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The ART of Compassion

An exciting week at the Anne Robson Trust…

Our new volunteer Claire started working with Liz last Monday to help with admin and general office stuff… there is so much to do when setting up a new charity, one needs to be a jack of all trades – we are always amazed at how generous people are with their time – thank you Claire… We have much to do – everything from setting up online filing systems, to spreadsheets, fundraising, writing business plans, getting systems in place for projects and corresponding with members of the public who are keen to learn more about what we are doing… to working on the website with our fab tech wizard Phil (who is also a volunteer), and helping him design marketing materials to promote our work – and that just touches the surface!

Thats the background stuff covered… lots more was going on!

Professor Nancy Fontaine, Chief Nurse and Deputy Chief Exec at The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust, who is also our Patron, invited ART to be involved in filming a piece for BBC Look East which went on air on Wednesday 21st March… We were thrilled to be included in the celebration that the trust has been taken out of special measures by the Care Quality Commission. It takes an enormous amount of work, great leadership, commitment and dedication to produce results as good as Nancy and her team have done, and we feel very lucky to have been in a position to help in a small way.

BBC Look East – Click here to watch the clip

Nicky Fox, reporter for BBC Look East was very interested to hear about our work, and we are hoping to be in a position to film a longer piece, dedicated to ART, in the near future. Lynne, our fantastic Butterfly Volunteer, did brilliantly, having been asked to be involved very much at the last minute. She did us proud… even reducing the Chief Nurse and me to tears at one point. Thank you Lynne!

Prior to the filming, Liz and Jo spent Tuesday morning meeting our next group of enthusiastic Butterfly Volunteers, individually, to talk about what it takes to do this role, and learn a bit about them, prior to inviting them to our next training day – which is taking place at the end of April. By the 28th March we are hoping to have a list of 20 new recruits to train, and join the 14 current volunteers on the wards, supporting patients and families. This means we will hopefully have a 7 day coverage of shifts, which will provide much more streamlined support to patients across the trust, including Gibberd Ward.

Wednesday saw the third monthly meeting for the current Butterfly Volunteers team – where we handed out our smart new Anne Robson Trust polo shirts

From now on we will run quarterly meetings, the next meeting will be in June when we will have a workshop run by Bereavement Services at PAH, and our usual chats and Q&A, and hopefully cake will be available!

We have had an incredibly positive response from an article in the Harlow Harrier – we’ve received around 100 emails offering help and support, which is amazing. We are obviously doing something right! (NB our our lists are now closed for the April training – but do go to our website andsubscribe to receive our newsletter and keep an eye on the news page for upcoming events).

Harlow Harrier link…


We are eagerly awaiting confirmation from the Charity Commission with our registration number – when people told us it would take months…. it seems they were right! We’ll make sure that all our supporters are aware once it arrives as the next push is to start raise money to support this amazing team of people at PAH, and then move on to the next hospital to start working the magic!

So – to round off – thank you to all the volunteers, and the amazing ART team, whether they are Butterflies, admin & IT supporters, members of staff at PAH, and beyond… we really couldn’t do any of this important work without the fantastic support we receive on a daily basis.

Thinking of a new strapline…. the ART of compassion…. thoughts anyone?

Liz & Jo


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