Meet our finalists – Contribution to Sector Development

February 5, 2021

Meet the finalists in our Contribution to Sector Development category. These three organisations are charging down barriers to make changes to the way 3rd sector care is provided in the future.

St Luke’s Hospice

St Luke’s Hospice cares for people approaching the end of their life. Founded by local communities, it has been providing free end of life day care for local people since 1984 and specialist care in its inpatient unit (IPU) since 2000. The St Luke’s Palliative Helpline service (Pall 24) is available to patients, carers and healthcare professionals who need advice and support regarding end of life care.

What made you want to enter the awards?

Following a tough year for the sector – and the world even – we wanted to enter the awards to not only celebrate the amazing work we have done but to also celebrate third sector care as a whole. We are extremely committed to caring for people whose illnesses are no longer curable, enabling them to achieve the best possible quality of life. However, we could not do this without a loyal, dedicated, and innovative team, and we felt that after such a difficult year, it was only right to shout about the remarkable work they’ve done.

How did you react when you found out you were a finalist?

We were delighted.

The thought that we could be rewarded for all the hard work we have done gave us a real morale boost.

Also, when we put pen to paper, we realised how much we had achieved. We had been so busy doing the work, that we hadn’t taken time out to share it amongst ourselves.

What does it mean to you to be a finalist in the Markel 3rd Sector Care Awards?

We are extremely honoured to be considered among this amazing group of finalists. Being recognised for our contribution to end of life care is a privilege and we are elated.

We believe in empowering people by providing a wide range of expert care intended to keep them feeling well, independent and mobile for as long as possible. We are committed to working collaboratively and sharing our expertise with other healthcare professionals outside of the Hospice, and

we hope that becoming a finalist in the Markel 3rd Sector Care Awards will open more doors for us to continue innovating and providing expert end of life care.

How have you had to adapt your services for COVID-19? What’s been your greatest challenge in the last year?

We have made significant adaptations to all of our services:

  • Our inpatient unit has increased from 10 beads to 12, we have taken admissions at weekends and in the evenings, up to 11pm. Our staff have been incredibly flexible to support this.
  • Our community specialist palliative care service has increased from a five-day-a-week service to seven days. We have also utilised digital technology to enable telephone consultations and assessments, reducing our initial response times to within 24 hours for 90% of referrals.
  • Our wellbeing service initially closed due to COVID but has since reopened, providing telephone support to older people and those who are frail or lonely. We are providing bereavement support by phone and have recently started small group support following strict guidance.
  • We have made some educational videos for carers and patients including how to make someone comfortable in bed/a chair, simple exercises and how to prepare and give a painkilling injection with a nurse supporting the individual over the phone.
  • Our domiciliary care service responded to a significantly increased the number of referrals and continued to visit at home, where other nursing services ceased home visits.
  • Our 24-hour telephone advice line responded to an increased number of calls from patients, carers and other health professionals such as London Ambulance Service staff.
  • Finally, our education team provided sessions to local care home staff, teaching approximately 90 staff on issues related to end of life.

I would say our biggest challenge in the early days of the crisis was trying to provide this essential support to patients and families with very limited PPE, whilst trying to reassure both patients and staff about a virus that was little understood.

Evergreen Care Trust

Evergreen Care Trust established a Care Network in 2011 for any agency or project supporting older and vulnerable adults locally, with which statutory agencies also engage. Members meet regularly (suspended with COVID-19) to build bridges, open up communication, grow in awareness of each other’s contributions, share information, knowledge and experience with each other, and work collaboratively for the benefit of those the network serves.

What made you want to enter the awards?

When I received the invitation to nominate the charity, I considered the impact on the team who have worked so incredibly hard during lockdown and beyond.

Most of the staff have sacrificed holidays to help out and cover for colleagues. The team have kept their vital services and support going throughout, at personal risk and with great compassion.

I believed that entering the Awards would serve to encourage and acknowledge the team’s efforts.

How did you react when you found out you were a finalist?

Delighted, and very excited to be recognised as a finalist at this national level. The team has been lifted by this knowledge.

What does it mean to you to be a finalist in the Markel 3rd Sector Care Awards?

We feel very pleased but humbled by the accolade, when we know that up and down the country there are countless doing the same as us. It is a great encouragement knowing that working together we can make a difference in our communities during such trying times.

How have you had to adapt your services for COVID-19?

Practising excellence within the modified safe boundaries of COVID compliance has been a challenge. We are very proud of the team, who have committed to doing what is right and what will protect, regardless of the inconvenience, cost or challenging change this has brought into our practice.

Future Roots

Future Roots uses the opportunities the farming environment provides to develop young people’s resilience when they are in need of protective factors to stabilise their behaviours and emotions. The young people gain hope and are able to strengthen a positive identity. The team has worked with thousands of young people who have been labelled and judged for their mistakes and the level of anger and aggression they display.

What made you want to enter the awards?

The Markel 3rd Sector Care Awards is an award that is valued by the sector and held in high esteem.

How did you react when you found out you were a finalist?

We were really surprised and excited!

What does it mean to you to be a finalist in the Markel 3rd Sector Care Awards?

Future Roots has never gone in for this award before and it is a real testament to the work the team does; it meant an awful lot to the whole team.

How have you had to adapt your services for COVID-19?

We have had to adapt the service greatly, making more spaces where there were pinch points, reducing numbers, and making sure the most vulnerable young people were still contacted and given as many sessions as we could.

We set up Facebook and Messenger so everyone could see what was happening at the farm if they were isolating and they could contact us.

We put in many safety measures – sanitisers everywhere, masks indoors and more cleaning on a regular basis.

The greatest challenges were trying to get finances to make the smaller groups work, helping young people who didn’t understand social distancing, weighing up the need to look after the team and balancing this with working for the young people, and finding new ways of working so that we were outside for longer. Finally, I got COVID-19 badly from my policeman son and was hospitalised for two weeks and almost died. The team and board responded really well and quickly went into action. They closed for a complete week and then set about a gradual introduction of staff and young people.

This year we will be revealing our winners at a Virtual Ceremony on Friday 12th February. We’d love for you to join us. Sign up to attend the event here.

You can also keep up to date with all the latest on this year’s finalists on social media #3rdSectorCareAwards @3rdSectorCare