Supporting St Andrews Hospice with our Community Benefit Fund
Each year SPA gives £10,000 to each Executive Board member to support community projects in their local area. Executive Committee member, Clyde Valley Housing Association have allotted the money to St Andrews Hospice’s Hearty Hospice Meals project.
At the Senior Business Development Officer for Lintel Trust, the best part of my role is the contact I have with projects supported by SPA grant funding. I was delighted that my first project visit after the pandemic was to welcoming St Andrew’s Hospice in Airdrie.
St Andrew's Hospice
St Andrew’s Hospice offers specialist palliative care to people living with life limiting illnesses in Lanarkshire. Outpatients benefit from education, exercise, and activities to promote wellbeing and self-management of their conditions. Thanks to a major £9m refurbishment, inpatients are offered their own room with outside garden areas and en-suite bathroom where they receive multi-disciplinary specialist care.
The arrival of 2020 saw the pandemic place the UK into lockdown and subsequently slowed many industries. The work of a hospice cannot grind to a halt during lockdown – a worldwide pandemic doesn’t stop the progression of terminal illness.
The struggles many of us faced during lockdown we’re exacerbated for families who couldn’t see their loved ones during their final days and for those receiving treatment too. Food, especially, was a concern for many as supermarket shelves emptied. Those engaged in the hospice were particularly vulnerable to this issue which is where Hearty Hospice Meals comes in.
Hearty Hospice Meals
Donna, creator of Hearty Hospice Meals, said it was a response to the pandemic when vulnerable people were ‘shielding’. As they were making welfare calls to outpatients, Donna was concerned that many of them had simply stopped preparing meals. One person asked if Donna could drop off her own family’s leftovers so they could have a hot meal. This was how Hearty Hospice Meals was born – the provision of two-course hot balanced meals, delivered three times per week by hospice staff.
The Outpatient, Catering and Facilities teams pulled together and created ‘Hearty Hospice Meals’ which would enable up to 12 patients and their carers to be provided with a freshly cooked homemade 2 course meal, 3 days per week. The staff delivered the meals themselves and were a hit:
“The meals are absolutely lovely! The menu choice is good, with large portions. I feel this service has improved my health greatly by relieving some of the stresses of lockdown.” – Anne, Service User.
As the lockdowns have come to an end, life is not back to normal for people with life changing illnesses. They remain at an increased risk of catching Covid; they are nervous about being out in public and the Outpatient services cannot return to normal services.
Donna explained that, although lockdown is over, the project will continue with a slightly different direction. A healthy diet is paramount to a good quality of life, regardless of how long that life is expected to last. Hearty Hospice Meals will continue to deliver hot fresh meals to lonely and isolated people, including those choosing end of life care in their own homes.
Hearty Hospice Meals was originally funded for three months with a grant from the Scottish Government Wellbeing Fund. Donna has been able to secure funding to continue the service until now.
Thanks to the SPA grant award gifted to St Andrew’s from Clyde Valley Housing Association, the next few months are covered but the hospice needs more funding to keep this wonderful service going. Can you, or someone you know help out?
Find out how you can help support St Andrew’s Hospice here. They have a shop selling Christmas gifts as well as loads of fundraising ideas to raise money and keep this wonderful service going for as long as it is needed.