By Your Call Publishing | ,

National Garden Scheme - February/March 24

Supporting Hospice Care

Since the National Garden Scheme’s founding in 1927, visitors have supported palliative care charities by payment of the nominal gate fee entitling them to wander happily through glorious gardens.

Hospice UK – one such beneficiary – represents the phenomenal work of our nation’s hospices. “The NGS is the largest funder of our work, donating an incredible £7 million in support of hospice care since 1996,” explains Kate Redding, Corporate Partnerships Manager. “We’re so proud of our partnership with them which helps us support hospices across the country and has funded vital projects, grants and bursaries.”

The only Warwickshire hospice to offer inpatient beds since its 1982 opening, Myton has supported over 20,000 patients (end-of-life or with life-limiting conditions) at its 3 sites of Warwick, Coventry and Rugby. Myton offers vital services - Respite Care, Myton at Home and Patient & Carer Wellbeing, counselling and varied therapies – always free of charge to patients and their families. 

At the Warwick site, fronted by pine trees in a quiet residential area in what was a children’s home, all visitors are welcomed by warm-hearted receptionist Vicky, the entrance hall lined with information sheets and fundraising gifts. A bevy of homemade jams with knitted lid-covers reminds us that staunch volunteers ply their talents at all times to help boost funds.

Shakespeare Hospice artwork by patients

Bedrooms look out onto well-tended gardens, with French windows enabling patients to take their ease in the fresh air. (At the Coventry Walsgrave Hospital site, built in 2009, the garden is tended by volunteers, some of whom open for the NGS). A peaceful place for reflection is a must in any hospice setting. Here, the heartfelt declaration (pictured) by Hospice movement founder Dame Cicely Saunders adorns the multi-faith Sanctuary which doubles as a wedding, christening and blessings venue.

Thirteen miles further south on a bitterly cold January afternoon, Shakespeare Hospice nurses Liz and Alison are preparing for the evening’s palliative Hospice at Home visits out of historic Shottery village’s Shakespeare Hospice. This crucial aspect of palliative care offers patients the comfort of final days in their own home, surrounded by loved ones and familiar surroundings. There are no inpatient beds in this day hospice designed with light airy rooms where patients, carers and the pre- and post-bereaved can meet and discuss what matters to them at their leisure. The recently completed Sensory Garden has been funded by Shakespeare patron Sir Peter Rigby who takes a very active role in the life of this hospice.

The Shakespeare also offers specialist Transitional Care for young adults with life-limiting conditions who are in the challenging process of moving from paediatric to adult services, with tailored care plans supported by clinicians who will sometimes accept patients from outside county borders. There is a monthly Motor Neurone Disease clinic offering practical and emotional support to patients who, as with Transitional Care, travel in from outside South Warwickshire borders. Counselling and complementary therapies provide further effective support to patients and their families.

Living fully before passing peacefully is the very essence of all hospice care delivered day in, day out. This wellspring of compassion gives comfort and upliftment to patients past, present, and yet to come. "I've had such incredible experiences throughout my life, and it couldn't be completed without something as special as Myton...".

Dame Cicely Saunders quote, Sanctuary, Myton Hospice

Text © Lily Farrah
Photographs © Lily Farrah