Molly Collard and Anna Reid – Royal Trinity Hospice

A healthcare assistant and nurses talking at Royal Trinity Hospital

This week on WHITEBALLOON INSIGHTS we are delighted to hear from Molly Collard, Head of Fundraising, and Anna Reid, Communications Manager at Royal Trinity Hospice about the central role that the hospice plays in the local community.

Royal Trinity Hospice is the oldest hospice in the UK, tell us about its history and about Trinity today? 

Royal Trinity Hospice provides specialist palliative and end of life care across seven boroughs in central and south west London. Trinity was founded in 1891 by Colonel William Hoare. It was he who identified the need for a home “for the man who is neither curable nor incurable but simply dying” and launched an appeal in The Times to raise the funds needed to set this up. The great response from the local community is something which continues today with many local people choosing to support Trinity.

Today, all Trinity’s services are still free of charge to patients and their families. This year, we need to raise over £12 million to supplement the limited NHS funding that we receive. With increased demand for access to palliative and end of life care only projected to increase, we have to be future-ready and have launched a major fundraising campaign, Every Person Matters, to raise an additional £4m to meet this demand.

The Royal Trinity Hospice provides specialist palliative and end of life care across seven boroughs in central and south west London
Royal Trinity Hospice, London

Can you tell us about the ways families can support the work that you do whilst remembering a loved one?

There are many ways families and friends generously support us in memory of someone close to them. Our Memory Tree includes 150 leaves, each engraved with a name or short message, dedicated in memory of someone special. The tree is in the hospice reception and it’s one of the first things people see as they come through the door. Each leaf means a lot to every person that has created one, with the person’s name there for people to see, it keeps the memory of their name alive.

The commemorative Memory Tree in the hospice allows you to engrave a copper leaf in memory of a loved one.
The Memory Tree, Royal Trinity Hospice

In addition to the Memory Tree, families and friends can celebrate the life of a loved one by creating an online tribute fund via our website. Our online tribute funds can be personalised and are a space for people to share photos, memories and, if they wish, leave a donation in memory of a loved one.

We also hold two in-memory events each year – our Summer Solstice Remembrance Evening and Light up a Life. Both these events are an opportunity for families and friends to return to Trinity, walk around the gardens, leave a dedication in memory of someone special and be in the company of those who have had similar experiences, brought together in the safety and tranquillity of Trinity.

What role does the garden play in the life of the hospice?

The gardens are very much a haven, a place of peace, reflection and restoration. They are places where family members may perhaps take some last precious outdoor moments with their loved ones. Patient’s beds can be taken outside onto the patio or on their private balconies for families and friends to sit together within taking in the fresh air and nature’s elements.

The gardens are open to our patients, visitors, staff and volunteers 365 days a year and are much used, and well loved by all. Annually we open our gates to the public as part of the National Open Garden Scheme for people new to us to visit.

Trinity's gardens span two acres and include an ornamental pond, perennials and mixed flower beds.
The gardens at Royal Trinity Hospice

You mentioned your Every Person Matters fundraising campaign earlier – could you tell us a little more about that?

The Every Person Matters campaign goal is to raise an additional £4 million over the next three years to meet the urgent and increased need for our specialist care. We predict that in the next seven years, the number of people needing Trinity will rise by 55%.

To respond to this demand, we are launching a range of new and enhanced services, expanding the support we already provide to make sure that everyone who could benefit from our care can access it – when and where they need to.

Our goal is to support 4,500 patients and carers per year across all our communities by 2027, which is around a 70% increase in people using our services.

We really hope both businesses and individuals will get behind this campaign and support us.

As well as supporting the Every Person Matters campaign, what are the different ways that businesses can support Trinity?

There are many ways that businesses can support Trinity, including staff fundraising, sponsoring an event, displaying a collection tin, providing raffle and auction prizes or by becoming a Trinity Local Business Hero.

Our Local Business Hero programme was launched two years ago now and we already have 25 local businesses signed up, who have all chosen to support Trinity by raising £500 or more a year.

When a business signs up to become a Local Business Hero they are thanked on our social media, and they also have a dedicated website page publicly showing their support to their community.

All the businesses get support from us with their fundraising, and in the future, we hope to organise networking events here at the hospice for our Heroes to meet each other and fellow business owners.

A Local Business Hero is any business, large or small, that wants to give back to the community by supporting Trinity.
Fundrasing buckets being held for donations

And, finally, do you have open days that people can attend to find out more about the services you provide?

We run regular ‘Talk & Tours’ at the hospice – they are 45 minute fully accessible, guided tours around areas of the hospice, meeting staff at various points around the building. These events are opportunities to introduce, inform and increase knowledge about our work, celebrating hospice care with our community. Everyone is welcome and can sign up online for free – see our website for details of the next one. Trinity is a warm, open and light space that we think everyone should have the chance to see for themselves, free from the perception and myths of end of life and dying being a dark and sad time. It’s a wonderful place where many special moments come to happen each day in surroundings where people have what they need, surrounded by those they care about in their last moments.

Thank you Molly and Anna for sharing your insights.

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