Local hospice wants to bag a share of bag charge fund

Throughout February, Treetops Hospice Care is asking local people to help them bag a share of the Tesco Bags of Help initiative – to fund adaptable tools, adjustable chairs and other equipment for guests to enjoy gardening at the hospice.

Shoppers are being encouraged to head to their local Tesco store and vote for Treetops which provides nursing care and emotional support for adults, their families and carers across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.

Gardening is just one of several opportunities available at Wellbeing Days at the hospice, aimed at helping adults with a life-limiting illness maintain their independence and quality of life. The service offers bespoke sessions and workshops such as relaxation techniques, fatigue management, gentle exercise and creative therapies.

Martin Hudson, 55yrs, from Kimberley was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer last year. He has been attending the Wellbeing Day for a couple of months.

“I was given six months to live, six months ago. Then I was given three months up to Christmas and I’m still here – and long may it continue. I’m going to carry on and keep going. Even if you have a terminal condition it doesn’t mean you’re going to die straight away. I’ve been making myself small goals – get through Christmas and make it a happy time, then my daughter’s birthday and my next goal is my birthday in February.

“I was apprehensive about coming here but in the end I decided to give it a go. It’s really, really good and not what I expected at all. Once I got in the door, everybody made me feel so welcome that I wanted to come back.

“I’ve always been interested in gardening and I’ve just picked things up around the garden at home. I started to do little bits in the Treetops grounds – potting up ready for the summer and getting garden-ready – and it went from there.

“It makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something. The garden here is superb and the grounds are beautiful. I imagine in the summer when everything’s out it must be fantastic.”

Both Martin and his family have recognised a change in him:

“Coming here has definitely had an impact on me. My wife says it’s made me more outgoing and I can come and have a conversation with people more easily.

“This is one of the best things I’ve done. I was frightened of what hospices were and I’m not anymore. Don’t be scared of it – it’s not what you think. Fantastic people, fantastic place.”

Tesco have teamed up with Groundwork to launch the monthly funding scheme, which sees grants of £5,000, £2,000 and £1,000 – all raised from the 5p bag levy – being awarded to local outdoor community projects.

Voting in the Tesco Bags of Help initiative is open in stores from 1 February to 25 February and customers can cast their vote using a token given to them at the check-out in store each time they shop. Treetops will find out how much funding they will receive by the end of March.

Tesco’s Bags of Help project has already delivered over £25 million to more than 3,000 projects up and down the UK.

Treetops services are available free of charge and include Support and Information, a Day Care unit based in Risley, Hospice at Home nurses and Therapeutic Services including counselling and complementary therapy.