NEWS: St Thomas’ Association raise £400 to support brain injury rehabilitation centre

Words by Ed King / Pics supplied by St Thomas’ Association and Google Maps)

Earlier this year, members of the St Thomas’ Association handed over a cheque of £400 to West Heath House – a Birmingham based rehabilitation centre that provides care and support for people recovering from brain injury.

The money was raised after kind hearted people at the Erdington social club, situated on Station Road, held fundraising raffles over six weeks and generated a total of £1000 for charity.

Donations were also made to Birmingham Hospice Partnership – who operate John Taylor Hospice on Grange Road, the Alzheimer’s Society – and Guide Dogs for the Blind. 

West Heath House, based in West Heath, is run by the national charity Brainkind and is and is one of the only places in the city that can offer ‘innovative rehabilitation and ongoing support to enable people to thrive after a brain injury.’

The South Birmingham facility was chosen by people from St Thomas’ Association after one of their longstanding members – Colin Anderson, who has played dominoes at the club for over 30 years – became a resident at West Heath House.

Staff from the centre took time from their own personal life to escort Colin to a special dominoes league presentation night at St Thomas’ Association in October last year, traveling across Birmingham and back again, and won the hearts of the people who use the club and know Colin.

After receiving the generous donation from St Thomas’ Association, West Heath House Service Manager, Paul Higgins, responded in writing by saying: ‘I would like to thank all members of the St Thomas Association for their amazingly kind donation. The money will be used for the people we support in a way of their choosing.’

St Thomas’ Association has been part of the Erdington community for nearly 130 years, having first opened its doors in 1895. The club recently had an upgrade worth £200k and offers a vibrant social and events calendar – alongside top of the range facilities for private parties, functions, and corporate bookings.

For more on St Thomas’ Association visit www.saint-toms.co.uk or call (0121) 373 4144

For more on West Heath House visit www.brainkind.org/services/west-heath-house

NEWS: “Every donation, big or small, makes a huge difference,” thanks from John Taylor Hospice as Treecycling initiative gets closer to target

Words by Ed King / Pics supplied by The Hospice Charity Partnership

Erdington’s John Taylor Hospice (JTH) are sending out a New Year thank you to everyone who has supported their Treecycling initiative so far.

With more than 4000 people already signed up, the local hospice has currently raised over of £70,000 in donations – getting closer to last year’s fundraising total of £110,000.

With around 200 people across Birmingham and Solihull joining the Treecycling initiative every day, the Grange Road hospice is hopeful to beat last year’s target – helping them support more people and their families with expert end of life and palliative care.

The deadline to register for the Treecycling initiative is Monday 9 January, to get involved or for more information visit: www.birminghamhospice.org.uk/Treecycling

Jess Bolton, Community Campaigns and Digital Fundraising Manager at The Hospice Charity Partnership said: “We want to say a big thank you to everyone who has booked their Christmas tree into our Treecycling service so far.

“We’re thrilled to be closer towards our target of 5,500 trees to collect on 14-15 January.

“If you have had a real tree this Christmas and haven’t arranged your collection yet, you have until Monday 9 January at midday to book.

“We currently have an army of 150 amazing volunteers ready to hop in their vans and collect your trees, so you won’t need to lift a finger or worry about getting needles in your car!

“Every donation, big or small, makes a huge difference, enabling someone in our community to receive the care and support they desperately need.”

Having run for over ten years, the Treecycling initiative is an important part of JTH’s yearly revenue – the Grange Road hospice relies on charity fundraising and donations to generate 40% of the money needed to stay open.

In exchange for an affordable donation, the Treecyling volunteers will collect your old Christmas tree from your home on Saturday 14 or Sunday 15 of January ’23 – helping clear away the Christmas clutter whilst raising much needed funds for the local hospice.

John Taylor Hospice is now part of The Hospice Charity Partnership (THCP), which also includes Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice.

It costs £15,055,467 to run both sites per year – £1,254,622 per month, £289,528 per week, £41,361 per day, and £1,723 per hour.

Projects such as the annual Treecycling initiative are crucial in keeping John Taylor Hospice operational, which first opened in 1910 and has been providing free end of life and palliative care for over a century.

All the money raised through the Treecycling initiative will go towards the core costs of running the Birmingham hospices and supporting those who are cared for by The Hospice Charity Partnership and their families.

Detailing how the money raised from the Treecycling initiative could be used, Jess Bolton added: “Over 600 people each year get the specialist care they need at our Selly Park (St Maty’s Hospice) and Erdington (John Taylor Hospice) Inpatient Units.

“Almost 3,000 people each year are cared for by our Community Palliative Care Teams in the comfort of their own home.

“Each year over 1,600 people are supported emotionally, practically, and spiritually by our charity’s Social Care and Wellbeing Teams.

“Our Child Bereavement Service has over 800 support sessions with bereaved children each year; supporting them through the most difficult of times and helping children on their journey of grief.”

To take part in the Treecycling initiative, simply sign up before Monday 9 January via an online registration form and make an affordable donation, with all proceeds going directly to the hospice charity: www.birminghamhospice.org.uk/Treecycling

To sign up for the ‘Treecycling’ charity fundraiser and support John Taylor Hospice visit: www.birminghamhospice.org.uk/Treecycling

For more on John Taylor Hospice visit www.johntaylorhospice.org.uk

NEWS: Help John Taylor Hospice help others through their Treecycling initiative this Christmas

Words by Ed King / Pics supplied by The Hospice Charity Partnership

Help Erdington’s John Taylor Hospice (JTH) raise the money they need to help others this Christmas by signing up for their Treecycling initiative.

In exchange for an affordable donation, the Treecyling volunteers will collect your old Christmas tree from your home on Saturday 14 or Sunday 15 of January ’23 – helping clear away the Christmas clutter whilst raising much needed funds for the local hospice.

Having run for over ten years, the Treecycling initiative is an important part of JTH’s yearly revenue – the Grange Road hospice relies on charity fundraising and donations to generate 40% of the money needed to stay open.

John Taylor Hospice is now part of The Hospice Charity Partnership, which also includes Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice.

It costs £15,055,467 to run both sites per year – which equates to: £1,254,622 per month, £289,528 per week, £41,361 per day, and £1,723 per hour.

Projects such as the annual Treecycling initiative are crucial in keeping John Taylor Hospice operational, which first opened in 1910 and has been providing free end of life and palliative care for over a century.

All the money raised through the Treecycling initiative will go towards supporting those who are cared for by The Hospice Charity Partnership and their families.

Here are a few ways your donations can help.

£10 will provide tasty home-cooked meals and refreshments for a day for someone staying on the in-patient unit on one of the hospice sites.

£15 can buy a teddy bear with a recording of a loved one’s voice for a bereaved child to treasure as a keepsake.

£19 will pay for one hour of Day Hospice service, supporting people to live well, manage their symptoms and take part in therapeutic activities.

£27 pays for a bereavement support session to help a family member cope with the loss of a loved one.

£42 pays for a specialist bereavement support session to help a child coping with the loss of a loved one.

£69 pays for a community nurse to visit someone at home, helping them manage their symptoms and coordinating their care.

£83 covers the cost of a home visit from an occupational therapist. This helps people become as independent as possible so they can keep doing everyday things – whether that’s simply getting around the house, cooking a family meal, going to the shops, or seeing mates down the pub.

£237 could pay for a whole day of a community nurses care, giving patients and families the support they need in the comfort of their own homes.

£492 could pay for 24 hours of nursing support for a person being cared for on one of our inpatient units.

£1,035 could pay for someone to have round-the-clock expert palliative and end of life care on one of the hospice’s inpatient units.

To take part in the Treecycling initiative, simply sign up before Monday 9 January via an online registration form and make an affordable donation, with all proceeds going directly to the hospice charity: www.birminghamhospice.org.uk/Treecycling

Jess Bolton, Community Campaigns and Digital Fundraising Manager at The Hospice Charity Partnership said:

“We are so excited to welcome back Treecycling, our flagship campaign. Not only is it a great service, it’s also a hugely important fundraiser for us, having raised over £500,000 since 2011 for palliative and end of life care.

“By booking your collection and making a donation, you will make a difference to local people living with life-limiting illness, whilst making your life easier and being kinder to the environment – what’s not to love?

“A huge thank you to all of our wonderful supporters that have or will make their Treecycling booking in 2023 – we couldn’t do what we do without you!”

To sign up for the ‘Treecycling’ charity fundraiser and support John Taylor Hospice visit: www.birminghamhospice.org.uk/Treecycling

For more on John Taylor Hospice visit www.johntaylorhospice.org.uk

NEWS: John’s 12 days of Christmas – sign up for ‘Treecycling’ and make Christmas extra special at John Taylor Hospice

Words by Ed King / Pics supplied by The Hospice Charity Partnership

Erdington’s John Taylor Hospice are bringing back their Christmas ‘Treecycling’ initiative this winter, to help make the festive season extra special for the patients in their care.

As many of us rush around looking for Christmas presents and Cranberry sauce, staff at the Grange Road hospice are busy granting wishes for their patients – made possible by the money raised through projects such as the Treecycling initiative.

In exchange for an affordable donation, the Treecyling volunteers will collect your old Christmas tree from your home on Saturday 14 or Sunday 15 of January ’23.

Having run for over ten years, the Treecycling initiative has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds to help support John Taylor Hospice – which relies on charity fundraising and donations to generate 40% of the money needed to stay open.

To sign up for the Treecycling initiative visit: www.birminghamhospice.org.uk/Treecycling

John Rastall, a patient cared for by John Taylor Hospice’s Inpatient Unit (IPU), wanted nothing more than to celebrate Christmas in style this year.

To make sure John was able to celebrate his favourite time of year, staff at the Erdington-based hospice decided to make Christmas come early and kicked off 12 days of festivities from 14 September.

The wonderful Inpatient Unit (IPU) Team decorated John’s room top to bottom in Christmas spirit – with a Christmas tree, his own advent calendar, and wall to wall Christmas decorations.

For the next 12 days, staff helped John celebrate Christmas with special gifts and festive treats – until ‘Christmas Day’ arrived on Monday 26 September.

After waking up in his festive duvet covers, covered in pictures of Santa and his reindeer, John was treated to his very own Christmas dinner – made specially by the hospice catering team.

After a second helping of turkey, John headed outside for another Christmas surprise – where the hospice staff had dressed up as Santa, an elf, a snowman, and Mickey and Minnie Mouse.

There was even ‘snow’ on the ground, courtesy of a snow making machine, that helped decorate the autumn lawn at John Taylor hospice in Christmas cheer.

John spent the rest of his ‘Christmas Day’ relaxing in his newly bought Christmas onesie and opening presents from people from across the hospice.

As an artist, John was especially excited with the beautiful art sets – with pencils, pens and drawing equipment – and wants to design his own Christmas cards for John Taylor Hospice to sell and raise money to help others.

John told staff: “I feel really lucky, everyone has been really kind. All my presents are amazing, thank you.”

John’s ‘12 days of Christmas’ was just one of the special activities and events that staff at John Taylor Hospice have organised for patients in their care, made possible by the funds raised by projects such as the Treecycling initiative.

While the care provided by John Taylor Hospice is free for all, to cover this, 40% of its costs need to be covered through fundraised income. This is why the hospice relies on donations and money raised through charity fundraising initiatives, delivered by a team of supporters and volunteers.

Mary Moorehouse, Discharge Coordinator at John Taylor Hospice, said the staff just wanted to make John’s time at the hospice as special as possible.

“John mentioned it to someone that he wanted to make sure he celebrated Christmas this year,” told Mary. “So, we discussed it as a team and decided to bring his Christmas forward.

“Our whole team have gotten really involved and we have had gifts donated from our IPU colleagues, their partners, and families and from teams across the hospice.

“John is a fantastic artist and will even be designing some Christmas cards for us which is wonderful.

“Thank you to everyone who got involved and helped us pull it off. We love to make dreams come true here.

“It has all been worth it to see John’s face and see him enjoying himself.”

John Taylor Hospice is located at 76 Grange Road, Erdington.

Now part of The Hospice Charity Partnership, alongside Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice, John Taylor Hospice first opened in 1910 and has been providing free end of life and palliative care for over a century.

To sign up for the ‘Treecycling’ charity fundraiser and support John Taylor Hospice visit: www.birminghamhospice.org.uk/Treecycling

For more on John Taylor Hospice visit www.johntaylorhospice.org.uk

NEWS: Sign up for Christmas ‘Treecycling’ and support Erdington’s John Taylor Hospice this winter

Words by Ed King / Pics supplied by The Hospice Charity Partnership

Sign up to get your Christmas Tree ‘Treecylced’ this year and help raise money for John Taylor Hospice in Erdington.

In exchange for an affordable donation, the Treecyling volunteers will collect your old Christmas tree from your home on Saturday 14 or Sunday 15 of January ’23 – taking the hassle out of getting rid of your tree once Christmas is over, whilst at the same time supporting the local hospice.

Situated on Grange Road in Erdington, John Taylor Hospice first opened in 1910 and has been providing free end of life and palliative care for over a century.

Now part of The Hospice Charity Partnership, John Taylor Hospice was awarded an ‘Outstanding’ rating by the Care Quality Commission following its last inspection in 2022.

Having run for over ten years, the Treecycling initiative has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds to help support John Taylor Hospice – which relies on charity fundraising and donations to generate 40% of the money needed to stay open.

Plus, all the Treecycling trees will be turned into biomass fuel – a renewable energy source generated from burning wood, plants, and other organic matter that is much better for the environment.

To take part in the Treecycling initiative, simply sign up before Monday 9 January via an online registration form and make an affordable donation, with all proceeds going directly to the hospice charity: www.birminghamhospice.org.uk/Treecycling

Jess Bolton, Community Campaigns and Digital Fundraising Manager at The Hospice Charity Partnership said:

“We are so excited to welcome back Treecycling, our flagship campaign. Not only is it a great service, it’s also a hugely important fundraiser for us, having raised over £500,000 since 2011 for palliative and end of life care.

“By booking your collection and making a donation, you will make a difference to local people living with life-limiting illness, whilst making your life easier and being kinder to the environment – what’s not to love?”

According to the British Christmas Tree Growers Association (BCTGA), between 6-8 million Christmas tress are sold in the UK every year.

A citywide initiative organised by The Hospice Charity partnership, who run both John Taylor Hospice and St Mary’s Hospice in Birmingham, the Treecycling initiative has become a vital part of the charity’s annual fundraising.

Whilst the end of life and palliative care given at John Taylor Hospice and St Mary’s Hospice is free, hospices across the UK receive only 33% of the money they need to operate from the Government – relying on donations and money raised through charity fundraising initiatives, delivered by a team of supporters and volunteers.

Jess Bolton added: “Volunteers are vital in making Treecycling happen. The charity is on the lookout for incredible people to volunteer on the collection weekend (14 or 15 January 2023) picking up trees and dropping them at disposal sites.

“If you have your own van or flat-bed truck, fantastic! If not, the charity can provide vehicles for you to drive. Please contact treecycling@birminghamhospice.org.uk if you are interested in volunteering.

“A huge thank you to all of our wonderful supporters that have or will make their Treecycling booking in 2023 – we couldn’t do what we do without you!”

To sign up for the ‘Treecycling’ charity fundraiser and support John Taylor Hospice visit: www.birminghamhospice.org.uk/Treecycling

For more on John Taylor Hospice visit www.johntaylorhospice.org.uk

NEWS: John Taylor Hospice helps make ‘special memories’ for Erdington bird of prey enthusiast

Words by Diane Parkes / Pics courtesy of John Taylor Hospice Erdington

John Taylor Hospice in Erdington gave a local family a precious day to remember thanks to a special visit from some feathery friends.

David Gilchrist and his family saw their Erdington garden turned into a bird show when Andy Plant of The Falconry Centre in Hagley brought along a few feathered friends.

It was a dream come true for 65-year-old David when he came face to face with a host of birds of prey including a bald eagle, two owls, an American kestrel, and a peregrine falcon.

David, who has the respiratory condition chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), has been supported by teams from John Taylor Hospice for two years.

As his condition has progressed, care has been stepped up to meet his needs – including creating special memories.

David’s family had organised a short holiday including a visit to a falconry centre for the life-long bird of prey enthusiast but faced disappointment when David became too poorly to make the trip.

But the team at John Taylor Hospice stepped in to arrange the visit from Andy along with a buffet so that other family members could share this special moment and enjoy the treat.

The event was made possible because David is part of the Personal Health Budget (PHB) project – a scheme in which patients are given control over how they choose to spend health and social care finance.

The scheme has been pioneered in Birmingham by John Taylor Hospice, Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group, and Birmingham Voluntary Service Council, working in partnership with Birmingham City Council (via the Better Care Fund). PHBs can be used to fund different services including home care, gardening or laundry and making special memories such as the Falconry event.

David’s daughter, 40-year-old Gemma Grantham, said the personalised care has made all the difference.

I can’t say enough about how much the hospice has helped Dad,” she says. “He was diagnosed nine years ago and we’ve been living with that ever since.

We were put in touch with the hospice two years ago and it has been such a help.

They explained the personal health budget to us and that has meant we’ve been able to access so much extra help. We have been able to have day sits and night visits which have really helped and the people who come can’t do enough for Dad. We’ve seen a real improvement in Dad’s mental health through getting this support.

The last few months have been really difficult as Dad had to go into hospital twice and both times we said goodbye to him – but both times he’s come back to us.

The first time he was having real breathing problems and the second time he had fallen and had to have a hip operation. With COVID-19 we were really worried about him going into hospital but he’s managed well both times.”

And the icing on the cake was the special visit from The Falconry Centre. Prior to the most recent Birmingham lockdown regulations, David was joined in the garden by his family including his three children, Gemma, Andrew and Rachel, and his nine grandchildren to see the birds.

We were all so disappointed when we realised Dad was too poorly to go on holiday,” said Gemma. “So this has been a real treat – not just for Dad but for everyone.

I still can’t believe the hospice has been able to do all of this for Dad. He’s really enjoyed it and I can see what a difference it’s made.”

John Taylor Hospice PHB Project Lead, Jan Hipkiss, said: “It was a real privilege to help David achieve his dream of seeing, once again, the birds of prey he so dearly loves and making this wonderful day come true for him and his family.

Through the personal health budget project we have been able to provide individual care, support and special memories for many patients and their families. This new way of delivering healthcare is ensuring it is the patient who is at the heart of their own decision-making.”

For more about John Taylor Hospice and Personal Health Budgets see www.johntaylorhospice.org.uk

NEWS: Hope and Healing at John Taylor, Erdington based hospice launches fundraising appeal to support grieving youngsters

Words by Diane Parkes / Pics courtesy of John Taylor Hospice Erdington

John Taylor Hospice in Erdington has launched the Hope and Healing Appeal – fundraising to support children across the West Midlands, who have lost loved ones during the coronavirus crisis.

The Hope and Healing Appeal aims to raise £10,000 to fund children’s counselling and art therapy groups at John Taylor Hospice – helping youngsters through one of the potentially toughest and loneliest times in their lives.

Donations to the Hope and Healing Appeal can be made online through a special Just Giving page, for more information visit www.justgiving.com/campaign/hopeandhealing

For those without access to the Internet, donations can also be made by texting the word ‘HEAL’ to 70331 for a £3 donation, or to 70191 for a £10 donation.

John Taylor Hospice is a charity, relying on public donations and fundraising to generate the £15,000 per day needed to run all its palliative and end of life care services. Founded in 1910, John Taylor Hospice is the oldest non-denominational hospice in the country – supporting over 600 individuals and families across the West Midlands.

The coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating impact on so many families and they will need support to heal from the grief this crisis has caused,” says Katie Mitchell, Head of Fundraising at John Taylor Hospice. “Your donation will mean so much to families and will support children to find the strength and confidence to open up, express their feelings and realise they are not alone.”

Fronting the fundraising appeal is Vicki Brennan, 50, from Kingstanding whose eight-year-old grandson Cruz took part in a pilot support group for children at John Taylor Hospice.

My beautiful daughter Siobhan was only 25 when she died of cervical cancer in June last year,” explained Vicki, who is now Cruz’s guardian. “When his mommy died he was so brave but he found it very difficult to talk about his feelings.

“The hospice nurses that cared for Siobhan told us about a new bereavement support group at John Taylor. Cruz looked forward to going every week as he felt reassured talking to other children who’d lost parents and grandparents and realised he wasn’t alone.

In art therapy groups he drew pictures of his mommy – such lovely, happy memories of the two of them shopping and playing together. After a few weeks of counselling and art therapy with the other children, we noticed that Cruz started to open up more, being able to express his emotions and ask more questions.

“The group has also given us strength as a family, the opportunity to grieve in our own ways and to reminisce about precious moments together that keep Siobhan’s beautiful memory alive.”

The support sessions that Cruz attended were a pilot for the Birmingham-based hospice – and now the Hope and Healing Appeal aims to raise funds so this vital service can be continued and offer a lifeline for more families like Vicki’s.

Vicki added: “For children especially, the loss of someone close can be overwhelming. But with the right support, children can find the strength to cope with feelings of sadness, guilt, insecurity and fear. If you are able to support this appeal we’d be incredibly grateful and your kind donation will help more children like Cruz to heal from their grief and have hope for happier times.”

John Taylor Hospice’s Hope and Healing Appeal

To make a donation to the Hope and Healing Appeal visit www.justgiving.com/campaign/hopeandhealing or text HEAL to 70331 to donate £3, or HEAL to 70191 to make a £10 donation.

To read more about John Taylor Hospice visit www.johntaylorhospice.org.uk

NEWS: Erdington’s John Taylor Hospice operates central support hub for regionwide palliative and end of life care

Words by Ed King / Pics courtesy of John Taylor Hospice Erdington

John Taylor Hospice, in Erdington, is housing a new centralised support hub for people across Birmingham and Solihull – helping deliver regionwide palliative and end of life care during the coronavirus crisis.

Comprised of approximately 40 specialists from John Taylor Hospice, Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice, and the Marie Curie Hospice, the central hub has a rotating team of support staff available by phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Named Hospices of Birmingham and Solihull (HoBS), the hub operates a live telephone bank and email service where people can reach a team of specialist nurses at any point, day or night – alongside palliative care consultants, healthcare assistants, social workers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, and administrators.

Working with other healthcare providers across Birmingham and Solihull, the HoBS team are on hand for patients or family members who need advice, community support, or admittance to one of the three hospices’ Inpatient Units for round-the-clock care.

The HoBS team will then ensure, depending on individual needs, the required care can be provided – either at people’s homes or at the hospices themselves, providing a range of care options in line with guidelines from Public Heath England.

As huge demand is put on all NHS services due to the coronavirus pandemic, Hospices of Birmingham and Solihull is a collaborative approach to palliative and end of life care – with health care providers across the region pooling their resources to provide support for those facing life threatening and terminal illnesses.

With regular updates and specialist information coming directly from the Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group, staff at the HoBS hub are working from the most up to date medical advice and guidence – further supporting patients and families across the region, as hospitals and hospices are self-isolating to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Across Birmingham and Solihull we have hundreds of specialist hospice staff who will be on call for people, both day and night,” explains Rachel O’Connor, Assistant Chief Executive of Birmingham and Solihull Sustainability and Transformation Partnership. “Our three adult hospices have seen the current need and acted rapidly to meet that. Working together we can provide the very best of expert care for people at the end of their lives.

Our aim is to ensure that individuals, their families and professionals receive joined-up and easy to navigate advice, support and access to care across from our dedicated and compassionate hospice teams when they need it the most.”

To reach the Hospices of Birmingham and Solihull helpline, available 24hrs a day and seven days a week, you can telephone (0121) 809 1900 or email hobs.referral@nhs.net

St Giles Hospice’s existing advice and referral centre will continue to operate, including its referral pathway – accessible by calling 0330 330 9410

For more on John Taylor Hospice in Erdington, visit www.johntaylorhospice.org.uk