04/06/2024 - Permalink

News from our partners: Severn Hospice joins forces with veterans organisation

Related topics: Corporate / Partner organisations

News from our partners Severn Hospice

A hospice charity is working with a Shropshire Council-run veterans organisation to provide a ’safe space’ where former members of the Armed Forces can meet to swap information and ideas.

Severn Hospice’s community engagement lead Deb Wallace has liaised with Sarah Kerr, Shropshire Council’s Armed Forces outreach co-ordinator, following a successful collaboration when the hospice signed the Armed Forces Covenant in 2023.

Working together, Sarah approached Deb and asked if the hospice had anywhere she could hold a veterans meet-up. But there was a catch – it had to be suitable for members of the Armed Forces who were experiencing a range of conditions,, including PTSD.

Deb immediately thought of the charity’s Day Services unit at its community services centre at Bicton, Shrewsbury, which is light, bright and has large doors which open on to the hospice’s large calm and tranquil gardens.

And it was agreed that the first outreach meet-up would be on yesterday (Monday 3 June 2024), to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day on Thursday 6 June.

Currently Sarah organises these meetings at various locations around Shropshire, including Palmers Cafe in Shrewsbury, Bridgnorth Library and RAF Shawbury. The addition of the hospice will ensure that she can reach as many of the Armed Forces community as she is able.

Severn Hospice and veterans

Severn Hospice and veterans

Severn Hospice and veterans

Severn Hospice and veterans

Deb said:-

“It has been a real pleasure to work with Sarah, and this is an opportunity to break down barriers and smash myths about hospice care. We are as much about the community as are about our in-patient care.

“Sarah and the veterans can meet in a safe space where they feel comfortable. It’s about being accessible and inclusive to all communities.

“Through Sarah, I have met a veteran called Sandy Beattie who has been able to give valuable insight into how our care can be adapted and tailored to suit members and former members of the Armed Forces.

“Our care is given without judgement or prejudice and as part of my role I have been reaching out to under-represented communities in Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and north Powys.

“We are looking at how we can champion the Armed Forces community within the hospice to ensure we acknowledge and understand that those who serve, or who have served, and their families are treated fairly and should not face disadvantages.”

Severn Hospice and veterans

Severn Hospice and veterans

Sarah said:-

“Working with Deb and the Severn Hospice team has added another dimension to the community engagement that we look for as part of the Armed Forces Covenant team.

“Their appreciation of the safe, inviting space that we look for when holding our outreaches was immediately acknowledged. This location will also make the outreaches more accessible to those veterans who often struggle with our other venues, binging different groups together.

“Our first coffee morning saw veterans come together from Bridgnorth, Oswestry, Knockin, Shrewsbury and Shawbury.

“To work alongside Severn Hospice as one of our key partners moving forward will be invaluable to our armed forces community for many reasons: health and wellbeing, social engagement, employment, and volunteering opportunities.”

Severn Hospice and veterans

Severn Hospice and veterans

Sandy added:-

“It was a pleasure meeting Deb from Severn Hospice and allowing us to host the first outreach especially, for the 80th D-Day remembrance celebration.

“Walking into the Hospice and looking at the room, which Deb has offered, was like been given a ‘massive hug’

“I have to deal with my own mental health issues such as enclosed rooms etc: for this room, it was bright, airy, with plenty of exit doors but, most of all it felt safe.

“I know our veterans and their families will enjoy attending future outreaches within the Hospice, for which we are excited to work alongside Severn Hospice.”