In the wake of further guidance from national government in response to coronavirus, I want to update our patients, families and supporters on how things are working at St Wilfrid’s.

Our services

Referrals to our services continue to be high and we are working very hard to respond to all of these, in our 20 inpatient beds in the hospice and in patients’ homes. Our doctors, nurses, HCAs, therapists, care assistants, counsellors, spiritual support and social workers have supported almost 1600 patients and carers since April, which is 12% higher than the same period last year.

We have begun providing individual outpatient therapy sessions once more in our Wellbeing Centre and we will gradually increase the numbers attending. Please click here for information about how this is working.

We also continue to support Wellbeing patients via telephone and video conference and we are running online group sessions on relaxation and fatigue and breathlessness. We have further information and support on our website, including training films, which you can access here.

We have also started to provide some counselling support again on a face to face basis in the hospice. Our Bereavement Counselling team can offer counselling support to our wider community, not just those who we have been supporting through hospice care. Please follow the link here to find further details about how to access this support. We also continue to take referrals for bereavement counselling for children and young people via our Seahorse Project.

We continue to expand our team of Community Support Volunteers, who offer befriending and other social support to patients in the community, by telephone and also now through home visits  in a socially-distanced way and following a risk assessment. We’re expanding this offer of telephone befriending support to residents of care homes in our catchment area. If you would be interested to support this aspect of our work, or to volunteer in other ways, please contact our Voluntary Services team at [email protected].

The hospice building and café

We continue to restrict visitors to the hospice building at the current time. Many of our administrative workforce are continuing to work from home for at least part of the working week.  It’s important that we maintain a very high level of infection control and we are therefore still placing a limit on visitors to patients in our Inpatient Unit, allowing up to two nominated individuals to visit once a day.

These individuals will be notified to our nursing team upon the patient’s admission and may be changed by arrangement during a patient’s stay. All visitors are required to comply with the infection control measures we have in place, including the wearing of PPE at all times. We will only allow visits from nominated individuals.

More information about our visitors’ policy can be found here.

The café remains closed to the general public at the present time.  

Fundraising

Thank you to everyone who has supported the hospice during recent months, when so much of our normal fundraising and events programme has been severely disrupted. We are incredibly grateful to all of you.

Our annual Starlight Stroll event, which took place on 12th September, was a great success, with over 500 people taking part over the course of the day. Thank you to everyone who joined us. We also held our second Jail and Bail event on 9th October, involving some of our supporters being locked up in the Wish Tower in aid of St Wilfrid’s. All are now free!

We are now preparing for our virtual Winter Banquet, which will be held on Saturday 14th November. This is an opportunity to support us by enjoying a meal in the comfort of your own home, with the ingredients provided by us. You will have the chance to take part in an online masterclass with chef, Jethro Carr to cook the main course.

Details about this event are here.

We will be holding our annual Lights of Love celebrations on Sunday 6th and 13th December, but this year they will be held virtually. This is a wonderful occasion to remember and celebrate those who are no longer with us. More details on these events in due course.

Trading in our shops is increasing little by little. If you have not already had the opportunity, please call in at one of our three shops in Eastbourne or in Seaford, Hailsham, Uckfield and Heathfield. Thank you also to everyone who has been donating goods – at the present time we are only able to accept donations by appointment. 

Details of how to do this can be found here.

St Wilfrid’s Community Group

The St Wilfrid’s Community Group on Facebook now has over 700 members. It has been a great way for people to stay in touch with one another.

Please take a look and contribute your own message – details here.

Support us

The disruption to our normal fundraising activity is likely to continue for many months, so we are hugely grateful for whatever help you can give us, through direct donations, your own fundraising efforts, or donations of supplies and equipment. 

Find out how you help and get involved here.

Thank you.

With best wishes


David Scott-Ralphs

Chief Executive

If would like to donate please click here