Wow. What can I say? What an amazing two weeks we’ve had since the Anne Robson Trust Butterfly Volunteers launched on Monday 15th January.
The team, lead by my wonderful colleague and Director of Care, Jo Corscaden, has already made a hugely positive impact at The Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow.
In the last two weeks 11 Butterfly Volunteers have covered 21 shifts, and provided one to one support to 16 patients in the last days and hours of their life – in total we have spent nearly 25 hours by the bedside.. We had a first today too – being called to support a dying patient in A&E who had no one with her. Thanks so much to Karen and Jodie for stepping in and sitting with her – you did a fantastic job.
Two of our volunteers were faced with a very challenging first shift – when the patients they were visiting died while they were with them. Jo and I were completely humbled by the reaction from them both… this is what they said…
“I am so glad that I was there today. After the patient had died I stayed with her and was still talking to her, telling her that she could rest in peace now and I was honoured to have been with her.”
“What an absolute privilege to have been with the patient last night when she passed away –the programme is SO worthwhile.”
As many of you will already know, this week was the eighth anniversary of my mothers death – read the full story here. I cannot tell you how proud I am to have been able, with the help and support of our fantastic Trustees, Patrons and volunteers, to set up The Anne Robson Trust in her memory. In particular I’d like to say thank you to Jo. She has been such a support to me over the past six months or so – I genuinely don’t think I’d be here, writing this, if it wasn’t for her. We are so lucky to have her, leading the team of Butterfly
Volunteers at The Princess Alexandra Hospital – I am sure those of you who know her will agree – she’s a star!
Its taken quite some time to get to where we are, a lot of hard work, days of frustration, some dark moments and some happy ones…. But we are here. We are determined to move forward, find much needed funding, and expand as quickly as we can.
I’m very excited that in the last fourteen days six acute hospital trusts in the East of England have expressed an interest in working with us.
Do you think we might have started something….?
We are now urgently seeking funds to enable us to expand the Butterfly Volunteer scheme to support as many patients at the end of life, their families and NHS staff who care for them as we can. Please visit this link and pledge your donation today.