Published on: 4/2/21, 2:39 pm
Budding young artists and writers have made paintings and poems to let workers at Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice know they are thinking of them, as they continue caring for local people throughout the pandemic.
Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice, in Moggerhanger near Bedford, provides compassionate palliative care for people with life-limiting conditions, as well as supporting their loved ones.
Since the Coronavirus pandemic started last year, the hospice team has faced the many challenges that it has brought, including having to wear lots of PPE.
To help boost morale, Sixth Form pupils at Bedford School set about creating a unique collection of thoughtful artwork and poems for staff to enjoy.
These include a poignant painting of hospice staff celebrating their ‘Outstanding’ rating by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in 2019.
Other pieces include a painting of the hospice’s peaceful gardens in the Bedfordshire countryside, as well as an inspiring poem looking ahead to calmer times in the future with the line: “Fear not, brave people here, In St John’s in Bedfordshire!”
Mary-Ann Golding, who works at Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice as Housekeeping Supervisor, said: "On behalf of the team here, I would like to say a massive thank you for the fantastic artwork and poems produced by the pupils at Bedford School. We were very much blown away by the amazing artwork and its attention to detail. In the drawing of our team celebrating the ‘Outstanding’ CQC rating, we were able to identify so many of our staff, which put a well-needed smile on all our faces. I have even taken a copy to put up in my office at home. The poems enabled positivity to be portrayed during these uncertain times. Thank you – your work shows what an amazing place Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice is.”
Pupils and staff at Bedford School have also supported Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice over the past year in other ways, including raising £537 through a mufti day.
In May 2020, they donated thousands of stamps from Captain Sir Tom Moore’s 100th birthday card collection to the hospice. Many of his birthday cards were opened by staff, pupils and parents at the school, where Captain Sir Tom’s grandson is taught.
The stamps from the cards were saved and donated to charitable causes, including half of them to the hospice so it could raise vital funds – for example by being sold to stamp collectors. In total, over £230 was raised.
“Thank you to everyone at Bedford School for your kind and generous support of our hospice – from raising vital funds to sharing thoughtful artwork and poems to help boost our staff members’ morale during this challenging time,” said Hayley Webb, Community Fundraising Manager at Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice. “We are really appreciative; your support helps us to continue to be there when it matters for our local community, patients and their loved ones.”
Caroline Millington, Teacher of Drama at Bedford School, said: "Both myself and the boys were thrilled to be part of this project, and we are hugely grateful to Hayley Webb for generously offering her time to discuss the pressures placed upon the staff at Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice. We were really touched by their story, and the boys created some lovely pieces of work. It has been wonderful to see the boys contributing to the wider community in such a positive way."