We are delighted to announce that last night we won the Coventry Business Live Awards in the Third Sector Organisation of the Year category. Our entry focused on our response to the Covid-19 pandemic, both in terms of patient services and fundraising.
The annual awards celebrate excellence across a broad range of categories and recognise the region’s finest businesses and organisations. This year they were particularly looking for organisations that “looked the pandemic in the eye and used it as an opportunity to thrive and grow.”
Ruth Freeman, CEO for The Myton Hospices said:
We were up against some stiff competition and it is testament to every single Myton employee, volunteer and supporter that we have received this accolade and it is fantastic to be recognised for our success in the face of adversity. I am very proud and you should be too, well done and thank you all!
The last 18 months has been like no other, and for The Myton Hospices it has been challenging and inspiring in equal measure.
Like most organisations we’ve had to adapt to new ways of working in response to the pandemic. But whilst the way we work has changed our primary focus remains the same, to provide care and support for terminally ill patients, and their families, in our inpatient beds and in the local community.
Our dedicated frontline team were catapulted into the unknown, bravely and selflessly putting themselves at risk of Coronavirus, to ensure our patients continued to receive the very best palliative and end-of-life care and support.
Our usual fundraising streams were suspended, forcing the team to find new ways of raising the £7.8million we need to raise each and every year to provide our services, free of charge, to people across Coventry and Warwickshire with a life-limiting illness and supporting them from diagnosis to death.
The work of our frontline teams is worthy of reward in itself, not only maintaining, but enhancing our services in the face of a crisis, and supporting our NHS colleagues too.
But The Myton Hospices as an organisation, its ‘One Myton’ motto at its heart, is fully deserving of recognition as every member of the team, in every role across the organisation, came together as one to protect the charity and care for our patients and their loved ones.
Last year, despite the challenges of Covid-19, which limited our ability to offer some of our services, we still supported 1,400 people and their families, in our hospices, via our patient & family support services, and in the community through Myton at Home.
Our response to Covid is split into two areas; the frontline response and the fundraising response.
Our Frontline response:
With what the future held unknown, Myton not only had its own patients to consider, but the wider population too.
As such, Myton made the difficult decision, in April 2020, to hand its Warwick Hospice over to South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust (SWFT) to help it prepare for a surge in patient numbers.
During this time, we temporarily moved all of our inpatient services to Coventry and staff from Warwick were transferred to Coventry Myton Hospice to maximise the number of inpatient beds in operation there. There were 20 beds available for people across the whole of Coventry and Warwickshire and admissions were extended to 7 days a week, 8am – 8pm.
Throughout the pandemic we have admitted patients with Covid-19 if they meet our usual referral criteria and have continued to provide the very best palliative and end of life care. We recognise how important it is for patients and loved ones to be together, especially during such a difficult time, so we have carefully managed visiting with PPE, strict guidance, and most recently the introduction of lateral flow testing, to ensure everyone is kept safe whilst spending precious time together in our hospices.
Our Myton at Home team continued to be based at our Warwick Hospice, and were on hand to support NHS colleagues.
The pandemic saw a surge in patients choosing to die in the comfort of their own homes, with their families around them. We responded quickly, putting additional resource into our Myton at Home service to enable these wishes to be honoured – again, with our amazing nurses on the very frontline.
The tough decision to limit visitor numbers to our Hospices was one of our most difficult, but necessary decisions to ensure the safety of our patients and staff.
Again, we acted quickly; utilising iPads to keep our patients in touch with their loved ones and friends who were unable to visit in person.
Technology was also used to continue many of our outpatient services, allowing our teams to remain connected with our patients remotely when face-to-face was not possible.
Use of technology, and taking our services out ‘beyond the Hospice walls’, was already a goal for Myton but Covid has seen these plans brought to the fore and accelerated as Myton looks to expand its services in the community, reaching people where they need it most.
Our Fundraising response:
As lockdown struck, many of our regular streams of income disappeared overnight.
Our 24 shops were closed, our events were cancelled or postponed and our amazing fundraisers were unable to hit the fundraising trail for us.
Again, we acted quickly.
We launched an Urgent Appeal online – and were blown away by the response, thank you so much!
We launched brand new online events, such as The Myton Mountain stair-climbing challenge, a Virtual Pet Show, Virtual Quiz Nights, Head Shave challenges and more besides.
We acted swiftly to turn some of our key events into online offerings too – such as our Cycle Challenge and Walk for Myton, asking individuals and families to take on the challenge in their own Covid-secure way.
With regular fundraising options so limited, our Trusts and Grants fundraising team was also working tirelessly to secure as many Covid response grants and regular grants as possible.
The amazing efforts of the fundraising team, along with essential streamlining carried out by the senior management team, mean The Myton Hospices has emerged from the current phase of the Pandemic in a position nobody expected 18 months ago.
The year ahead will, no doubt, test our resolve and finances.
But we are ever-thankful for the overwhelming generosity of our amazing supporters at a time we’ve never needed it more.
We are proud to be looking to the future, to be extending our reach, and to be providing our very special care to more residents of Coventry and Warwickshire than ever before.
Special mention must also go to our amazing supporters who have continued to raise money, donate goods and volunteer for Myton throughout the most testing of times.
Every one of them is a vital part of Myton and we wouldn’t be able to do what we do without them. This nomination is for them too.