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Willowbrook-The Living Well honoured at North West Property Awards

Willowbrook Hospice’s The Living Well building has been honoured with the prestigious Judges’ Award at this year’s North West Property Awards.

Willowbrook’s Chief Executive Neil Wright and Alan Chick, Chairman of the Willowbrook Board of Trustees joined more than 250 guests at the black tie award ceremony on 20 October at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral which saw members of the region’s top commercial and business community competing for gongs in a variety of categories.

The Judges’ Award was awarded in recognition of the work undertaken in returning the once derelict Alexandra House on Borough Road, St Helens into the multi-functional Willowbrook – The Living Well. 

In receiving the award Neil Wright said: “We are delighted that the judges awarded Willowbrook Hospice their ‘Special Award’ for bringing a derelict building back to life to create a facility that the community can be proud of.  Although it was a difficult project refurbishing the building, this is not the end, but the beginning of supporting more local people in need of the special care that Willowbrook provides. “

Willowbrook-The Living Well opened in February this year and houses the Hospice’s fundraising and Advance Care Planning teams as well as a café and shop – both of which are open to the public six days a week.  The site also has a large function room which is regularly used for training and health awareness sessions. Over the next few months, community wellbeing sessions will be available at The Living Well which will offer local people the chance to enjoy a relaxing massage or take part in one of the creative therapy classes.


Kirstie raises over £750 for hospice in memory of nan

Local hairdresser Kirstie Mepham has raised a whopping £761 for local charity Willowbrook Hospice after serving up a treat at a fundraising coffee morning at St Mary’s Church Hall, Knowsley Village.

Kirstie, 23, from Knowsley Village, first decided to hold a Willowbrook coffee morning last September in memory of her nan, Rose Levens, who was cared for at the Prescot based hospice before losing her brave battle against lung cancer in August 2015. Kirstie was so overwhelmed by the 'amazing response' that she decided to do it again this year in the hope of raising more money for the charity.

Kirstie said “The staff at Willowbrook were amazing with my nannie and nothing was ever too much trouble for them. When I found out how much it costs to run the hospice and how much they need to raise each year, I knew I had to do something to help. It’s only when you’re there that you realise how special places like Willowbrook are.”

“I really enjoy organising the coffee mornings and it’s a great way of bringing people together to raise money for Willowbrook. I know my nannie would be really proud that I’m doing my bit to help the hospice to continue to care and support other local people.”

Nicky Saunders, Head of Fundraising at Willowbrook said: “We’re extremely grateful to Kirstie and know how much Willowbrook means to her and the rest of her family. It costs around £4 million each year to run the hospice and it’s thanks to people like her who give their time and effort to raise funds for us that we can continue to do what we do in supporting local people who are facing a life limiting illness.” 

Anyone interested in organising a coffee morning, afternoon tea party or a get together can either visit www.willowbrook.org.uk ring 01744 453798 or email: events@willowbrookhospice.org.uk for more information.


Lynnís concert hits top note for Willowbrook

Local soprano Lynn Jones has once again enchanted music-lovers at her annual fundraising concert at St Thomas Church, St Helens, raising over £1000 for Willowbrook Hospice.

Cancer survivor Lynn from Rainhill was treated at the Prescot based Hospice in 2010 and has been a stalwart supporter ever since, using her musical talents to raise more than £7, 000 over the past 7 years.

With support from Aughton Male Voice Choir, guitarist/vocalist Alex Roberts and pianist Joanne Fairclough, conductor Andrew Lord directed the concert while husband Robert acted as compere and master of ceremonies. 

Speaking after the event Lynn said: “It’s always a pleasure to help raise funds for Willowbrook. The hospice is such a fantastic place and the staff there do an amazing job of supporting and caring for seriously ill people in our community.”

Nichola Saunders, Head of Fundraising at Willowbrook Hospice, said: “On behalf of Willowbrook, I’d like to express my sincere thanks to Lynn, all those who took part and everyone from the church who helped out during the evening. I’d also like to thank everyone who attended and helped to raise over £1000 for Willowbrook, every penny of which will help enable us to continue to care for people in St Helens and Knowsley who have life limiting illnesses.” 


Bringing Home the Gold - Local Care Homes re-accredited for end of life care

Four local care homes have been re-accredited with the prestigious Gold Standards Framework (GSF) in Care Homes Quality Hallmark Award in recognition of the high quality care they provide to people nearing the end of life.
The GSF is a systematic, evidence-based approach to help ensure that care home residents approaching the end of their lives are receiving the care they want where they want it. The Gold Standards Framework (GSF) in Care Homes Training Programme is also reducing the number of inappropriate hospital admissions, increasing the numbers of residents dying in their preferred place, their care home, whilst delivering significant savings to the NHS at the same time. Supported by the Advance Care Planning Team based at Willowbrook Hospice, staff from Appleby Court Nursing Home (Knowsley), Parr Care Home and Stocks Hall (St Helens) and St Luke’s Nursing Home (Runcorn) have worked tirelessly to achieve re-accreditation by maintaining systems and procedures to ensure every resident receives the best possible end of life care in line with their individual needs. The Awards were originally presented at the Bi-Annual GSFCH Award Ceremony in London on Friday 30 September but were recognised locally at The End of Life Care Forum at Willowbrook-The Living Well on 13 October.                                                              

Neil Wright, Chief Executive of Willowbrook Hospice said: “I’d like to congratulate the staff in all four care homes in achieving re-accreditation of the Gold Standard Framework. The development of the GSF, and its use within care homes, has helped to establish a nationally recognised standard for end of life care and helps demonstrates that services such as care homes are delivering person-centred care.”


High Sheriff visits local hospice

Willowbrook hospice recently played host to the High Sheriff of Merseyside, James CM Davies OBE DL, his wife Mrs Shirley Davies and the Mayor and Mayoress of St Helens, Councillor David Banks and Councillor Jeanette Banks.

Having been welcomed by Neil Wright, Chief Executive of Willowbrook and Alan Chick, Chairman of the hospice’s Board of Trustees, the dignitaries were given a tour of the facilities as well as an update on the latest developments at Willowbrook and their plans for the future. During the visit, the group also had the opportunity to meet patients and their relatives as well as talking with some of the hospice volunteers and members of staff.

Neil said: “We were delighted to welcome the High Sheriff, his wife Shirley and the Mayor and Mayoress of St Helens to the hospice and demonstrate the vital work we do to provide care, support and comfort to people with a life-limiting illness in St Helens and Knowsley.”

Following the visit, the High Sheriff commented, “My visit to Willowbrook Hospice was informative, reassuring, heart-warming and inspiring. I valued so much being able to meet some of the patients and many of the caring staff and volunteers. Willowbrook offers so much care and support to local people and their families and it is obvious that what the team at the hospice do is valued and appreciated so much.”


Members of Sheltered Accommodation schemes raise funds for local hospice

Staff and residents of the Fieldway and Fairclough Road sheltered accommodation schemes (managed by Huyton Co-operative for the Elderly) have raised more than £747 in aid of Willowbrook Hospice.

Scheme Managers Helen Power from the Fairclough scheme and Christine Shennan from Fieldway joined residents in organising tea parties to raise money for the Prescot based hospice.

Helen said: “Several of our residents have been cared for at Willowbrook or have had relatives who have looked after there so we know how vital places like the hospice are.  Both the tea parties attracted fantastic support from the residents, their friends and families as well as members of the local community. One of the residents’ daughter in law from the Fairclough scheme even baked a Willowbrook cake which we raffled off. It was great to see people from all walks of the community coming together to raise money for such a great cause as Willowbrook.”

Nicky Saunders, Head of Fundraising at Willowbrook said: “We are delighted to receive the donation from the staff and residents of the Huyton Co-operative for the Elderly housing schemes. To raise as much as they have is fantastic and every penny will help us keep our doors open and allow us to continue caring for local people with life-limiting conditions.”


Linda organises 80s disco in memory of sister Janette

Local woman Linda Crooks is holding a retro 80s disco on 12 November in aid of Willowbrook Hospice in memory of her much-missed sister Janette Rigby (nee Bradbury).

Janette spent 5 weeks at the hospice before losing her brave battle against stomach cancer in August this year.

Linda says: “Janette and I were very close – we were like best friends and were always together… so much so that people used to joke that we were ‘joined at the hip’! It was early in 2015 when she was diagnosed and although she did have an operation to try to insert 2 stents, the procedure sadly didn’t work and there was nothing more that the doctors could do to prevent the disease from spreading.”

“Janette’s husband Mike was cared for at Willowbrook 5 years ago so she knew how wonderful the team at the hospice were. When the time came, it was her decision to be treated there and thankfully she was. I can’t thank Willowbrook enough for everything they did for both Janette and Mike – it’s an amazing place. Janette used to love the 80s so the disco is my way of celebrating her life as well as helping to raise funds for the hospice so that they can continue to care for other local people and their families.”

The 80s disco starts at 8pm at the Unison Sports and Social Club (former Nalgo), Bishop Road, St Helens with tickets costing £3 each. Fancy dress is optional although prizes will be given for the top 3 best dressed guests. For tickets, please contact Linda on 07900 223822.


Bag a bargain at Hospice car boot

Willowbrook Hospice is holding a car boot sale to help raise part of the £4m a year it needs to maintain its services.

A registered charity, Willowbrook Hospice provides end of life care for adults, their carers and families from St Helens and Knowsley. All the services are provided free of charge with the majority of its funding raised through charitable donations and fundraising events.

The car boot sale will be held at Willowbrook - The Living Well Borough Road, St Helens WA10 3RN on Saturday 17 September from 9am-12noon with over 40 pitches offering a wide range of pre-loved goods from clothes and books to soft furnishings and bric-a-brac. Car parking will be available at the nearby Alexandra Park (former Pilkingtonís Head Office) with disabled parking at The Living Well.


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© 2016 Willowbrook Hospice.
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Registered charity no. 1020240
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Registered Office
Willowbrook Hospice, Portico Lane
Prescot, Merseyside L34 2QT
Tel: 0151 430 8736
Fundraising Office
Willowbrook Hospice - The Living Well
Borough Road, St Helens, WA10 3RN
Tel: 01744 453798
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