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Hospice Care Week

Hospice Care Week is an annual celebration held by hospices up and down the country. The aim of the week is to raise the profile of hospice care and change the perception of the word ‘Hospice’. We are keen to show just how varied and surprising KEMP Hospice’s work can be.

Hospice Care Week 2016 will run from Monday 3rd October – Sunday 9th October and here at KEMP we will explore this years theme #Hospicecareis with a number of stories from supporters, volunteers and fundraisers who all have experienced first hand the invaluable work of a hospice.

 

 

Hospice Care is ……. Empowering

Please meet our new Volunteer, our new Conference Speaker, our new Fundraiser and our new Group Organiser and new Trustee.

 

His name is Steve and he is a Day Hospice patient living with Motor Neurone Disease. ctc8iccw8aafxms

Steve’s wife Tina shares her story.

When the specialist informs you that your fit energetic 52 year old unstoppable husband of 17 years has motor neurone your world literally stops spinning and your legs feel like lead. A cliché but it did happen.   A devastating diagnosis after 2 years of tests….. And here we are.

What has Hospice Care meant to you?

Funny, the first thing I thought of was Stephen Hawking as you would as he was the only person we knew with this horrific disease. From that moment our learning curve began. At the beginning I asked the question several times how can I work and look after Steve? Nobody could answer me. Then KEMP hospice was suggested. The team understood how I felt and are sympathetic to our needs. They stood back and let me gently accept and understand what a hospice can do. They have provided our family with new friends, lots of laughter and emotional support without forcing themselves upon you.

How have you been touched by KEMP?

Steve has been attending KEMP Hospice for almost 18 months and during this time struggled to engage in physical activities, leaving Steve in pain for days after with the effects of this cruel disease.  KEMP enabled Steve to use his full life skills and expertise whilst at KEMP.

Do you have any special memories?

To be honest I hated leaving Steve there initially on a Friday. I felt I had left him in some old peoples home for a day and I would cry every time I dropped him off, for god’s sake he is 54 years old not 94 and held senior positions all through his life, this is just not happening. Well how wrong was I? The hospice has been brilliant in building Steve’s self-esteem and in return Steve helps other Friday visitors.

Are you doing anything now to help support KEMP?

With the help of KEMP has formed a Motor Neurone Disease group for other sufferers and carers held one a month, providing somewhere safe and friendly to meet.

Having experience in community fundraising for local causes over the years, Steve is now a dynamic volunteer spending one day a week in fundraising.  During this time Steve has been spending time with other patients, listening to their life stories and how KEMP Hospice have impacted on their life now, living with a life-limiting illness and bereavement.

I cannot believe I am saying this but Steve enjoys going and I am so grateful to the team at KEMP for guiding us all through this painful journey.

Tina, Steve’s Wife

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Hospice Care is ………. Bereavement Support 

After losing my husband of 50 years, I thought my life was over.

In 4 weeks’ time we will be celebrating the 2nd birthday of KEMP’s first support group for bereaved adults. Held every Thursday at the hospice the group is run by caring, dedicated and friendly volunteers where homemade cake is always on the menu. Over the past year the group has developed and expanded as it now supports over 35 people all experiencing the same thing, the heartbreak of losing the one they love. 

What has Hospice Care meant to you?

From the moment my terminally ill husband and I walked through KEMP’s front doors, filled with sadness, there has been incredible care and support. The support group offers me a safe place to be, with the knowledge that I am amongst others who understand what it feels like to have lost a loved one. 

How have you been touched by KEMP?

The bereavement group have provided me with an oasis of friendship, where I can meet and talk with kind and understanding people, to the point where I have begun to rediscover my smile and I have gained the confidence to move forward with my life.

Do you have any special memories?

All group members recently attended KEMP’s Butterfly Concert which was held at Bodenhem Arboretum. It was a very special service with Kidderminster Male Choir performing a number of heart-warming songs, providing us all with a time to reflect and remember our loved ones. 

Are you doing anything now to help support KEMP?

As a group we meet once a month for an outing or Sunday Lunch and we pass around a KEMP collection box.  We make a donation to them as a thank you for all they have done to help each and every one of us and others they will help in the future.  Many members of the group have also engaged in other ways to continue to give back to KEMP, such as volunteering and encouraging family members to fundraise.  We can’t thank KEMP enough.

Members of KEMP’s Bereavement Support Group

butterfly-concert

 

 

 

 

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Hospice Care is …Fundraising

Sandra Yvonne Timmis – my beautiful mom, taken far too early. 

Mom was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 37. Married to Richard with 3 children she was kind, caring and dearly loved by all her family and friends. Born and raised in Cookley, Kidderminster, she was an active member of the local community being involved with the Brownies, Scouts and the Holiday Club. Cookley was her love and she worked tirelessly on the Parish Hall Council and Playing Fields Committee to help raise money for new facilities.  She also raised money every year for the two charities close to her heart; Macmillan and KEMP Hospice. 

What has Hospice Care meant to you?

Mom attended KEMP’s day care once a week and it became a fabulous part of her life before she left us when she was only 50 years old. The facilities and support offered her and us, her family, were invaluable.  The whole family were made to feel welcome at any time and we all drew much strength from the help and support received. Mom loved to tell us about her weekly visit, the activities and all about the lovely people she met at KEMP. 

How have you been touched by KEMP?

I can remember my very first visit to KEMP with mom like it was yesterday.  I was very nervous and worried that I was going to be visiting a sad place and be faced with lots of poorly people.  How wrong was I! Everyone had happy, smiling faces, all relaxed within a beautiful environment.  Whilst I was there someone said to me ‘this is our happy place’ I was very touched and will never forget this. A real testament to everyone involved in providing this vital service to patients and their families. 

Do you have any special memories?

Richard the chef was often featured in our conversations with mum! She especially enjoyed his home cooked traditional lunches and she would give us all the run down on what she had had that day and what a great chef he was! 

Are you doing anything now to help support KEMP?

Nothing was too much trouble for mom and she was always involved in charity work in the community, raising money for KEMP every year.  Early on as a family we decided to follow mom’s footsteps and continue her fundraising for KEMP.  Mom always loved to dance and she brought so much passion, energy and love to her fundraising events we have since organised many charity nights with live bands, plenty of dancing, great food and just a little alcohol! We find this a great way to remember mom and follow her hard work all in support of KEMP Hospice. 

Thank you to KEMP for all that you have done for us as a family and for all that you continue to do within our local community.  We will, in mom’s memory, continue to raise much needed funds for this wonderful charity for many years to come. 

Sharon Gellatly, Sandra’s daughter. 

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Hospice Care is …Chaplaincy

25 years on I’m still loving every minute of being part of the ‘KEMP Family’ 

Carol Rees

Carol Rees

From childhood I wanted to be a nurse and had to wait until my family had grown up. At the age of 43, I trained as a nurse and for 16 years I was in my element, caring for people in need. Once I reached retirement age, what should I do with my time now I thought? The answer came when I was introduced to KEMP founder Reverend Jennifer Binnion. 

What has Hospice Care meant to you?

I joined KEMP and the chaplain team on a voluntary basis and what a privilege the past 25 years have been. We are all blessed to be invited and accepted to share the joys, fears and sadness of patients. We learn and receive so much from people who are ‘brave’ enough to enter the ‘dreaded portals’ of a hospice in fear that they have entered somewhere full of doom and gloom. Although in reality they have entered a loving, welcoming place filled with much laughter, sometimes crazy and positive in outlook. 

How have you been touched by KEMP?

There is always a ‘quiet time’ to start each day at the hospice, within the Sanctuary. Patients, volunteers and staff come together to light a candle for the work of the hospice and everyone at KEMP. We hope and pray that each one of us will take the light with us. 

Do you have any special memories?

One thing not permitted is what I call ‘Bible bashing on the head’ whatever peoples religion, or none, we are all accepted into the KEMP Family. One gentleman patient told me he didn’t believe in the religious world, although continued to say ‘I do believe in something other’. It is a great privilege to be accepted by people at this stage of their lives.

Are you doing anything now to help support KEMP?

I continue to volunteer at KEMP a couple of times a week and at special events, such as KEMP’s Light up a Life Celebration Service held at Kidderminster Town Hall in December.  I will continue to dedicate my time and support to everyone in the KEMP family for as long as possible.

Carol Rees, Chaplain Volunteer  

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Hospice Care is …Hospice at Home

Tina, or Mum as I knew her, was one of life’s characters.

She was an intelligent woman with a dry wickedly funny sense of humour but only seen on the days that her demons didn’t appear. From a young age I remember my mum battling with alcoholism, agoraphobia and depression, having good periods but mainly bad.  She smoked like a trooper, drank like a fish and ate like a pigeon but still her body kept going. However the day came that she found out that her tricky little cough that wouldn’t go away was lung cancer.

What has Hospice Care meant to you?

Tina, Lisa's mum

Tina, Lisa’s mum

The work of a local hospice was something I hadn’t really thought about. Now I understand the value and importance they bring to both those that are patients and their families.

Mum attended day care once at KEMP a week. The hospice made her Friday’s a relaxed but useful day. In beautiful surroundings, she had people around to talk to, questions were answered and she enjoyed a lovely cooked lunch. It was all appreciated so much by her.  She loved her craft afternoons and every visit I made to see her I would have a selection of creative treats for her to show me. The hospice team took time to listen to her and suggested treatments to help her feel better. She loved having her weekly massages and we both believed it helped her keep well.  I remember her talking to me and telling me about how she had made friends with some lovely people, she had a sparkle in her voice and I knew she had enjoyed it. It became part of her normal life very quickly and she became a part of the hospice and a feature out in the garden every Friday.

How have you been touched by KEMP?

KEMP Hospice was there to support again when the end came fairly quickly in April.  The cancer was had spread to her spine and with a water infection she just couldn’t fight anymore. I was with Mum those final two weeks and KEMP provided a night carer who was amazing. She was very calm and caring and I was able to trust her with sitting with mum through the night so I could get some rest. Without this support I’m not sure I would have coped as well as I did. 

The last year of her life was better than many before and a huge part of this was being supported by a handful of people at KEMP Hospice, who could see past her faults and demons and help her enjoy her final months. They helped her to smile again and I got to have my mum for who she really was, including the mischievous twinkle in her eyes and wickedly dry sense of humour.

Do you have any special memories?

Mum had to go into Birmingham Heartlands to have half her left lung removed she had a reaction to the pain relief after the operation and began to hallucinate. When I got to see her she told me in great detail that the man opposite was going to be kidnapped and taken overseas and sold. She had tried to warn him but she couldn’t actually get out of bed with all her drips and drains.

On returning in the morning the nurses then told me about her great escape act the night before. Bringing all her drips and drains with her, she had got to the ward doors with her handbag. It was locked so she couldn’t get out. When the nurses asked her where she was going she was very clear. She was going to Tesco to get a bottle of Vodka. Trying to get her back to bed she sat herself on the floor and then proceeded to get out her cigarettes from her handbag and try to light one. With that security stepped in and back to bed she went. She was the talk of the ward and cringed with embarrassment when she finally got told what she had done.

Are you doing anything now to help support KEMP?

A few months have now passed and I promised my mum I would never give up on my crazy dreams (I tend to have a few)! In September I completed a the gruelling 100km challenge – Thames Path Challenge, along the river banks of the River Thames in support of this wonderful local hospice in Kidderminster. I suspect this will be the first of many challenges as I fundraise to help bring further support to others who need it locally. What KEMP do is a crucial part of our social wellbeing for local people and only through awareness and support will they be able to continue to offer care to the community.

Lisa Henderson, Tina’s daughter.

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