The Hospice and the Ivy
Our history with Tamar’s Lifeline Charity has seen the Tamar team travel as far as Cape Town and Shanghai, but this year we were slightly closer to home with the a rather shorter trip to a very chilly Sydenham.
This year we wanted to volunteer for a charity or hospice and hospices don’t come more inspirational than St Christopher’s Hospice in South London. The hospice was started by Dame Cicely Saunders in the 60’s and her vision remains today at the heart of St Christopher’s and the reason thousands of health and social care professionals attend the Education Centre seeking the highest standards in palliative care.
What did we do?
We said we would do whatever was useful to them… Anything! So yesterday we rubbed, pulled, stuffed and folded.
The more robust and well wrapped of us were outside and spent the day removing a huge mass of ivy that was growing all over the garden main fence and building, in total we stuffed about 40 garden sacks of ivy and cut the remaining ivy roots so it’s easier to pull next year. Particular thanks for Tamar’s finest muscle Aqil Rouf and Andrew Mobbs whose competitive streak certainly helped make the day go faster.
Inside the main hospice is a wonderful memory tree where family and friends can add an engraved brass leaf in memory of a loved one. They get tarnished over time, so a few of us removed, polished and returned each one safely so next time they visit their leaf will be sparkling!
Fundraising this year is down, so the team at St Christopher’s are doing a mass mailing for their Christmas raffle to boost funds. A more sedentary task, a few of us folded, stuffed and sealed over 2000 mail outs, with particular thanks to Helen Booth for her dedication to the cause who barely moved from her seat all day. Hopefully it will help towards reaching their fund raising targets.
The day was a learning experience for many, if not about the growing capabilities of ivy or the perils of paper folding (paper cuts!) then the compassion and positive attitude of St. Christopher’s and their shared goal in ensuring their patients have the very best of end of life care.
Of course hospices aren’t about buildings but people and a big thank you to all at St Christopher’s for your warm welcome and Paul Fennelly in particular for sharing St Christopher’s story.
As with our all TLC projects, we’ll keep in touch with St Christopher’s and if you’re ever doing a fun run or looking for a worthwhile charity, you couldn’t have a more grateful team for your hard earned donations.