Large group of people wearing aprons and holding birthday muffins

We are giving out over 3,000 pieces of birthday cake through our charity shops this week, including some special muffins iced by Treetops patients, counselling clients, volunteers, and staff.

Amongst those taking part were siblings Fraser and Chelsea Higgins who attend our Huntington’s Disease Support Group. Fraser is living with the disease and his sister, Chelsea, is one of his carers.

I can be myself at Treetops

Fraser said: “I don’t always like going to new places, but if I know I’m coming here it makes me want to leave the house. I can be myself here and I know that no-one is judging me, so I can relax.”
Chelsea added: “As Fraser’s carer, I know that we can come here, have a cup of tea, get information and we’re not scared to ask questions. We have found out about other things that can help us as a family, too.”
The special muffins feature an edible cake topper emblazoned with a specially-commissioned Treetops Hospice 40th birthday logo. The muffins and other cakes will be handed out to those visiting Treetops 19 charity shops across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire this week.
Fraser and Chelsea (centre) with Ali Jordan, Deputy Wellbeing Manager, and Fiona Palmer, hospice cook
Aimee Rosso, Fiona Palmer (Treetops cook) and Rosemary Wright
Also taking part in the cake icing was Rosemary Wright. Rosemary attended bereavement counselling at Treetops, following the unexpected deaths of her daughter Deb and husband Ken.
Deb had developed earache and when a course of antibiotics didn’t work, a trip to A&E revealed the diagnosis of oesophageal cancer.

Bereavement counselling support

Rosemary said: “From her initial diagnosis, we had six weeks with Deb. It was such a shock as she was so fit and healthy.” Rosemary’s husband Ken never recovered from their loss. “Ken had a heart problem and went downhill after Deb died. He never really got over it and ended up not wanting to live which was hard to take. We’d been together for 60 years.
“I’d never had counselling before, so I was a bit wary. But my counsellor, Ian, was a very caring and kind person and drew things out of me.
“He helped me realise I hadn’t really had time to grieve myself, that it was put on hold. Without counselling, I think I would have just muddled through and carried on as best as I could.”
Sarah Rose, Volunteer Counsellor with Tilly and mum, Emma
Sarah Roe, volunteers as a bereavement counsellor at Treetops, supporting children and adults.
"Treetops Hospice is very special. I’ve experienced a lot of bereavement and to be in this close-knit, professional community is an honour."

Treetops caring for local patients

Treetops cook, Fiona Palmer, has been working around the clock to create all the tasty homemade birthday treats, which include gingerbread, flapjacks, lemon drizzle, and a blueberry and lemon loaf cake.
“This is our way of thanking the local community for helping Treetops Hospice to reach this amazing milestone,” said Julie Heath, Chief Executive.
“We’re really proud to have cared for thousands of patients and their loved ones at the most challenging time of their lives since the charity began.
“Our care has changed such a lot over the last 40 years. Now, more than ever, patients are choosing to receive our care in the comfort of their own home. We’re also taking our support and information out into the local community to make it even more accessible.
Julie Heath, Treetops Chief Executive, with Fiona Palmer, Treetops Cook

Dedicated staff and volunteers

“This wouldn’t be possible, though, without the hard work and dedication of our staff and our volunteers who help across the whole hospice and out in our charity shops, and our wonderful supporters.
Without them all, we just wouldn’t be the charity we are today.