We help people to achieve what matters most to them, such as being able to live independently, walk to the corner shop again, or fulfil a dream of making a special trip.
We do that in a whole range of ways – controlling distressing symptoms, helping people get back on their feet, and encouraging them to make vital plans.
Last year we cared for over 2,500 people in their own homes, care homes and at outpatient clinics.
We made over 13,000 home visits throughout the year. Of these, nearly 600 were outside of office hours, as we recognise that patients and families need to be able to call on us at any time of the day or night.
We also supported almost 800 patients who were admitted to the hospice for inpatient care.
Our Young Adults Group meets every fortnight and, last year, we arranged for them to go to their first festival – an unforgettable experience that many thought they would never be able to do.
We also have a Co-ordination Service, which aims to help older people who are frail to die at home if this is their wish.
Last year, the service supported over 400 patients and 78% of these individuals were able to achieve this.
Last year we provided bereavement support for over 2,000 people, including families and children.
Families are able to access social work support, receive welfare and benefits advice and take part in arts therapies.
We also offer complementary therapies to families, which provides an opportunity for those caring for a loved one to relax and re-energise.
We have a Personal Care service, which provided nearly 43,000 hours of practical help and hands-on care to Bromley residents last year.
More than 2,000 individuals from over 35 countries received training on death, dying and loss through our thriving education programme.
We also like to encourage the local community to visit the hospice and take part in our many social groups. From our community choir to our arts and textiles workshops – we try to ensure we offer activities that are inclusive and cater for all tastes.
Many people are fearful of death and find it difficult to talk openly or make vital plans. Our goal is to help people find the confidence to have these challenging conversations and prepare for end of life.
Two initiatives that help us do this are our Death Chat group on a Thursday evening and our Creating Conversations in Croydon project, which launched last year. In its first year the project provided training for 20 volunteers and ran 17 community events focussing on information, presentations and workshops.
Without the support of the many people who run, skydive, open their gardens, play our lottery or leave a gift in their will, we wouldn’t be able to care for people living with a terminal illness or who are bereaved in our community.
An amazing 62% of our income comes from the communities we serve.
That’s why we make sure we invest your money wisely and always for the good of patients and their loved ones.
We have much to be proud of at St Christopher’s and are so grateful to all who make our work possible – our funders, other supporters, strategic partners, our staff and volunteers, and of course to the people for whom we care – they are our inspiration.
We want to do even more in the future, and have some great plans that will ensure we can make a real difference to the growing numbers of people who could benefit from our help.
One of our priorities is to build a new Learning Hub so that many more people – clinicians, members of the public, families, carers and people with a life limiting condition – can gain new knowledge and skills to cope with end of life issues.
We’ve secured planning permission and raised an amazing £3m, but we still need to raise much more. We hope to start building in early 2018.
In the meantime, we continue to develop and grow new services, particularly those that reach people who haven’t accessed hospice care traditionally – individuals with heart failure, those that are frail and very elderly, and people with dementia, to name but a few.
We are using a new workforce including volunteers known as 'compassionate neighbours' who support people in their community, apprentices, and growing numbers of personal carers to achieve this.
Thank you for all you do, now and in the future to help us achieve our vision of a world in which dying people receive the care they need, wherever and whoever they are.
and Shaun O’Leary
Joint Chief Executives
Shelagh Mcdonough, patient at St Christopher’s