Blogging therapy for Hospice
A patient at St. Joseph's Hospice in
Thornton has taken to publishing 2 daily blogs in order to keep friends and
family informed about his care and condition.
Frank Hodges (82), from Thornton, was admitted to the hospice last month
following treatment for advanced prostate cancer at Aintree Hospital and took to
blogging almost straight away.
Frank said:- "I'm not a big social media
user or writer but when I came to St. Joseph's Hospice for palliative care,
after my cancer had spread, I felt it would be tough on my wife, Dorothy, to
have to keep updating everyone all the time on my health."
Frank decided to gather the email addresses of his friends and family and
started sending a daily email about how he was feeling and how treatment was
going. This then turned in to a blog on Facebook as Frank felt it was an easier
way of keeping more people informed.
Frank added:- "I try to send 2 updates per day but it just depends on how I'm feeling. I
find it very therapeutic and it helps me to stay in touch with people from my
hospice bed. It has also brought my friends and family together as it helps them
to share things too. I now even have a new laptop which is very exciting as I
find it hard typing on my tablet. St. Joseph's Hospice is a
wonderful place and I am receiving brilliant care. Everyone I have met here has
been a true natural at their job and I enjoy telling everyone what it's like
here. It is also very close to my home. In fact, I used to walk in these
beautiful woodlands regularly and when I had the opportunity to move to the
hospice I was delighted as it almost feels like home."
Mike Parr, Chief Executive of St. Joseph's Hospice, said:- "It is
fantastic when modern technology is used in such a positive way to bring people
together at a difficult time but also to educate people and Frank's blog does
It has really helped to show others what life is like in H hospice and what
wonderful care and compassion he receives every day from our dedicated team of
nurses and healthcare professionals. But, most importantly, it helps people to
understand the importance and value of excellent palliative care. I would like
to thank Frank for sharing his story, including the highs and lows of his
treatment, with others who will hopefully see what a positive environment a
Hospice is for patients living with a life limiting condition."
gets green fingered at Southport Botanic Gardens
A team from Paymentshield; the
Southport based provider of insurance to mortgage intermediaries; has sponsored
a bay in the aviary of the Southport Botanic Gardens, as well as a rose garden
at its Churchtown site. The £1,000 in sponsorship will allow the Botanic
Gardens' volunteers to manage the site, as well as pay for the upkeep of the
displays and rose garden.
The team; led by Steve Wood, CEO; spent time planting geraniums and petunias
in the main bay, which will be on display until October 2016. The rose garden will be
a permanent feature of the Botanic Gardens and Paymentshield has also sponsored
a 2nd bay, due to bloom in spring 2017. Paymentshield staff will also be
regularly returning the site to weed, water and replant its displays.
Steve Wood said:- "It's been a pleasure to lead the team in getting their
hands and knees dirty to really make a difference to our local area. As a
Southport business, we take pride in supporting the local community. Seeing the
senior management team with trowels and seeds in hand was certainly a different
experience to our day-to-day business and it was really great to see them all
The Southport Botanic Gardens, based in Churchtown, 1st opened in 1875 and has
a thriving membership of 70 volunteers, all of whom work on maintaining the site
and ensuring it has a fruitful future. It achieved charity status in 2015,
following budget cuts by Sefton Council.
David Cobham, lead volunteer at Southport Botanic Gardens, said:- "We'd
like to offer huge thanks to Paymentshield for agreeing to sponsor the flower
beds in the aviary area, and to the staff for helping with the planting; they
did a great job. We hope they will all come back to visit with their families
later to see the Botanic Gardens in all its splendour thanks to their
Earlier this year, Paymentshield launched a volunteering programme which allows
staff to spend 2 working days giving back to the local community as part of its
ongoing corporate social responsibility initiative.