Dear friends and colleagues. We are all overdue for an update…

Firstly we just wanted to reassure you that Skanda Vale Hospice will reopen (with a big celebration) as soon as it is safe to do so.

Having to close our doors as a direct result of the pandemic has been difficult and we don’t underestimate the impact it has on many people’s lives, especially all the beautiful people we are so privileged to care for, so thank you for your messages of support and your patience.

Like many other charities, with our fundraising events cancelled and shops closed, income this year is now a fraction of what we had budgeted. Financially, we have taken a massive hit and with uncertain times ahead, we know we cannot afford to run and develop the hospice sustainably in the same way as before. A big change is required.

Lockdown is giving us time to look carefully at what we do well, the needs of our patients and their families, the amazing qualities of our team, but crucially it has also given us the time and space to look objectively at our founder Guru Sri Subramanium’s original vision of our hospice service being primarily managed, led and delivered by volunteers in loving service to humanity.

This time is a positive opportunity to reignite Guru’s vision because we know, from decades of experience, that the volunteering model is our model. This is not some concept born in a boardroom – this is what we are.

Returning to the volunteer model is like coming home after a long night out. It feels familiar and comforting. We have a new sense of clarity and gentle confidence in the knowledge that we’ll be reverting to our founding principles.

Meanwhile, the trustees have been meeting online each week, working hard behind the scenes with our plans to relaunch and develop our person-centred service in a sustainable way that adheres to our founder’s original vision. In the next few years, we will open our end-of-life service and extend our existing respite and day hospice. We will achieve this with volunteers (supported by a small team of paid nurses).

We have a lot of work to do. Over the coming weeks, we will be assembling a planning group drawing upon the expertise and experience of members of our team. Our plans are still on the drawing board, but we look forward to sharing more news as soon the details become clearer.

Cath Thompson

It is with sadness that we announce the departure of Cath Thompson our Clinical Lead.

From the moment we met Cath we knew we had found someone special. Cath has profound empathy. She keeps things simple and real by always seeing and acting from the patient’s point of view. Anyone who has had the privilege to work with Cath will tell you how inspiring and energising her approach is. We will miss her very much.

Here are some words from Cath that she has asked us to share with you all:

“We find ourselves living a new reality with different challenges and opportunities. A healthy sustainable organisation is realistic in its aims and is quick to adapt and change to meet the changing needs of people who require our support.

Skanda Vale Hospice has changed and developed through the years to meet such a need. The changes it now needs to undergo will be but another step in continuing its valuable work.

I have been blessed to have been a part of these changes over the last five years but it is now time for a new lead to guide the transition into the next phase of service to others.

I will leave the organisation at the end of October, proud of what we as a team have achieved. It has been a privilege to be part of an organisation that truly cares and I wish you continued passion to deliver person-centred care for all you continue to meet.

Thank you for your dedication, friendship and love.”

Peace and blessings to you all – Cath Thompson

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