Terminally-ill patients shielding at home during the Coronavirus pandemic can access online Wellbeing support and care packages – thanks to a £91k donation from the National Lottery.
Staff at Treetops Hospice Care, based in Risley, launched ‘Cake and Care’ when it had to shut its doors at the start of the pandemic, providing patients and their families with weekly care packages, welfare visits and phone calls.
Now the scheme can be extended for a further six months thanks to funding from the Coronavirus Community Support Fund, distributed by the National
Lottery Community Fund.
The money will also allow Treetops staff to offer online services such as chair-based exercise classes and peer support groups which will help keep patients connected.
Clare Downing, Wellbeing Space team member for Treetops Hospice Care, said:
“Virtual sessions for our patients are very important because it gives them one to one contact, they can see other people on the screen who they used to meet with so it gives that familiarity, but most importantly it means they’re not so secluded and isolated.
“Mentally and physically it’s the way forward until things change. We have some quite elderly patients who have been so determined to access the virtual classes that they’ve taught themselves how to use Zoom and new skills which is brilliant. It shows their resilience and that they want to keep in contact with us.”
The National Lottery funding will also allow Treetops Hospice Care to continue delivering its Cake and Care packages, made up of treats, craft activities and puzzles, to vulnerable people.
It will also help fund other services, such as the Virtual Wellbeing Café, a Carers group and an MNDa support group, which have also moved online.
Treetops Hospice Care costs £4.3m to run each year but continues to offer a completely free service to support people with life-limiting illnesses such as cancer, motor neurone disease and heart and respiratory conditions.
Clare Downing added:
“It’s been very hard without our patients here on-site and an emotional time; we miss them.
“Everybody here is trying to do everything in their power to keep connected and keep supporting our patients. We’d like to thank the National Lottery for helping us to continue doing this.”
Treetops is doing all it can to continue to support those in most need. The hospice welcomes donations to their Treetops COVID-19 Appeal to ensure the future of the hospice and its services.
Donations can be made at www.treetopshospice.org.uk/appeal