Rennie Grove Hospice Care
“It’s such a comfort that Dad’s wishes were met” Dave Holling, 52, from High Wycombe, explains how Rennie Grove Hospice Care looked after his father, Arthur, following his terminal cancer diagnosis
Dave Hilling, like so many of us, didn’t know much about his local hospice until his father, Arthur, was diagnosed with throat, lung and kidney cancer in February 2016. “Although my dad was nearly 90, he had generally had good health,” says Dave. “So it was a shock to hear the news. Then Dad told us he didn’t want treatment and wanted to be cared for at home with my mum, Pam. At first, we weren’t sure if this would be possible, but then our GP put us in touch with Rennie Grove Hospice Care.
“A lovely nurse called Emma came to see us to explain what services were available to us,” remembers Dave. “It was a huge relief as we realised that, with their help, we would be able to have Dad at home, as he wished. My sister, Sue, was wonderful and helped Mum with much of Dad’s care, even administering his daily injections for pain relief. Emma along with another nurse, Barbara, came frequently to ensure that Dad was comfortable and that Mum and Sue were both coping well.
“It was a relief to know that nursing help was on hand around the clock to manage Dad’s condition. He had days when he would feel down and quiet, but he cheered up immeasurably when the nurses arrived, and we would suddenly get our dad back. He’d laugh and joke that he didn’t know what all the fuss was about, and that there was nothing wrong with him!”
Arthur, a distinguished World War Two veteran, was a much-loved and respected man in the village of Holmer Green in High Wycombe, where he lived with Pam. Despite his failing health in the months that followed, Arthur was able to celebrate a series of significant events – from his 90th birthday in March 2016 to the annual Grenadier Guards’ Day in Aldershot in July, and his and Pam’s 61st wedding anniversary in August.
“He enjoyed each occasion,” remembers Dave. “We had a super family party for his 90th. Aldershot was a special day for Dad – he always said he spent eight of his 90 years in the army, but they were among the best years of his life and he made many lifelong friends. He wore his army medals proudly and spoke to the Colonel of the Regiment, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, reminding the Duke that he was part of the guard of honour at his wedding to Princess Elizabeth in 1947. But I think the most important event was his wedding anniversary – he and Mum had a very happy marriage.”
The staff at Rennie Grove are able to answer the most sensitive of questions in
a precise and tactful manner using terminology that families can easily understand, keeping them involved in decisions being made about a loved one’s care. They are available for patients and families 24 hours a day and the family contacted the team on several occasions to ask advice over the phone about medication.
Pam called them for help one evening when she was struggling to lift Arthur from his chair and take him to bed. Pam and Arthur were given the assistance that they needed quickly and with kindness. The charity is also on the ball with practical help and advice, dealing with health and social care services to ensure that any equipment a patient may need for their mobility or safety is accessed quickly to avoid added stress for the family.
A few weeks before Arthur died, the family were finding it hard to manage his care at home and the strain of the previous months was taking its toll. With the help of the nurses, it was arranged for Arthur to spend his last days in Florence Nightingale Hospice at Stoke Mandeville Hospital. Arthur left his home for the last time and passed away peacefully on 31 October 2016.
Since then, Dave has been working with Rennie Grove as a volunteer and fundraiser. “My wife, Joanne, encouraged me to take up running and I began with a couch-to-park run. As my training increased, I decided to enter the London Marathon. The morning of the marathon came, and I wasn’t sure if I could do it. The most I’d run in training was 17 miles. However, it was an incredible experience and I completed it in just under six hours, though I might have bagged a better time had I not spotted Rennie Grove staff at around 18 miles – they gave me a doughnut and I had an ice cream from my son to keep me going. I don’t think I’ll do another marathon, but I’ll keep on fundraising.”
Dave has raised an amazing £9,000 for Rennie Grove Hospice Care so far – part of which came from a Bingo and Bubbles event that he and Joanne organised. It was a great success – a glass of Champagne and a fun game of bingo with prizes donated by Dave’s work contacts. Dave says, “The fact that the event did well is testament to the affection people feel for Rennie Grove Hospice Care. I also think that those who knew and loved my dad wanted to do something to raise money. I’ll continue to fundraise and help whenever I can so that other families can receive the specialist care that Rennie Grove afforded to my inspirational, loving and courageous dad when he really needed it.”
Rennie Grove Hospice Care
TOTAL RAISED: £17,607
➸ Funds raised in The Candis Big Give will help to provide 24/7 care and support needed for children and babies to receive end-of-life care at home, surrounded by their families. It will fund 85 days of nursing care from a specialist Children’s Hospice at Home Nurse to provide medical care for the child and support for the family.
Rennie Grove Hospice Care offers specialist care for people in Buckinghamshire and west Hertfordshire with a life-limiting illness. The service at home is available at all times for patients and their families to make every moment special
The charity has a range of Family Support and Day Services and an Information Centre at Grove House, St Albans, where care programmes are devised to meet individual needs
The 24-hour responsive model of care is recognised nationally as best practice; the charity also works with other hospices nationwide that wish to develop a Hospice at Home service
CANDIS CLUB ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
To be held on 18 November 2019 at 10am, at the offices of Newhall Publishing Ltd, New Hall Lane, Hoylake, Wirral CH47 4BQ.Agenda:
➸ To receive the minutes of the previous AGM of Candis Club.
➸ To receive an audited report and statement concerning the finances and activities of Candis Club for the year ending 31 March 2019.
➸ To consider any proposals for the election of members to the General Committee.
➸ Questions from the floor.
DONATIONS TO DATE
We never forget it’s YOUR subscriptions that enable Candis Club to give huge amounts to charities. Our running total shows how much
to the Cancer and Polio Research Fund (1962 to 2002)
to the National Asthma Campaign (1990 to 2002)
to Marie Curie (1998 to 2012)
to Macmillan Cancer Support (1993 to 2013)
to Bliss, the special care baby charity (1990 to 2009)
to Liverpool University’s Cancer Tissue Bank Research Centre (1989 to 1993)
to the British Heart Foundation (2002 to 2008)
to local groups via the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) (1990 to 2009)
to ICAN (1989)
to Tommy’s, the baby charity (2006 to 2009)
to Children’s Hospices UK (2008 to 2010)
to charities in The Candis Big Give
TOTAL TO DATE
Make a difference
We’ve highlighted some of the charities taking part in The Candis Big Give. For a full list, and details of the life-changing projects they’re raising money for, visit candis.co.uk/charity
What it does: Works with healthcare professionals to share knowledge and support those with diabetes.
Candis Big Give project: To fund research to prevent Type 1 diabetes.
Total raised: £13,481
What it does: Supports those affected by childhood cancer.
Candis Big Give project: To develop the charity’s ROCK (Reaching Out to Cancer Kids) project.
Location: South-east England
Total raised: £9,000
What it does: Provides respite care to children who have life- limiting conditions.
Candis Big Give project: Money raised will pay for two specialist members of the play team as well as toys and sensory equipment.
Location: Dorset and Wiltshire
Total raised: £41,493
LITTLE GATE FARM
What it does: Supports adults with learning disabilities into paid work and independence.
Candis Big Give project: To provide job coaching to ten adults and provide a holiday club for 30 children.
Total raised: £3,499
SEBASTIAN’S ACTION TRUST
What it does: Offers support and respite holidays to seriously ill children and their families. Candis Big Give project: To support families of seriously ill children.
Total raised: £27,000
TYNESIDE AND NORTHUMBERLAND MIND
What it does: Helps and supports people with mental health problems.
Candis Big Give project: To reduce isolation via the Safe Space service.
Location: Tyne and Wear
Total raised: £7,396
How buying a subscription helps…
In 2019, Candis Club will donate at least £250,000 from members’ magazine subscription revenue to health charities taking part in The Candis Big Give. Any additional funds will go to charities at the discretion of the General Committee of Candis Club.