Our local hospice

On Saturday I was privileged to visit Blythe House Hospice in Chapel-en-le-Frith and to meet many of the volunteers, staff and visitors.

Blythe House serves all of High Peak, and offers vital support and care to patients and their families.  In last week’s column I described how difficult it is to get social care at home in much of our area now, so the ‘Hospice at Home’ service is needed more than ever for care at the end of someone’s life, where several visits are required each day.

Although I have driven past Blythe House many times I have never visited.  We tend to think of hospices as somewhere to go when we are very near the end of life, and death is not an issue we talk about much as a society.

The Hospice Association’s ‘Living Well’ campaign aims to change this and to support people to live as fully as they can, even if they have a terminal illness.

I was taken on a tour of all the many facilities at Blythe House that have been added over the years – consultation rooms for the doctors that visit, including a consultant in palliative care, counselling rooms – including a lovely room for children and young people who have suffered bereavement, and a therapy room for care and beauty treatments so patients can look and feel their best.

There is also a McMillan Living Well service of support and information for patients with cancer and their families, a ‘Breast Friends’ group and a prostate cancer group of cancer patients and survivors, and contacts for local groups for other types of cancer and life limiting illnesses.

There is a further Carer Support Group and one to one assessments for hard-pressed carers and a Walking for Life Group every Monday morning.

Even on a busy Open Day, the whole centre had an atmosphere of peace and calm, with its lovely gardens and quiet spaces for reflection.

They are open for anyone who needs information or support in dealing with a serious illness – whether for yourself or a loved one – you can make an appointment or just turn up.They are open for anyone who needs information or support in dealing with a serious illness – whether for yourself or a loved one – you can call to make an appointment or just turn up.

They also hold coffeeCoffee mornings are from 10.30 to 12pm on the third Friday of each month, so there is one including this Friday 18th if you’d like to have a look round and chat with people who believe in Living Well.

Hospices are expensive but, surprisingly for such an essential service, the vast majority of their income comes from fundraising.  We are used to supporting the excellent shops in Whaley Bridge and Chapel, but Blythe House hold fundraising and sponsorship events as well.

Check out their website for details – I won’t be Skydiving, but am looking forward to next year’s Bog Commander!

We are lucky to have such a caring and supportive service locally and I am very pleased to support them.

Share this page