Nottinghamshire Hospice

Adding Life to Days

Postcode lottery boost to young adults service.

A pilot scheme launched last year at Nottinghamshire Hospice for young adults with life-limiting illness is set to continue with help from a £15,000 grant raised by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

The funding comes from People’s Postcode Trust – a grant funded by the lottery players – and will help secure the service, aimed at plugging the gap between children’s and adult hospice services, for another year. It was originally piloted for a year.

A group of 10 young people helped shape the service and now meet monthly for social and developmental activities including gaming, arts activities, music and help with work and training. Events have included a camp-side festival in the hospice grounds with stilt-walkers, fire-eaters, graffiti art and pizza making, plus a trip to a woodland adventure park which has a wheelchair-accessible climbing wall and zip wire.

Fire eater at the summer festival
Fire eater at the summer festival

Activities planned for 2020 include cheese tasting, creative writing, cooking workshops and a wheelchair obstacle course in the hospice garden.

Charlotte and Tom Hardwick, a couple in their 20s who both have Muscular Dystrophy, are among young adults who helped set up the group.

Charlotte said: “There is a real need for social opportunities. A lot of young people with life limiting illnesses are behind socially because their disabilities prevent them from hanging out together and they feel vulnerable in mainstream social situations. In a safer environment like this where there is care on hand if we need it we feel more relaxed.”

Charlotte’s husband Tom said: “People with disabilities need to be encouraged to think about the future realistically. They should be encouraged to have career aspirations and not written off.”

Charlotte and Tom
Charlotte and Tom

Clair Marshall, young adult key worker appointed to lead the project, said: “The young adults service goes from strength to strength. Every young adult that uses our service has an individual plan of support to help build confidence, work towards goals and try things they’ve never done before.

‘We’re very grateful for this extra funding which will help provide services for our young adults.  Thanks so much to all those who play People’s Postcode Lottery for your support.”

Sam Perkins, diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease at just 37, is also a member of the group. Sam said: “To find there’s a desire to develop services for younger people is good.  Speaking to someone of a similar age with a similar condition is beneficial”

Sam (centre) with wife Emma at a young adults event
Sam (centre) with wife Emma at a young adults event

The group meets at Nottinghamshire Hospice on the first Thursday of every month, alongside additional activities and events in the community throughout the year.

The hospice is keen to hear from other young adults with life-limiting illness. Contact Clair Marshall, young adults key worker on 0115 962 1222

Find out more about the young adults service here