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As part of Carers Week 2019, three local charities are coming together to celebrate the work of carers in Renfrewshire by hosting two free events for anyone who is looking after or supporting a loved one on Wednesday 12 June. These will take place from 10am until 2pm in:

– Linstone Housing Association Building, Linwood
– Methodist Church Halls, Paisley

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The event is jointly hosted by St. Vincent’s Hospice, Accord Hospice and the Carers Centre and will feature manned information stands highlighting the services which are available to carers throughout the community.

Discussing the event, Director of Care at St. Vincent’s Hospice, Brona McGee, said: “At St. Vincent’s, we know all too well the important role that carers play in so many lives, but also that this can be hard, and put a lot of pressure on both people and families.

Clinical Services Manager Brian Hunter from ACCORD Hospice reiterated this message by saying “It is a great opportunity to work together, three organisations with the same vision of supporting the people who look after people.”

This year, the theme of carer’s week is ‘Getting Carers Connected with their Community’ which is exactly what these three organisations are trying to do in partnership to bring this information into the community itself.

The day will include manned information stands about services which may be of help, as well as ‘Advice-works’ who will be offering a wide range of money and debt advice solutions. There will also be the opportunity for some complimentary therapy and advice on self-care.

Each year, Carers Week aims to highlight the challenges faced by unpaid carers and recognise the contribution they make to families across the UK.

This event is free to attend for any carer living in Renfrewshire, with refreshments provided. For more information call:

St. Vincent’s Hospice – 01505 705 635 or email Isobel.McWilliams@svh.co.uk.
ACCORD Hospice – 0141 5812000 or email brian.hunter@accord.org.uk
Carers Centre – 0141 8873643 or email Diane@renfrewshirecarers.org.uk

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Victoria Hamilton, from Kilmacolm, is running the Loch Ness Marathon in memory of her dad because she is “determined” to raise £10,000 for St. Vincent’s Hospice to thank them for their care and support.

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After being diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer Tom Maitland (Victoria’s dad), was admitted to St. Vincent’s Hospice in October 2018 where he spent 27 days in their care, before sadly passing away on the 14th of November.

Victoria said: “Ultimately, I am running this marathon for St. Vincent’s Hospice because I can. I have legs that work and have seen first-hand what happens when cancer robs someone of their physical strength. I feel I owe them for the compassion, professionalism, kindness and expertise they showed my beloved dad and our entire family for the 27 days he was in their care, until he lost his battle with cancer.

“The days and weeks leading up to Dad’s admission were dark. His illness had taken grip and spread to his brain. Every day he seemed to deteriorate further. We were close to breaking point, and simply didn’t know where else to turn.

“From the moment he was admitted to St. Vincent’s, we felt rescued. I had always naively thought a hospice was a place you went to die; but now I know that a hospice is a place you go to live. Where you need not suffer any pain. A place where emotional support is available around the clock for the family and a patient’s last breath is made as dignified and as comfortable as possible.”

St. Vincent’s Hospice is a specialist provider of palliative and Hospice care for people and families affected by life-limiting conditions all across Renfrewshire. They provide this in a number of ways, from comprehensive care in their Inpatient Unit, to support with wellness and symptom control in their Day Services, and even within the comfort of people’s own homes throughout the community.

Each year, it costs nearly £2.5 million to provide these services, more than half of which is generated through voluntary donations and fundraising.

Victoria added: “For the 27 days my dad was under their care, I estimate that it would have taken approximately £10,000 of charity funding to provide his care alone. It is my mission to repay these costs as a small gesture for my family’s gratitude for being our salvation when we needed it most.”

The Loch Ness Marathon takes place on the 6th of October 2019. To support Victoria and help her reach this incredible target, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/victoria-hamilton7

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8-year-old- Malcolm Tarbert has raised more than £400 for St. Vincent’s Hospice in a very unique way – by wearing shorts every single day since September 2018.

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Malcolm, a pupil from Ralston Primary School, decided to support the local charity after they took care of his Grandpa and always made him feel welcome when he came to visit. After seeing a similar idea on television, he took up the challenge and lasted an incredible 181 days through the Scottish winter wearing shorts every day to raise sponsor money.

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Malcolm’s Mum, Abigail Tarbert, said: “We are so proud of Malcolm. Honestly, it has been all him! When he first said he was going to wear shorts every day, we just assumed he would lose interest, so we just left it to see if it fizzled out. It didn’t – all through winter and right into spring, he was adamant he was wearing shorts for the Hospice.

“St. Vincent’s looked after his Grandpa towards the end of his life, and we all remember how welcome and comfortable we were made to feel any time we came in to visit him. The place holds a special place in all of our hearts, we already have a tree and a brick on the Woodland Walk in his memory. Malcolm decided he wanted to do something on his own and he’s already trying to think of what else he can do for his next ‘challenge’…I heard something about breaking a world record, but we’ll take it one at a time.”

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St. Vincent’s Hospice is a specialist provider of palliative and Hospice care for people and families across Renfrewshire who are affected by life-limiting conditions. This includes bereavement support for relatives, as well as children and young people who have suffered the loss of a loved one.

Fundraiser for St. Vincent’s Hospice, Laura McDade, said: “We are all so impressed by Malcolm and his dedication to raising money for our Hospice. For someone who is just eight to already understand how important the work we do is, and feel connected enough to our services to get sponsors and stick to a challenge for so long is amazing!

“Every year, it costs nearly £2.5 million every year to run our Hospice, and donations like this go directly towards offering real care and support for local people who are going through some very difficult times. On behalf of all of us, thank you Malcolm!”

For more information on how you can support St. Vincent’s Hospice, visit: www.SVH.co.uk. 

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At St. Vincent’s Hospice’s Strictly Come Prancing dance event, the unlikely duo of Lynn Ferguson and 81-year-old Alex Glass shocked both the audience and the judges by beating 12 other couples to win the competition.

The 8th annual Strictly Come Prancing, based on the hit TV series, was the biggest in the organisations history with nearly 500 people in attendance, raising an astonishing £57,500 for the local charity.

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With 13 twinkle toed contestants taking to the floor, the audience were treated to quicksteps, cha-chas, jives, sambas and tangos as the couples looked to impress the judges following months of training and preparation, all to support St. Vincent’s.

Senior Fundraiser for the Hospice, Louise Strachan, said: “What a great night this was! So much hard work and effort was involved in the lead up and owe a great debt of thanks to all involved. From Barr + Wray ltd (our headline sponsors for the event) to our choreographers, judges, make-up artists, local businesses, supporters and of course our incredible dancers who have given us so much of their time and dedication to fundraise and rehearse.

“Their efforts were not in vain, as this was our biggest Strictly event to date, raising a whopping £57,500, which will go directly towards helping St. Vincent’s to care for people in Renfrewshire and beyond who are affected by a life-limiting illness.”

Argentine Tango Dancers, Lynn and Alex, put their best feet forward and triumphed in the dance off against joint runners up, Martin Innes and Toni Kane and Joe McCrystal and Morag Lewis.
Alex said: “It was a joy to win the trophy and help raise such an amazing amount of money for St. Vincent’s. I have had such a wonderful time taking part and would recommend this experience to anyone. You’re never too old – I’m 81!”

His partner on the evening, Lynn, added: “I had a fantastic time taking part in Strictly. I met great people, from fellow dancers, to Hospice staff and volunteers, it was just a great experience for a great cause and I can’t believe we won!”

The Hospice are already looking forward to Strictly Come Prancing 2020 and welcome all applications from potential dancers and sponsors. For more information, contact Info@svh.co.uk.

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Due to the hard work of the Change Lochwinnoch Campaign and St. Vincent’s Hospice Volunteers, the charity shop in the heart of the village will begin its major refurbishment on Friday 1st March 2019.

Having hit their ambitious target, the shop is now set for a complete refurbishment, creating a modern, warm and welcoming space for the community to enjoy while continuing to raise vital funds for the charity.
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The Change Lochwinnoch project was launched by a group of volunteers in the local community who have close ties to the life changing work of St. Vincent’s Hospice and the importance that donations to their charity shop make to their services.

Commenting on the work, Trading Support Manager for St. Vincent’s Hospice, Fiona Campbell, said: “The level of support our Hospice receives from the community in Lochwinnoch really is second to none, and we have been blown away by the work and dedication they have put in to make this refurbishment a reality!

“Each year our shops generate more than £400,000 which goes directly towards supporting the work of our Hospice. Not only will these changes to the shop help patients and families all throughout Renfrewshire, but it will also be a hub for the community, a place for people to meet, chat, make new friends and bring people together.”

St. Vincent’s Hospice is a specialist provider of palliative and Hospice care for individuals and families affected by life-limiting conditions from across Renfrewshire.

In the last year alone, the Hospice offered care for hundreds of families across Renfrewshire through their eight bed In-patient Unit, Day Hospice Service and in the comfort of people’s own homes with their Community Nurse Specialists team.

Fiona added: “Work will be ongoing in the shop throughout the month of March, and we owe a massive debt of thanks to every single person who has helped make this possible. Thank you!”

For more information and updates, follow St. Vincent’s Hospice on Facebook, @StVincentsHosp on Instagram and Twitter, or visit www.SVH.co.uk.

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Barr + Wray, a world leading provider of pool and spa design alongside water engineering, has pledged its support to St. Vincent’s Hospice by becoming headline sponsor for their hugely popular Strictly Come Prancing event this Spring.

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St. Vincent’s Hospice’s award nominated event Strictly Come Prancing is now in its eighth year and will take place on Friday 15 March at Ingliston Country Club & Hotel, aiming to raise vital funds to support the work of the Hospice.

Thirteen couples have been training hard for several months, and will compete on the night to win the prestigious trophy by performing a series of dance routines to impress the judges and live audience. The variety of Tangos, Quick -Steps, Waltz’s and Sambas will all be danced by couples who started out as non-dancers.

St. Vincent’s Hospice is a specialist provider of palliative and Hospice care for Renfrewshire and beyond, supporting families and patients who have been impacted by life limiting conditions.

Operations Director for Barr & Wray, Lorne Kennedy, said: “Barr + Wray take great pleasure in supporting local charities on an annual basis. St. Vincent’s Hospice is a highly commendable charity, providing care for all. We admire the hard work, love and support that go in to every aspect of the charity from the In-Patient Unit to the Day Hospice and the Community Nurse Specialists. Not to mention the support provided not only to the patients but their families and loved ones. B + W are proud to sponsor St. Vincent’s Hospice and give a little towards helping such a worthy charity.”

The evening will be hosted by their very own ‘Brucie’ and ‘Tess’ and will also feature performances from previous winners, contestants and professional dancers. An audience of approximately 500 will watch this spectacular event, including family, friends and Hospice supporters, as well as our panel of expert judges and a special guest.

Senior Fundraiser for St. Vincent’s Hospice, Louise Strachan, said: “On behalf of everyone at St Vincent’s Hospice, I want to say a heartfelt thank you to Barr & Wray for their continued support.

At St Vincent’s Hospice, we offer specialist palliative and Hospice care for people and families all across Renfrewshire and beyond who are impacted by life-limiting conditions.  Every year we have to raise more than £1.1 million to offer the level of support that we do for the community, making sure we are offering the right care, in the right way, for anyone who needs it.

This simply wouldn’t be possible without the wonderful support of the community, and we truly cannot thank Barr & Wray enough.  Their generosity and continued support will make such a huge difference to patients and families all around the community, at a time when they need it most.”

There are a very limited number of places left at what is sure to be a sell-out event. If you would like to purchase a ticket, support the hospice or be kept up to date with any fundraising events Email Info@svh.co.uk or call 07521988488.

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On Wednesday 6th February, St. Vincent’s Hospice is offering confidential legal advice sessions completely free of charge. This service is being provided courtesy of the voluntary support from trusted local solicitors. Sessions are open to any adult, however, as places are limited, priority will be given to people living in Renfrewshire.

Legacy and Trust Officer at St. Vincent’s Hospice, June Burgess, said: “We have received some extremely generous and kind offers of support from local solicitors, and we are very pleased to welcome them to St. Vincent’s to help anyone who needs legal advice and guidance.

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“The sessions will provide an introduction to professional advice and information to help with planning for the future – such as writing Wills, arranging powers of attorney and other legal matters. The service is provided without obligation or commitment. We know that people are often worried or anxious about discussing these issues, and we hope that this service will alleviate some of the pressure for individuals and families.”

Sessions are held in a private, comfortable, meeting room next to the Reception area of the Hospice, with appointments of up to 30 minutes available. Anyone who feels they could benefit is invited to get in touch and make an appointment between 11am and 1.30pm. Other dates will become available throughout the year.

Places are limited, so please contact:
June Burgess, St. Vincent’s Hospice
Midton Road, Howwood, Renfrewshire PA9 1AF
Tel: 01505 705635  Email: June.burgess@svh.co.uk

St. Vincent’s Hospice is a local charity, providing specialist palliative and Hospice care for people impacted by life-limiting conditions all across Renfrewshire.

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To mark the end of their 30th Anniversary, St. Vincent’s Hospice are having their hottest fundraising event ever, with a Firewalk on Tuesday 29th January.

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Teaming up with FireWalk Scotland, the Hospice are looking for people to sign up and face their fears, for this exciting challenge to support St. Vincent’s by doing something truly remarkable.

Commenting on the event, Fundraiser for St. Vincent’s Hospice, Linda Campbell, said: “Our 30th Anniversary year has been nothing short of spectacular, with some absolutely incredible events and support from people all across our Community. It only seems fitting that we close our 30th year in the same way, with this very special event, giving you the chance to do something you’d never think possible and literally walk through fire to raise money for a good cause.”

St. Vincent’s is a specialist provider of palliative and hospice care for people and families affected by life limiting conditions throughout Renfrewshire. Taking pride in offering the right care, at the right time, they offer support via their In-patient Unit, Day Services and in people’s own homes throughout the community.
They are also one of the few organisations in Renfrewshire to offer bereavement counselling and support for children and young people who have experienced the loss of a parent or loved one.

Jamie McKenzie, from FireWalk Scotland, said: “We are very excited to be teaming up with St. Vincent’s to put on this Fire walking event.  Not only will this help raise vital funds for the Hospice, and help so many people going through difficult times, but it is your chance to take part in an ancient ritual and rite of passage that is a truly unique experience.

“During the evening, you will learn how to conquer fear and how your minds can be turned to confidence and certainty, in any situation, focus on the future and your goals, rediscover your own inner power and use these new found skills to walk over hot coals, at temperatures of more than 800 degrees Celsius.”

The event begins at 6pm at St. Vincent’s Hospice and costs £37.90 to take part. For more information, contact Info@svh.co.uk.

Students from Gryffe High School are attempting to raise awareness of the issues facing young people who have lost a parent or loved one by sharing their own experiences, and pioneering a new approach to bereavement support in school.

In a collaboration between the Children and Young People’s Service at St. Vincent’s Hospice and Gryffe High School, the pupil’s own words and experiences of some of their hardest moments after the loss of a significant person in their life, and attempting to readjust to school life, have been shared as part of a new set of support and information materials, aimed at teachers, parents and other pupils.

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Children and Young Persons Bereavement at St. Vincent’s, Alison Provan, said “Being a teenager is a difficult time for anyone, there are so many changes going on in your life that it can be overwhelming at the best of times. Now imagine going through that after the death of a parent or someone close to you.

“Sadly, for most schools and teachers, the resources simply aren’t available to provide proper training and development to give staff the confidence and knowledge to effectively manage issues around bereavement.  The students felt so passionately that they wanted to help people to understand, that we thought this would be a fantastic opportunity to collaborate with Gryffe High School and develop materials which can make a real difference and offer tangible, practical support.”

As well as being a specialist provider of palliative and hospice care for people with life limiting conditions in Renfrewshire, St. Vincent’s Hospice also offers bereavement counselling and support for children and young people aged 2-18, helping them come to terms with major changes in their lives.

As part of the project, which included creating practical guides and advice for teachers, pupils and staff, the group created an “Advice from our Pupils” booklet. This listed significant incidents, issues, worries or concerns that the students had experienced while coming to terms with loss, written in their own words.  This has now been made available to all teachers and support staff across the school.

Andrew Findlay, Principal Teacher for Guidance at Gryffe High School, said: “The collaboration with St. Vincent’s is something that has been in development for a couple of years. Gill Brand, a fellow Guidance Teacher at Gryffe High School, and I identified a large gap in the universal support offered to young people within a school setting. As we supported pupils who were experiencing loss and bereavement, we found that there was no specific guidance for all pupils, staff and parents to follow to ensure the pupils and their families received the best, and most appropriate support required at such difficult times.

“Through conversation with Alison, who already supported a number of pupils within the school, we discussed the possibility of creating resources to aid that process. The relationships and confidence that she had built with the pupils, allowed a unique insight into the approach staff members could take to ensure an environment is created in which a pupil would feel safe and supported.”

These materials have now been rolled out across the school, and are available for all members of staff, pupils and parents, to help them gain a more meaningful understanding of bereavement and loss for children and young people. The materials, and more information, can be found at: http://www.svh.co.uk/services/supportive-care

Thorn Primary School

Pupils and teachers from Thorn Primary School in Johnstone have taken part in a “30 Challenge” for St. Vincent’s Hospice as part of their 30th Anniversary celebrations, raising an incredible £1,664.50.

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Primary 7 classes, teachers and staff each committed to walk, jog or run for 30 minutes every day for 30 days straight. Regardless of weather conditions, they faithfully brought their running kit to school every day to make sure they took part.

The primary 7 teachers, Mrs McLeod, Miss Murphy and Mrs Adams, were proud of all of the pupils for taking on this Challenge and giving it their all.

They said: “We noticed as the weeks went passed that there was an overall improvement in fitness and willingness to complete the challenge for such a worthy cause.  Our runs involved looping the entire school grounds which meant other pupils and staff could see our efforts, and often encouraged them to keep going. This definitely gave pupils the feel good factor.

“Pupils also did their own 30-minute walk, jog or run during the weekends and were supported greatly by parents in order to complete the Challenge.

“As teachers, we have felt really inspired by this 30-day Challenge and thoroughly enjoyed participating in and out of school. We are thankful to everyone who sponsored us and feel a great sense of achievement for the P7 pupils of Thorn and of course the money raised for St. Vincent’s which is such a worthy, local cause.”

If you would like to take part in your own 30 challenge, contact the Hospice directly info@svh.co.uk.