see how true it actually is.”


Our fundraising

KeechFest Keech Hospice Care 25th birthday bash and festival

is b ac k!

KeechFest returns for our 25th birthday on 11 September K

eechFest is back by popular demand! Last year, we opened our doors and beautiful gardens to the general public. They came in their masses and had a wonderful time despite the inclement weather. More than 3,500 of you attended, enjoying back-toback live music acts, a bar, BBQ, stalls, afternoon tea and children’s

enchanted forest, helping us generate £13,000 to support local families. This year sees the return of our epic garden festival for our 25th birthday celebrations and promises to be bigger and better. Due to the popularity of the event it will now be ticketed. Tickets are available from the hospice, by calling 01582 492339, or by visiting our website at Adult tickets are priced at £4.00pp and children aged 5 - 16 £2.50.

Our mainstage headliner slot on the day will be taken by none other than Oasis tribute act, Definitely Could Be, who’ll be whisking you back to the 90s with the Mancunian band’s greatest hits. They’ll be joined by acts including Motown, Rat Pack and a Tom Jones tribute act, who will help keep the party mood going well into the afternoon. Fifties band The Wilsons Show will also be returning to the stage after the huge reception they

Our Fundraising

received last year. This time there will be even more food and drink stalls and more entertainment for children. They will once again get the opportunity to dance with Barney, SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer and there will also be plenty of face painting, traditional ice cream and a bouncy castle. If you like flowers, you’ll love our flower festival with arrangements lovingly put together by flower group volunteers. For those of you that would like to make the afternoon a little bit more special, why not book places at our formal afternoon tea served in ‘Valerie’s’, the Keech dining room between 12 and 3.15pm. Book your tickets soon to avoid disappointment because last year we sold out! You can book online now at afternoontea or by calling 01582 492339. We have a delicious menu in store for you at just £15 per head. When you have finished pop outside and witness a flypast by an original WWII RAF Spitfire! There will also be the opportunity to sample some of the complementary therapies provided at the hospice in our Keech Wellbeing tent. We are

also throwing open the doors to our music room, where our music therapist will be on hand to demonstrate the power of music on thoughts and feelings. Arriva buses will be providing complimentary bus services leaving Barnfield College every 15 minutes


and travelling to the hospice. You can park for free at the college and travel to Keech by bus. Disabled parking is available at the hospice. Don’t forget to buy in advance as we have limited tickets!


Our Fundraising

Fundraising ideas

to some of our ideas… but Here’s an alphabetical guide wild! your imagination! Let it run fundraising is only limited by

friends Afternoon tea - Invite your and a pa cup a up, ch cat a for nd rou rse! cou of cake … for a donation

. would spend on a night out

r your No taste day - Pay £1 to wea es. sho or t shir tie, s most tasteles shop Odd job day or office tuck and ily fam for s Offer to do odd job a up set or n, atio don friends for a ce. offi r you in p tuck sho da Party time or Pub quiz - Hol by ney mo e rais and ty themed par ks, drin and ts trea ade em hom selling z. or hold a charity pub qui

zy ball or Ball or BBQ - Organise a glit ty. par den gar have a BBQ ee Come dine for charity or coff g kin coo a up morning - Set t your competition or if cooking isn’ g. thing, host a coffee mornin to wear Dress down day - Charge £1 . ool sch or rk wo to hes casual clot

rge for Quiz night - Host a quiz, cha e rais to e raffl a ude incl and entry extra funds. to Raffle - Ask local businesses raffle. a e anis org and es priz donate or Sponsored sporting event ea anis Org g! thin any sponsored . ride bike or m swi k, wal red sponso

local Exhibit it - Hire a hall and ask rge Cha rk. wo ir the artists to exhibit all of e tag cen per a and fee an entry . sales goes to the hospice ether Freefalling or Fun Day - Wh a on e tak g, irin zipw or skydiving if Or . red challenge and get sponso . Day you prefer, hold a Fun e Give it up or Golf Day - Giv and get love you t tha up ing eth som Day. sponsored, or set up a Golf locks. Head shave - Chop off those ckout Internet auction or It’s a Kno ate don to ses ines - Ask local bus an It’s a goods to sell online, or host Knockout competition. to guess Jelly bean challenge - Pay £1 jar. the in are ns bea jelly ny how ma and sing Karaoke - Charge for entries ! out your hearts dles out Knit - Get your knitting nee for charity. ! - Get

Lose pounds, gain pounds sponsored to lose weight.

round to Movie night - Invite friends ount you am the ate Don . film a watch

tTournaments or Treasure hun nt ere diff in ing pet com ms tea Have f. gol to ll activities, from footba anted Unwanted gift sale - Sell unw . rity cha for gifts Wii match Virtual challenge - Hold a ily. fam and nds frie with your a Wine tasting evening - Buy r friends you let and es selection of win ive. ens exp st mo the is ch guess whi the X marks the spot - Release nsored spo a e anis pirate in you - org t! treasure hun ition Your game or yo-yo compet nt from me rna tou e Hold a board gam le. abb Ludo to Scr nce. Zip it! - Hold a sponsored sile www. For more inspiration visit -on ats /wh .uk org ch. kee


unday 17 July saw Wigmore Valley Park painted in all the colours of the rainbow at our second Colour Dash event. We saw the participant numbers double this year, with around 1,000 runners taking part and at the time of going to print, our supporters have raised an incredible £53,000. Children, adults, groups and even some dogs turned up to take part in this amazing event, along with all our colour bandits who did a great job by covering our participants in coloured powder paint. Our runners ran through eight colour stations (twice!) before crossing the finish line and being awarded with that all important ‘Keech Hospice Care 25 years’ limited edition medal and a goody bag. Thank you so much to everybody that took part.

Our Fundraising


Ho-ho-ho, go-go-go!


ecember 2015 saw over 500 Santa & elf participants take part in our two sponsored 5k Santa Runs in Bedford and Luton raising an incredible £25,000! This year we are again holding this favourite festive fundraiser for all the family. Join us on Sunday 4 December on the

Embankment, Bedford and Sunday 11 December at Wardown Park, Luton. Run, jog or walk the flat 5K route, which is also suitable for pushchairs and dogs. Adults will receive their Santa suit on the day and children will receive their festive headgear too! On completion, each signed

Smiley Sam raises £37,256 O

ur much loved famous Christmas train, Smiley Sam, will be coming out again this year to bring festive cheer to the streets of Luton and fun to hundreds of families. Over 28 nights in December, our wonderful volunteer drivers, coordinators, collectors and Santas brave the cold to raise awareness and funds for Keech. Last year he covered 1,300 miles, which required over 1,000 hours of volunteering and raised an amazing £37,256! We will also be taking our lovely red sleigh out to Bedford, with the help of our Friends of Keech groups and have plans to try a few nights in

Dunstable too. We couldn’t do any of this without our wonderful volunteers, so if you would like to help, please contact Maggie Doust at or call 01582 707958.

up participant receives our special limited edition 25th anniversary medal and selection box. On your marks, get set, go-ho-ho! Sign up today at Adults £15.00, accompanied children under 16 £5.00, family of four (2 x adults 2 x children) £35.00.

Makers Market 2016


eturning this autumn is our Makers Market. Last year saw 1,500 people attending over the weekend, which featured 40 stalls selling crafts and items made by some of the area’s leading artisans. Start your Christmas shopping and purchase cards, calendars and diaries from the Keech retail team. When you are all shopped out, sit down and enjoy a well-earned drink and a bite to eat. Join us on 29-30 October at Barnfield College (Main Entrance), New Bedford Road/Barnfield Avenue, Luton LU2 7BF. Adults £2.00, concessions £1.50 & accompanied children under 14 go free!

Sign up for our lottery


Prizes Galore in the Keech Hospice Lottery S ince the beginning of the year, the Keech Hospice Care Lottery has already made 31 lucky people ‘thousandaires’ as well as given away another 3,225 prizes. More of you are winning than ever before!

The draw on 26 August will see the Keech Hospice Care Lottery give away its BIGGEST EVER cash prize of £3,000 and if you’re a lottery player in credit, you’re guaranteed to be in the draw with a chance of winning.

It costs as little as 14p a day to play and it’s this small change that makes a big difference to our patients and families. Signing up couldn’t be easier. Simply complete the form or sign up online at

YES! I want to play, win and help! Personal details Title:

First name:

Surname: Postcode:

Address: Telephone:


I confirm that I am 16 or over and a British resident Date:




Data protection As a valued supporter of Keech Hospice Care we will treat your data with respect and promise never to sell or swap your details. We would, however, like to keep in contact with you about the work your donations enable us to do, and how you can continue to help people living with a terminal and life-limiting condition. Tick here to OPT OUT of communications by post Tick here to RECEIVE phone calls

Tick here to RECEIVE emails Tick here to RECEIVE text messages

Alternatively you can write to us at Freepost RTGX-KAEH-XGRA, Keech Hospice Care, Luton, LU3 3NT, phone 01582 707940 or email with your request.

Payment by standing order Name of bank: Postcode:

Address of bank: Account name:

Please debit my above account and send as per the following details: Keech Hospice Care Lottery, Natwest Bank Plc, 4 High Street North, Dunstable, LU6 1JU. Account no: 41190203 Sort code: 60-07-08 Please pay on receipt and until further notice. Please enter me for the following: ______ weekly chance(s) at £1 per week payable £4.34 monthly = £_____ ______ weekly chance(s) at £1 per week payable £13 quarterly = £_____ ______ weekly chance(s) at £1 per week payable £26 every 6 months = £_____ ______ weekly chance(s) at £1 per week payable £52 annually = £_____ Please send your completed form to: Keech Hospice Care Lottery, Great Bramingham Lane, Streatley, Luton, LU3 3NT Please quote reference:____________________________________________________(To be completed by hospice)

Tel: 01582 492339 Keech Hospice Care, Great Bramingham Lane, Streatley, Luton, LU3 3NT. Registered Charity No. 1035089

Profile for Keech Hospice Care

Keech Matters Summer 2016  

Read our Summer 2016 edition of Keech Matters, our magazine for supporters and find out what's been going on at the hospice.

Keech Matters Summer 2016  

Read our Summer 2016 edition of Keech Matters, our magazine for supporters and find out what's been going on at the hospice.