A project which makes sure that terminally-ill patients at an adult hospice aren’t isolated during the coronavirus pandemic has received a huge boost, thanks to Foundation Derbyshire and the National Emergencies Trust (NET).

Treetops Hospice Care, in Risley, launched its ‘Cake and Care’ initiative in March. With staff no longer preparing meals on site for patients, the kitchen was turned into a cake-making enterprise with tasty treats being made daily.

These cakes were then distributed to those in need, along with messages of support, craft activities, puzzles and other useful resources to more than 80 patients self-isolating in their own homes.

The scheme was an instant success and, thanks to a £20,800 grant from Foundation Derbyshire and NET’s Coronavirus Relief Fund, the ‘Cake and Care’ Project will continue to provide 80 patients with a package, once a week for four further weeks.

Treetops is critical to their care

Treetops Trust and In-Memory fundraiser, Julie Walker, said:

“Our patients are the most vulnerable people in our community. They are in the high-risk category and are following Government advice on self-isolation and social distancing.

“Now, in addition to their needs and worries relating to their illness, our patients and their families have the added anxiety of not receiving the care they need, of catching Coronavirus and coping with the mental health challenges of isolation.

“Treetops is critical to their care; for their physical and mental health. We provide love and support, fun and friends, practical help in managing their conditions, counselling and emotional support in coping with their illness and preparing for death, in a safe and supportive environment.

 

An emergency initiative to provide love and community care during this difficult time

Cake and Care was launched so that Treetops can continue to give this support. It’s an emergency initiative to provide love and community care during this difficult time.

“Our staff make regular half-hour welfare telephone calls and provide a weekly visit delivering cake, puzzles and well-wishes.

“One of our patients, Betty, is 91 years old. She usually attends the ‘Get Moving’ chair-based exercise sessions we hold every week at Treetops but, because she is self-isolating, Betty hasn’t been able to leave her home.

“Betty looks forward to the weekly Cake and Care package and said it was ‘like being a child on Christmas morning’.

“Charities have been hit hard by the Coronavirus pandemic and we estimate that we could lose up to £1.4m. Thanks to Foundation Derbyshire, though, we will be able to continue with our ‘Cake and Care’ scheme and for that we are extremely grateful.

“Our initial application was for £5,000 so to receive more than four times this is absolutely amazing.”

Such a worthwhile cause

Sarah Stainhope, from Foundation Derbyshire, said:

“Foundation Derbyshire would like to thank staff and volunteers at Treetops Hospice Care for their work with local communities during the current crisis.

“We understand that the Cake and Care initiative is a practical and positive way for Treetops to stay connected to their Wellbeing patients, who are now isolated. The grants panel had no issues with awarding a revised upwards figure of £20,800 for such a worthwhile cause.”

Treetops Hospice Care costs £4.3m every year to run but continues to offer a completely free service to support people with life-limiting conditions such as cancer, neurological conditions, heart and respiratory conditions. It also supports their carers and families.