Butterfly Volunteers support patients who are dying in hospital

Coronavirus has resulted in many more people dying in 2020, in hospitals, in care homes, in hospices and in private homes.  The Office of National Statistics shows that deaths in private homes in particular are well above the average for the last five years.

Behind each of these figures is a family and human story. Crucially to us, what the data cannot give any insight into is the quality of these deaths, particularly in terms of the end of life support available for those dying and for families as their loved one died.   

We feel passionately that no one deserves to die alone and that no one deserves to face losing a loved one alone.

No One Deserves To Die Alone

Having spent a week in hospital in 2010 with a suspected hip fracture, Anne’s family were told she was well enough to be discharged and go home.

Sadly, three hours later, she died unexpectedly.

This meant that her daughter, Liz, was not able to be with her mother in her final hours.

Liz founded The Anne Robson Trust in 2018 in memory of her mother.

Read more about Anne and the Anne Robson Trust here.

Anne Robson

Here’s How We Help

Butterfly Volunteers

Since 2018 we have worked with hospitals, setting up teams of volunteers who support patients in the last days and hours of life, many of whom have no other visitors at all.

The Butterfly Volunteers offer the company and comfort of another human being as they die.

Since we began in 2018 we have:

 

5

Hospital Partners

106

Butterfly Volunteers

2340

Patients Supported

7369

Total Visits

 

Butterfly Hubs

The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted to us that families need support whilst a loved one is dying in hospital.

As well as supporting patients, the volunteers trained by The Anne Robson Trust are able to offer support to families at this challenging time. This means that family members have someone to turn to, to talk to and get support from; as their loved one is dying.

We are working with some of our existing hospital partners to set up and deliver Butterfly Hubs. A dedicated space in which to offer families much needed support to cope with the complex challenges when losing a loved one.

Covid-19 has cruelly kept many loved ones apart at the time of death. No one deserves to die alone or to face the loss of a loved one alone.

Building on our unique experience, we are launching a new Helpline staffed by our volunteers, for anyone to turn to for help and emotional support as a loved one is dying.

More information will be provided about this service in early 2021.

It is a simple truth that we are all going to die. Covid-19 has brought the subject of death into the headlines. And whilst none of us really like to think or talk about our last wishes it is so important to be brave and discuss the end of our lives.

So often we hear that patients’ families regret not talking to their loved ones before they became so ill.

Our online work is aimed at encouraging and supporting people to sit down with their nearest and dearest, have the conversation about what they want to happen at the end of life. Talk about it, write it down, put it away and carry on living life to the full.

Online materials include:

Podcasts

Bill TurnbullOur podcasts series, It’s time to talk, is hosted by TV & Radio Presenter & Anne Robson Patron, Bill Turnbull.

He talks to leading professionals about why they believe it is so important to discuss the end of our lives

My Wishes Checklist

We have created a checklist that we hope will be a helpful resource to start getting together the affairs of everyday life.

It is a downloadable document that can be easily personalised.

Free Online “It’s Time To Talk” Workshops

Our experienced team lead free online workshops that create a safe and confidential space in which to explore how and why it is a good idea to talk to your family and friends about your wishes when you die, and what might happen if you become ill?

Workshops run for 3 hours and participants join virtually via Zoom.