Stevenage hospital charitys urgent appeal to ensure nobody dies alone this Christmas

Author : balindos
Publish Date : 2020-12-19


Stevenage hospital charitys urgent appeal to ensure nobody dies alone this Christmas

No one should have to die alone in hospital, especially at Christmas, that’s the message from the charity behind an urgent appeal to ensure an award-winning service for dying patients at the Lister Hospital in Stevenage, Hertfordshire can continue.

Since 2016, the Butterfly Volunteer Service has supported patients at the end of their life when families are unable to be there, with funding from supporters of the East and North Hertfordshire Hospitals’ Charity.

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Working alongside East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust’s palliative care team, specially-trained volunteers provide companionship, comfort and compassion to both patients and their families.

The coronavirus pandemic has sadly meant more families have not been able to spend those last precious moments with their loved ones, but the Butterfly volunteers have been there to make sure nobody faces the end of their life alone.

Emma Matthews’ mum, Lesley, sadly passed away earlier this year at the Lister at the age of 71, but Emma and her family found the Butterfly service “invaluable”.

Emma said: “Here was somebody to sit with our mum, when we had to nip away so that she didn't have to be alone.

    “They wanted to know all about mum, what she liked to do, what she found comforting.

    "They truly were an absolutely wonderful guiding hand in a horrible, horrible situation.

    “What really blew us away about this service was that, for us, it was a real comfort – but imagine what it is like for somebody else who doesn’t have family, who doesn’t have friends or someone that’s able to come and comfort them in the darkest of moments.

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    “This is an absolutely invaluable service particularly with all that we're facing with coronavirus.

    "From the bottom of our family's heart, we thank each and every one of you at the Butterfly service.”

The Butterfly Volunteer Service, which received royal recognition in June when it was honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service  costs more than £40,000 a year to run and its three-year funding has just come to an end.

East and North Hertfordshire Hospitals’ Charity, which funds projects at the Lister as well as Hertford County Hospital, Hertford in Hertfordshire, Mount Vernon Cancer Centre in Northwood and New QEII Hospital in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire needs the public’s help to continue this service to ensure
that nobody dies alone in hospital this Christmas.

Beth McNeill, head of charity, said: “We know how important the Butterfly Volunteer Service is for patients at the end of their life and for families, particularly at a time when so many can’t be there for those last precious moments. We need funds urgently to be able to continue this vital service.

    “If you can, please help us make sure nobody faces the end of their life alone, by making a donation at enhhcharity.org.uk/butterfly. Thank you.”

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