Plea for help from St Albans residents with Grove House festival appeal

Donna and Phoebe Morrison

Donna and Phoebe Morrison - Credit: Archant

With the festive season now upon us Rennie Grove Hospice Care is asking people to support local families facing difficult times by donating to their Christmas appeal and helping to fund their 24/7 responsive hospice at home service throughout Christmas and beyond.

For many, spending time with family and friends is a key part of the Christmas celebrations but for those diagnosed with cancer and other life-limiting illness, this time is especially precious.

Rennie Grove’s Hospice at Home nurses will be working as usual for the entire Christmas period caring for patients in their own homes, monitoring and keeping their symptoms under control to help ensure that they can avoid unwanted hospital admissions and spend Christmas at home surrounded by their friends and families.

It is often at night, during weekends and on special days like Christmas Day that patients feel at their most vulnerable, so knowing that the Hospice at Home nurses are available to contact for reassurance and that they will visit to give care and support no matter what time of day or night is hugely important.

Some patients require constant symptom relief to keep them comfortable at home and Rennie Grove nurses are able to set up a piece of equipment called a syringe driver in response to patients’ changing needs. A syringe driver is battery operated device that provides symptom relief to patient by injecting medications in measured and constant doses over 24 hours. This enables nurses to give patients the best possible quality of life and the ability for patients to enjoy time with the family.

Sue Varvel, director of nursing and clinical services, said: “If symptom levels escalate and a patient becomes distressed it can result in an emergency hospital admission, however this can often be avoided. In many cases, a specialist nurse can identify exactly what is needed and make a difference between someone being able to stay at home with their families or being admitted to hospital.”

Rennie Grove is asking for Christmas gifts that will help make a real difference to patients’ lives. A donation of £10 could fund 200 needles for syringes while £400 would cover the nursing costs of one shift on Christmas Day.

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Sue added: “Christmas is time for giving and for sharing special times with family and friends but for those who do not have long left to live these times are especially precious. Your donation will help give patients and their families a priceless gift – time together at Christmas.”

Donna Morrison, a patient currently being cared for by the Hospice at Home nurses, said: “Having Christmas at home with my daughter, Phoebe, means the world to both of us. We could not do it without the help and support of specialist nurses.”

If you would like to make a donation please visit or call 01442 890222.