North Devon Hospice Autumn Winter Newsletter 2021

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Autumn/Winter 2021

Latest news for supporters and friends of North Devon Hospice




Precious time together

Embracing technology

Pauline shares her story of support & care

Enabling patients access to unique virtual experiences

Shortlisted for prestigious award Recognition from Charity Times for our amazing HR Team

s n o i t a l u t a Congr Jade!


Hello dear supporters

reciprocate this; together we are eager to keep the positives that have come from what has been such a trying time for us all, long into the future.

Dear hospice friends, We continue to live in challenging and uncertain times but we have kept on caring throughout and this is not going to change. As restrictions in our public and social lives change, here at the hospice, we are likely to continue to be required to maintain a number of Covid safe practices. Our patients and their families are at the heart of everything we do. Their experience and quality of care and support is so important to each and every one of us. Whilst we continue to make robust and safe plans to reopen various aspects of face to face support, please know that all the new ways you can access support, information and advice are going to continue to be available. The hospice teams have evolved so much during the pandemic. Through the use of technology and other vital communication channels, you are able to reach us in new ways and we can 2

Before you enjoy reading our Autumn/ Winter Newsletter we wanted to take a moment to express our huge gratitude for the kind donations and gifts in wills we have been honoured to receive in the last year. Without your support we would be unable to care for patients like Kelly in her final weeks or support her mum, Pauline, for as long as she may need us. Now, more than ever, thank you for supporting the hospice and the people we are privileged to care for.

Jo Dedes, Director of Care Visit the hospice website for the latest information about care and support services.

Triathlon ‘They help people, and I want to help them do that.’ On Sunday 8th August, Jade Kingdom took part in the London Triathlon. The 34-year-old from Barnstaple joined thousands of other athletes to tackle a swim, ride and run in aid of her local hospice. Jade has Down Syndrome, which means she has problems with weight, balance and coordination, to name but a few of the challenges she faces. But through sheer hard work over a number of months, she trained incredibly hard to be in a position to conquer a full triathlon in under 3 hours. “I swam 750m, did a 20km bike ride, then a 5km run. My favourite is the swimming because I’m really good at it!” said Jade. I wanted to do a triathlon because Tom [her brother-in-law] did one, and I also wanted to help people, so I’m getting sponsored and raising money too.” Jade has been raising funds for the hospice, proudly wearing our blue running top each time she went out to train. To date Jade has

Jade raised a staggering £15,500. “It helped my training when people donated. I’m very excited that I’ve raised lots of money and I want to raise more!” Tom Mahoney, Jade’s brother-in-law, became her triathlon coach, helping her get fit enough to complete the course in the capital. “In all the races I’ve done over the last seven years or so, I can’t ever recall seeing anyone with Down Syndrome taking part.” He said. “From personal experience I know how hard these events are, I know the training required and for someone with Down Syndrome to do it is ten times harder. But after coming to one of my races, Jade said she wanted to do a triathlon herself. I believe that anyone can do anything so I thought, ‘why shouldn’t she?’” Judy Kingdom, Jade’s mum and cycling partner, said that raising money has certainly motivated her along the way. “We’ve known lots of people who have been touched by the hospice, and Jade wanted to do something to help people. She loves seeing the donations go up, and up, and up!” said Judy. “I was a bit

“This year I accepted a challenge to get 1% better everyday”

apprehensive and didn’t think that she would be able to sustain that level of effort for a full-length triathlon, but she’s blown us all away.” For everyone who knows Jade, there is a great deal of pride in what she has already achieved, before even reaching the start line. “I’m so proud of her,” says mum Judy. “On the day I definitely felt nervous and apprehensive, but also really excited. Jade really shines in these situations, and she was

the star of the show, at least in her mind! It was certainly very emotional for us all at the finish line.” From the whole team at the hospice, well done Jade! You’re an inspiration and we’re so thankful for your support! To donate visit jade-kingdom.


Pauline will be walking for her daughter and the hospice who cared for her It will be an emotional moment when Pauline Johns and her youngest daughter Lisa Owen step out at Nightwalk next month. They will be walking in memory of Kelly Banyard, eldest daughter of Pauline and sister of Lisa. She died of cancer just nine months ago, and the pair are taking part to support the charity which cared for Kelly in her final weeks. Nightwalk is a ladies-only moonlit walk raising money for North Devon Hospice, where Kelly was supported in her final weeks to remain comfortable and pain free. All funds raised will help provide similar support to other local patients and their families as they face a life limiting illness. 4

“Kelly was diagnosed with terminal cervical cancer last year, she was just 42,” said mum Pauline. “She stayed positive and hoped she would get better.” Kelly’s cancer journey was made even more difficult because of Covid restrictions. “She spent time in hospital on a number of occasions due to complications, as well as for receiving treatments such as

radiotherapy, chemotherapy and consultant’s appointments. The family couldn’t be with her, which was really hard. One time she was in hospital for two weeks alone and that was especially traumatic for her and our family.” In August, Kelly became extremely unwell and was taken to A&E. It was unclear if she would even survive the night, but her

condition improved, and Kelly agreed to a referral to North Devon Hospice. “When she was admitted to the hospice, they were absolutely wonderful,” said Pauline. “We were able to visit her, all in a Covid-safe way, so I could see her every day. The care in the hospice was second to none. She got her appetite back and her pain was under control. She did settle in there and everyone was so accommodating. Kelly really clicked with Lou, one of the nurses, as they had the same sense of humour.” Halloween was always a special occasion for Kelly as it fell on the same day as her birthday. So the team at the hospice did everything they could to help the family make precious memories in late October. “Kelly would always decorate the house for Halloween, but we brought the decorations into her hospice room instead, so we could celebrate like we always did!” said Pauline. “The hospice did a lovely spread for us with themed food and a pumpkin cake.” It was wonderful for the family to make these memories together, but sadly Kelly died just two days before her 43rd birthday. “Me and her sister Lisa were able to be with her,” said Pauline. “We had been able to stay overnight at the hospice for four or five

Pauline has been involved with Nightwalk for many years. Previously she has been part of the Samba band entertaining the walkers. “I’m looking forward to actually taking part as a walker this year. I know first-hand how the hospice supports the person they are caring for as well as their family. And not everyone is aware that the hospice continues supporting the family after the death of a loved one too.” Nightwalk takes place on 11th September at RHS Rosemoor and sold out in record time. For more information about the care and support available to those facing a life limiting illness like cancer, please visit

nights so we could be together, which was so comforting.” Pauline and the family have continued to be supported by the hospice since Kelly died. “I had already been receiving one-to-one counselling from Charlie, one of the hospice support workers, which was invaluable as she helped me process events. I joined in on some Mindfulness practices and other support sessions on Zoom, as well as joining the hospice’s Facebook support group. There is so much support provided by the hospice. The open-door policy ensures the support is there whenever it’s needed.” 5

Rotarys fund overnight room revamp for families Families visiting loved ones, who may be in their final weeks, days or hours, can now seek respite in this comfortable and beautiful overnight room, close to the Bedded Unit. Being able to stay overnight means that everyone can make the most of precious moments. Thank you so much to the Rotary clubs of Holsworthy, Braunton Caen, Bideford Bridge, Bude, Braunton, Exe Valley, Hatherleigh, Launceston, South Molton and St Austell Bay. Your generosity will make such a difference to so many families.


Our new 5 year strategy

Everyone is a story and the ending matters

This hospice’s mission is to provide outstanding care and support to the community of North Devon who are impacted by a life limiting illness. The difference we want to make is all about you, the people of North Devon. Your life is a story and we want the ending to matter. Together, you can help us make sure that death is as dignified and pain free as possible.

To view our new 5 year strategy scan the QR code or go to

“For the last 37 years the hospice has supported so many local families and that support has left an everlasting mark on those who have lived, those who have lost and those who have provided care and support. The ending absolutely does matter and we want to do all we can to bring quality of life, at the end of life. Looking ahead to the next 5 years, we want to ensure we are doing everything we can to be there for you and to sustain this amazing charity and care for the future. Our new 5 year strategy is embedded throughout the charity and we are looking forward to sharing our progress over the coming months and years.” Stephen Roberts, CEO


Embracing technology to enhance our care; making ‘Virtual Reality’ more accessible We hear from IT Apprentice Matt about his work on embracing technology for the benefit of our patients and what Virtual Reality is going to mean for local families

What is Virtual Reality? By wearing a headset, the wearer can experience a completely unique simulation experience.Virtual reality is a technology that has been around for some time but it’s not always been that accessible because of the technology available and the costs attached to it. It’s been largely used in the gaming industry until now but that’s changing and it’s becoming more mainstream and accessible to everyone.

What does this mean for hospice patients? This headset and the technology that comes with it means that we’re able to offer patients experiences that they may not necessarily have been able to have if they were housebound or in bed.

What experiences can patients have using the headset? On our headset we have a number of unique 8

experiences from driving on an ice sheet through Iceland to walking through a city. These are just a few experiences that are available but there are plenty more to choose from. In addition to that, we are going to offer our patients personal experiences just for them. Maybe someone wants to walk along Saunton Beach and see the sunset for the last time. Or maybe someone wants to take their dog for a walk to their favourite spot. We could go and record that for them and do the necessary work behind the scenes to make it a virtual reality experience. The opportunities are endless and we really want to be guided by what our patients want and need at that time in their lives.

What have people thought about it so far? We’ve done a few experiences and people have been really happy with it. I think it’s quite a unique and different experience so it’s natural to be quite surprised at first but

I think that people will be able to get a lot from it. It has the potential to offer someone unique experiences as well as familiar experiences that are personal to them. It can offer relief, connection, entertainment and distraction. There really are a wide range of benefits and they are so unique to each person that we care for.

What’s next? A number of the nurses on the Bedded Unit have been trained up to use the virtual reality headset. Looking to the future, this is early days and we’re an open book. If one of our patients who is being cared for at home wants to try an immersive experience we will do all we can to make that happen. I’d also really like to take the virtual reality headset on a little roadshow to some of our shops so members of the community can try it too and experience what is available for local families thanks to their support.


Thank you for your support

Emma St John skydived in memory of her mum who passed away last March. She raised a wonderful £1,625 for patient care.

North Devon Homes designed their own fitness challenge ‘Around the world in 80 days.’ Thanks to all the team for putting their best foot forward.

Alan Chapman raised £610 when he took part in a skydive, in memory of his Nan who used the hospice earlier this year.

Webbers Estate Agents kindly sponsored our Barnstaple in Bloom ‘Together’ display, to highlight our new 5 year strategy. Thank you for your ongoing support of local hospice care as well as kindly sponsoring one of our flagship events, Nightwalk 2021.

Max Woosey, the international sensation spent his 500th night camping in his garden.

Jim ran the North Devon AONB Half Marathon and raised over £2,500 which is phenomenal. Jim ran in memory of his father Stuart, who had volunteered at the hospice in the gardening team and was supported during his illness.


The Mellstrom family kindly opened the gardens at Woolhanger Manor, welcoming people to their beautiful Exmoor estate and raising £1,163.25. Thank you to the family and team at Woolhanger.

Paul Cooper took on the Race to the Stones in memory of his brother-in-law, Col Edmonds. Paul completed the awesome 100km run and raised an incredible £1,530.45.

Clare Langmead set herself the challenge of cycling and walking from Torrington to Woolacombe in memory of her mum, who died peacefully at the hospice a year ago. She raised an impressive £1,030.

A part of their 10th anniversary celebrations, iLab will be donating a proportion of their repairs sales and also raising funds through tech giveaways, raffles and social events so keep an eye on their Social media and store window for details.

As well as sponsoring the North Devon AONB Marathon and other events, some of the Parker Hannifin team took part in the Dartmoor Classic Sportive; a gruelling 68 mile bike ride! Go team Parker Hannifin!

Amy Robins raised over £1,400 by skydiving in memory of her mum and gran. Thank you Amy.


September celebrations for the hospice’s birthday Since reopening in April the shops have loved welcoming the community back through the doors. Their celebrations didn’t stop there! During September, some of the shops took the opportunity to celebrate the hospice’s 37th birthday too. Karen from Ilfracombe said “It’s been a really lovely thing to do. We decorated the shop to make it look nice for everyone and then we gave some cupcakes to people who came in. It’s been so nice for us to do something for the community and say our own thank you.”

If you aren’t already, please become a gift aider


Soon you’ll be able to buy a Lottery subscription as a present “We’ve got some exciting Lottery news we wanted to share with you. We’re working on adding an online ‘gift’ option to our Lottery and fingers crossed, we’ll be up and running by the end of the year. So when a special occasion comes around, whether it’s Christmas or a birthday, with a click of a button you’ll be able to gift someone a chance to win £1,000. It’s a really exciting step for us but I’m most looking forward to calling the first ‘gifted’ winner to let them know they’ve won £1,000!” Find out more about the Lottery and join here:

The return of Mission: Unbreakable

“To be able to give someone a gift knowing that it makes a real difference is going to be really special.” RICHARD, LOTTERY MANAGER


After having to cancel last year’s event, we are really excited to host one of our flagship events this October…the return of Mission: Unbreakable 2021. This gruelling 10k challenge and endurance based event will take place on Sunday 10th at North Molton Sports Centre. Mission: Unbreakable is a vital fundraiser for us at the hospice and aside from everyone having a brilliant time, it will mean that local patients and their families will receive the vital care and support they need, when they need it. If you are taking part, don’t forget to raise as much sponsorship as you are able – we simply could not continue to be there for North Devon without your ongoing support. Huge thanks to our headline sponsor Wollens for their support of the event and for taking part in the challenge themselves – we will see you all on the start line! 13

Hospice team shortlisted for prestigious award Cate, Amanda, Lucy and Sarah are the incredible HR team here at the hospice and it turns out we’re not the only ones who think that. The Charity Times has shortlisted them as ‘HR team of the year.’ There is not a single strand of hospice DNA that has not benefitted thanks to this proactive team of 4. Their most recent initiatives include rolling out a new spot salary model, introducing pawternity leave, embedding staff emotional wellbeing plans throughout the charity and digitisation of multiple HR processes; just to name a few! And all this whilst two of the team complete their own HR apprenticeships!

Congratulations team, we’re so proud of you!


Bray Leino create lasting legacy for local people Local agency Bray Leino have been long standing supporters of the hospice and we are forever grateful for their skills, advice and expertise. They have given so much to the hospice over the years and it’s our pleasure to share a well-deserved accolade given to their team. The Third Sector Awards shortlisted Bray Leino for the ‘Communications Agency of the Year’ award for their amazing work on the Forever Stone. Ali Hunt, Head of Fundraising said “We are forever grateful to people who leave us a gift in their will; or a legacy as some people prefer to call it. These gifts usually account for around 25% of our total charitable income. We wanted to be more proactive in engaging with the community and having more natural conversations with people. We also wanted to be able to recognise people who have left gifts in their wills. So we asked

the team at Bray Leino to help us find our way.” From that initial brief, Bray Leino took on the challenge and developed The Forever Stone. Kate Cox, CEO of Bray Leino said “The Forever Stone is a physical symbol that not only represents the importance of legacies to us but is also an ice breaker to have those, sometimes difficult, conversations. The Forever Stone is incredibly innovative because we utilised augmented reality to be able to showcase those people and families who left donations in their wills. Everyone involved in creating The Forever Stone has thoroughly enjoyed working on a project that makes such a difference locally. And now to be acknowledged by the Third Sector Awards; well it’s a real privilege. The real heroes, however, are the hospice teams and the community who continue to support such an important local charity.” Congratulations team Bray Leino. You are all winners in our hearts for what you have made available to the community of North Devon.

The Forever Stone rests in our gardens as a symbol of our gratitude to those who remember us in their will. Hidden within the stone itself are the names and a few words from some of those wonderful people. Their legacies can be observed with the use of the hospice iPad and will remain part of the stone, forever.


Remembering loved ones with a lasting tribute. ‘A Way to Remember’ is a memorial archway at the hospice. In amongst the tranquillity of the gardens you can have the name of someone close to you etched into the glass. It is a beautiful way to honour the memory of those we miss. This is open to anyone in the community, not just those who have been supported by the hospice.

North Devon Hospice, Deer Park, Barnstaple, EX32 0HU 01271 344248

Registered charity number 286554

stars can’t shine without the darkness


is stronger than death

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