The Saint Francis Hospice Blog

Welcome to the Saint Francis Hospice blog.
We'll be bringing you thoughts, views and insight from our staff, volunteers, supporters and patients. If you have an idea for a blog, please get in touch, we'd love to hear from you!

Nicola Stananought in her PPE 2 (cropped)

Community team - Caring for a covid-19 patient

Nicola Stananought

Many of our patients express a clear wish that when they are less well, they want to remain in their own home; they want to be comfortable, they want their dignity maintained and they want their loved ones near. 

Nasreen with her husband and three children

Dying Matters Week - Talking about death without shame or fear

Nasreen Al-Azami

As part of Dying Matters Week (11-17 May), Nasreen Al-Azami, whose husband Nabeel was under our care and whose family were supported by our bereavement service, reflects on the importance of talking about death and dying and the difference it made to her family. 

One of our OrangeLine volunteers on the phone (cropped)

OrangeLine - Our phonecalls are a lifeline to the lonely

Anita Millar

Reaching out from kitchens, dining rooms, bedrooms and even the garden, are our wonderful OrangeLine volunteers.

Sue Spong (2) (cropped)

Bereavement Support - My work at Saint Francis Hospice is all about relationship

Sue Spong

My work at Saint Francis Hospice is all about relationship - A therapeutic relationship between myself and one of our patients, a family member, both together or at times the whole family.

Klaire Craven with a bespoke aromatherapy blend and information 3 (3) (cropped)

Empowering patients and families

Klaire Craven 

Generally, our patients get a lot of comfort and relief from the therapeutic touch that we offer within our complementary therapy appointments.

Julia Bryan on the phone 2

SCCS - Supporting patients and families via telephone

Julia Bryan

The team is in extreme demand due to the current crisis and therefore adapting different ways of working to ensure our team can continue supporting patients and families in the community.

Hospice at Home HCA Julie White wearing PPE - resized

Hospice at Home - caring for patients during COVID-19 crisis

Julie White 

Julie White is a Healthcare Assistant with our Hospice at Home team and here she shares the impact the COVID-19 crisis has had on the way she cares and supports patients and families. 

Rosie Cassidy

The summer of volunteering

Joe Emery

Last summer, Rosie Cassidy had time to fill. She kindly decided to volunteer for Saint Francis Hospice before going back to university to continue her degree in psychology.


How honesty helps bereaved children heal

Joe Emery

Teresa Mottram was food shopping when her 3-year-old daughter pointed to the fridge and exclaimed: "Daddy likes those yoghurts." Teresa replied to Lily-May: "But darling, Daddy died, so he doesn't need them anymore."


June's little miracle

Joe Emery

June Spencer was just three years old when measles caused blindness in her right eye. For the next 68 years, June relied on her left eye to help her lead a happy and healthy life.


Bernie's love for volunteering

Joe Emery

Bernie Murphy has been a volunteer driver at Saint Francis Hospice for 16 years. He chauffeurs outpatients to and from our social hub for local people at any stage of a life-limiting illness.

Pam's drum

This is our oasis

Joe Emery

When Pam Court first joined Saint Francis Hospice as CEO, her friends and family would ask: "Isn't it a terribly morbid and sad place to work?" Pam would explain that it is quite the opposite, and she hasn't looked back since.

You're not alone (colon) OrangeLine is just a phone call away

Lending a listening ear


When John Lightfoot retired from the hustle and bustle of London's Square Mile, he needed to keep busy and away from the humdrum of daytime television.


A force in volunteering

Joe Emery

Gary is one of 959 volunteers who give up 265,000 hours each year — saving Saint Francis Hospice £1.5m over 12 months.

David Jobbins

A new outlook on life

Joe Emery

When David Jobbins was diagnosed with a harmless urinary tract infection, routine tests revealed something more severe: prostate cancer.


Brian's reward

Joe Emery

It was six o'clock in the morning when Brian Holmes was harshly awoken while sleeping in a hospital bed. Still feeling the effects of an operation to remove his gallbladder, along came a breakfast trolley of clinking plates and clanking cutlery — with squeaky wheels to boot.


Respite for Wallace

Joe Emery

Wallace White was 73 years old when he was diagnosed with heart failure.

Anne Lancaster

Anne's honour

Joe Emery

When Anne Lancaster meets people who haven't been to Saint Francis Hospice, they are often puzzled about how she can go back to the place where her mum passed away — let alone volunteer there.


Elsie's magical place

Joe Emery

When Elsie Adams was diagnosed with breast cancer at 60 years old, she was determined not to let it bother her.

Sue Mansfield

Fulfilment at last

Joe Emery

Sue Mansfield is an OrangeLine volunteer at Saint Francis Hospice.

Corinna speaking to a patient at heart failure clinic

Dr Corinna's plea for us to pull together

Joe Emery

Saint Francis Hospice's Medical Director, Dr Corinna Midgley, has a wealth of experience in hospital palliative care.


Hello January, my old friend...

Joe Emery

The Christmas decorations are back in the loft, and it's cold and dark outside. Your bank balance has taken a pounding, and you're struggling to fasten the button on your jeans. To top it off: summer seems a billion light-years away.


Dr Corinna Midgley: flying the Saint Francis Hospice flag

Joe Emery
Twenty-five years ago, Dr Corinna Midgley made the transition from general practice to palliative care. In 2006, she became Saint Francis Hospice's Medical Director.

Dave's ladies

Joe Emery
Though Saint Francis Hospice first opened its doors to the public in July 1984, our story begins much earlier: in July 1975.

Saint Francis Hospice: meeting the ever-growing demand

Joe Emery
Dr Corinna Midgley's work with Saint Francis Hospice started 19 years ago. She's now in her 13th year as our Medical Director.
Gemma OrangeLine

Gemma’s back in the loop

Joe Emery
Having lived with cerebral palsy since birth, Gemma Bailey admits that her condition has made securing long-term employment a challenge.

Art therapy: helping young people as they face life without a loved one

Joe Emery
At Saint Francis Hospice, we don't only care for the person who is ill, but everyone around them.

Terry's happy place

Joe Emery
Terry Carroll admits that when he first became a volunteer driver for Saint Francis Hospice, he was thinking about himself.

Christmas in June

Joe Emery
Steve Kirby was a gentle giant. At 6ft 5”, he towered over his wife, Tania: a little over five feet tall.

The love of Saint Francis Hospice

Joe Emery
Clasina Ball received her first cancer diagnosis at the tender age of 24. By the time she was 50, she had been diagnosed with breast cancer, melanoma cancer, and Hodgkin's lymphoma — but had beaten them all.
20th - End of life care
26th - Aches, pains & blistered feet from non-stop 145 mile race are worth it.
4th - Volunteers' week
9th - Carers Week
25th - Four days at Saint Francis Hospice has taught me never to judge a book by its cover.
30th - End of life care
7th - Ironman training
10th - Charity criticism
10th - My work experience
17th - Prudential 100
30th - End of life care
31st - Lourdes Pilgrimage
19th - Bereavement support
6th - End of life care
22nd - End of life care
28th - Great Wall of China Trek
19th - Children's Grief Awareness Week
20th - Children's Grief Awareness Week
23rd - Children's Grief Awareness Week
25th - Children's Grief Awareness Week
24th - Run Nurse Run
26th - Charity criticism
2nd - National Storytelling Week
3rd - National Storytelling Week
4th - National Storytelling Week
12th - Run Nurse Run
15th - World Social Work Day
15th - World Social Work Day
25th - Run Nurse Run
29th - Run Nurse Rest
9th - "I feel incredibly lucky, because I've been given the chance to sort things out."
12th - Ten reasons to say thank you to Saint Francis Hospice nurses on International Nurses Day.
15th - CQC Inspection
25th - My 'thank you' to Dr Kate Granger
27th - Walking for Nanny - Brenda's Babes
2nd - 'Connectedness is an antidote to loneliness'
14th - A beautiful way to remember my mum at Christmas
7th - SFH Writing & Talking Group
10th - Julia Bell's first Mud N Madness experience!
13th - Children in Need
14th - Children In Need
28th - Children In Need
25th - Spencer's Marathon Day - Part 1
25th - Spencer's Marathon Day - Part 2
31st - My view of Santathon
31st - Why I love volunteering
26th - Sue's on the run again!
13th - Sue's Marathon Challenge - part 2!
14th - Sue's Marathon Challenge - Bursitis, bruises and the Dartford Half Marathon
4th - Sue completes Liverpool Half Marathon - blog 4
23rd - Marathon day finally arrives!
27th - Why I ran the Brighton Half Marathon...
11th - Volunteering with PRIDE
15th - How Saint Francis Hospice changed our lives.
5th - A day in the life of an Occupational Therapist
8th - I started life as an Occupational Therapist
15th - Children's Grief Awareness Week
16th - Thank you Children in Need for helping us to support 110 young people every year
19th - My daughter received the right support at the right time
22nd - London Marathon 2019 - Serene and Kelly's story
4th - London Marathon 2019 - Sue Spong and the Family Support Services team - Part 1
12th - A day in the life of a Community Nurse Specialist
8th - London Marathon 2019 - Sue Spong and the Family Support Services team - part 2
15th - London Marathon 2019 - Sue Spong and the Family Support Services team - Part 2
5th - 100,000 steps in 24 hours
9th - Rebecca Parker - My role as a bereavement volunteer
9th - Sue's fabulous 2019 London Marathon achievement
13th - Dying Matters Week 2019 - Mimi's story
3rd - National Volunteers' Week 2019 - Bernard Murphy
3rd - National Volunteers' Week 2019 - Doreen Northfield
4th - National Volunteers' Week 2019 - Rakesh Silliara
4th - National Volunteers' Week 2019 - John Brocklehurst
4th - National Volunteers' Week 2019 - Hans De Vrind
5th - National Volunteers' Week 2019 - Melita Milsom
6th - National Volunteers' Week 2019 - Rita Gersh
6th - National Volunteers' Week 2019 - Robert Phillips
7th - National Volunteers' Week 2019 - Christine Clifford
9th - Creative therapy at Saint Francis Hospice
8th - How your Lottery money is helping bereaved children
7th - Saint Francis Hospice
8th - Mimi's motto
1st - Howdy, Malcolm
13th - Bridging the age gap
27th - Sprinkle magic on your CV by volunteering at Saint Francis Hospice
28th - Us and Mrs Jones
3rd - Iris lucks out with volunteering
4th - Dr Corinna Midgley
5th - The love of Saint Francis Hospice
12th - Christmas in June
13th - Terry's happy place
17th - Art therapy
19th - Gemma’s back in the loop
24th - Saint Francis Hospice
27th - Dave's ladies
2nd - Dr Corinna Midgley
8th - Hello January, my old friend...
13th - Dr Corinna's plea for us to pull together
24th - Fulfilment at last
27th - Elsie's magical place
5th - Brian's reward
5th - Anne's honour
5th - Respite for Wallace
7th - A new outlook on life
12th - A force in volunteering
18th - Lending a listening ear
20th - This is our oasis
24th - Bernie's love for volunteering
2nd - June's little miracle
5th - How honesty helps bereaved children heal
17th - The summer of volunteering
11th - Hospice at Home - caring for patients during COVID-19 crisis
20th - SCCS - Supporting patients and families via telephone
29th - Empowering patients and families
5th - Bereavement Support - My work at Saint Francis Hospice is all about relationship
5th - OrangeLine - Our phonecalls are a lifeline to the lonely
17th - Dying Matters Week - Talking about death without shame or fear
18th - Community team - Caring for a covid-19 patient