Comfort packs gratefully received thanks to charitable donation

People being cared for at home by staff from our hospice are benefiting from the kindness of the family of a former patient.

When Pauline Lawson died last year from cancer, her daughter Carole Tinsley donated the £400 collected in her memory to the Community Specialist Palliative Care Team, who are using it to make up special ‘comfort packs’ of essential items that patients and families may find helpful including toiletries and other pamper items.

Carole, who recently retired as a District Nurse after starting out in the NHS in 1983, said: “I can’t thank the community team enough for the care and support they gave mum and me during what was an extremely difficult time. Even though I trained as a nurse I couldn’t have managed on my own without their visits, I’m so thankful.”

The packs are designed to make life a little easier for patients who are approaching the end of life and being cared for by the Community Specialist Palliative Care Team, said Sarah Bell, from Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH), who heads the 10-strong Community Specialist Palliative Care Team, which is currently looking after around 100 Doncaster people in home settings.

“We are so grateful to Carole for her donation, which is paying for items like mouthcare products, neck pillows and shampoo caps, it can often be the small things that make a difference at such a difficult time for families and that was one of the reasons why we started the comfort packs, added Sarah.

“Because of the nature of our work we get to know the families we support very well and can personalise some of the items we provide to suit the specific needs of patients and their families. Some, for example, have young children so we provide gifts for them in the packs, such as pens and colouring books.

“They are all very well received.”

Hospice fundraiser Lindsey Richards said: “Carole’s gift has been really welcomed, as our income from charitable donations is really down this year due to the impact of Covid. Thanks also to other people who have donated items to fill the packs. Every penny we receive in charitable donations is spent on added extras to enhance the care we provide for our patients.”

B Walls and Beth Haywood, Community Specialist Palliative Care Nurses, holding some of the packs