Although the world may be a very different place this Christmas, Phyllis Tuckwell will continue to offer the same supportive and end of life care.


Phyllis Tuckwell is facing the toughest winter it has seen since it first opened its doors, over 40 years ago. Coronavirus has affected every aspect of its care and, as winter approaches and Covid cases increase once again, it could be facing another peak, but this time at Christmas. When families should be joining together for the festive season, they will instead face even more time apart.


Phyllis Tuckwell’s staff and volunteers always do everything they can to make Christmas special for their patients and families, who are living with an advanced or terminal illness, such as cancer. In previous years, local schools came to the Hospice to sing carols, Christmas parties were held and Santa gave out gifts, stockings filled with chocolates and toiletries were left by the door of inpatients’ rooms, and everyone enjoyed Christmas lunch with all the trimmings.


Because of Covid, things will be very different this year, but the care which Phyllis Tuckwell provides will remain the same, and its staff and volunteers will still do all they can to bring festive joy to their patients and families. Its In-Patient Unit never closes, and it will continue to remain open 24/7 throughout the festive season, caring for, supporting and comforting patients and families. Its Care at Home team will continue to visit patients and families in their own homes, wearing PPE for each visit and providing specialist nursing care and support. Its Living Well team will continue to phone and video call patients, and make doorstep visits to drop off specialist equipment and Resource packs, containing goodies such as tea, coffee, biscuits and complementary therapy oils and lotions. And its virtual groups will continue to bring staff, patients and families together, sharing tips to improve wellbeing, and combatting loneliness and isolation.


All of the care which Phyllis Tuckwell offers it patients and their families is given free of charge, but in order to do this it has to raise over £20,000 a day, and with many of its shops closed and fundraising events cancelled this year due to Covid, it needs your help more than ever to hit this target.


Just £12 could pay for Christmas dinner with all the trimmings, for a patient or visitor on its In-Patient Unit. £20 could pay for an hour’s counselling for a relative who is facing this Christmas without their loved one, and £50 could pay for one of its Health Care Assistants to spend two hours making doorstep visits to Living Well patients over the festive season.


“Reaching out to our patients and their families may be harder since Coronavirus hit the UK, but that won’t stop us,” says Rachel Copes, Living Well Sister at Phyllis Tuckwell. “If anything, we’re even more determined to be there for them, because they need us now more than ever.”