Here at Ann’s Cottage, we choose to support a handful of local charities every year that are very close to our hearts and relate to us on a personal level.
One of those charities is Cornwall Hospice Care, a charity that is extremely close to Ann’s Cottage Owner and Managing Director Rob Harris, after sadly losing his wife and founder of Ann’s Cottage, Beverly Harris to breast cancer in 2007.
Cornwall Hospice Care provides 24/7 specialist care for people like Beverly who are dealing with a terminal illness. The nursing teams support patients and their families at Mount Edgcumbe Hospice in St Austell, St Julia’s Hospice in Hayle, as well as in Cornwall’s hospitals, care homes and in the community via their Neighbourhood Hubs.
Amongst many of the front line staff working for Cornwall Hospice Care are two Clinical Nurse Specialists who are helping to care for and support people suffering from Lymphoedema. In order for these nurses to offer the best care possible and to enable their patients the best quality of life, they need the correct training. Cornwall Hospice Care saw incredible results after the Lymphoedema Nurses went on their Level 1 Connective Tissue course where they learnt how best to support breast cancer patients post-op.
We are incredibly proud to announce the sponsorship of Cornwall Hospice Care’s first Lymphoedema Nurses and their level 2 training. This will allow the hospice to continue this care, offer new skills and support to their patients in ways that can truly change their lives and standard of living.
So, what is Lymphoedema?
Lymphoedema is a chronic, long-term condition that causes swelling in the body’s tissues. It can affect any part of the body but it usually develops in the arms or legs. The symptoms of lymphoedema can include an aching, heavy feeling in the affected limb. Lymphoedema is caused by a problem with the lymphatic system. This is a network of vessels and glands distributed throughout the body. Its major functions are to help fight infection and drain excess fluid from tissues. Abnormal development of the lymphatic system, damage to it and/or an increase in fluid in the body tissues can all lead to Lymphoedema.
* This chart is used by the Clinical Nurse Specialists to explain how the Lymphatic system works and what items of clothing they might recommend to help the patient.
Let’s meet the nurses…
Helen Treleaven and Terri Lightfoot care for and support people suffering from Lymphoedema. After Helen and Terri had completed their Level 2 Lymphoedema training we got to hear how their new skills have already helped their patients:
Helen Treleaven, Clinical Nurse Specialist at Mount Edgcumbe Hospice: “This training has completely changed the way we approach our patients, bringing us new skills that have definitely filled a gap in our knowledge. We can go much deeper now, treating the underlying connective tissues and the results have been instant. We’ve helped patients breathe better and move affected limbs with greater ease. We’re also noticing they’re more comfortable for longer periods between treatments.”
Terri Lightfoot, Clinical Nurse Specialist at St Julia’s Hospice where she is based in the Caron Keating Therapy Room: “We can now also teach our patients the skills we’ve developed, empowering them to self-manage the symptoms of their condition. We can’t thank Ann’s Cottage enough for funding this three-day intensive training course. The reward for us all is the amazing feedback we’ve had from patients since introducing these new skills.”
The Lymphoedema treatment Cornwall Hospice Care provides helps patients continue with their lives despite their condition. The skills learnt from the Level 2 course will help improve patient’s range of movement, offering them a better quality of life.
Oli Hoare, Cornwall Hospice Care Head of Fundraising: “Corporate support like this ensures we continue to make a difference to our patients and to develop the skills of our clinical staff. Our Lymphoedema team of Helen and Terri conduct more than 1,600 appointments a year, particularly for outpatients who they help to live life more comfortably. The staff and customers at Ann’s Cottage should be very proud of the support they’ve given our nurses, support that is already of incredible benefit to our Lymphoedema patients.”
We hope to continue to raise awareness of the incredible work Cornwall Hospice Care do for their patients and their families. We feel extremely honoured to be able to support such an incredible charity and appreciate all the hard work and efforts this team put in on a daily basis.
We choose to sponsor five local charities that are very close to our heart. A new charity that we have started sponsoring in 2018 is Surfers Against Sewage who work to keep our oceans clean and protected. Find out more about their amazing work by clicking here.